Time-Based Release Management in Free and Open Source (FOSS) Projects

  • Martin Michlmayr, University of Cambridge
  • Brian Fitzgerald, Lero - Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, University of Limerick


As the Free and Open Source (FOSS) concept has matured, its commercial significance has also increased, and issues such as quality and sustainability have moved to the fore. In this study, the authors focus on time-based release management in large volunteer FOSS projects, and reveal how they address quality and sustainability issues. They discuss the differences between release management in the traditional software context and contrast it with FOSS settings. Based on detailed case studies of a number of prominent FOSS projects, they describe the move to time-based release management and identify the factors and criteria necessary for a successful transition. The authors also consider the implications for software development more generally in the current dynamic Internet-enabled environment.



Michlmayr, M., Fitzgerald, B. (2012). Time-Based Release Management in Free and Open Source (FOSS) Projects. International Journal of Open Source Software and Processes, 4(1). 1–19.