Open source code quality endorsed

Code in the Apache open source Web server Version 2.1 is on par with that found in commercial equivalents, according to a study by Reasoning, which provides code inspection services.

The new findings could boost the status of open source software as an option for deployment. Reasoning, in its inspection, found what it said were 31 software defects in 58,944 lines of source code, yielding a defect density of 0.53 per 1000 lines of source code.

The average defect density in commercial software came in at 0.51 per 1000 lines of source code, according to Reasoning.

“The basic information coming out of this particular report is that a new development in open source ends up being very similar to a new development in commercial software,” Reasoning director of product management, Jeff Klagenberg, said.

The company had examined code in commercial application servers but could not reveal which ones, he said.

Officials from the Apache Software Foundation, which oversees development of the Apache Web server, could not be reached for comment on the Reasoning findings.

The Reasoning report bolsters a previous study released in February. In that study, Reasoning found that the TCP/IP protocol stack implementation in version 2.4.19 of the open source Linux kernel had fewer defects than several commercial equivalents.

Reasoning’s code inspection services combine automated code inspection with manual reviews and features both proprietary technology and a repeatable process.