How are issue reports discussed in Gitter chat rooms?

Hareem Sahar, Abram Hindle, Cor-Paul Bezemer

2020/10/29

How are issue reports discussed in Gitter chat rooms?

Authors

Hareem Sahar, Abram Hindle, Cor-Paul Bezemer

Venue

Abstract

Informal communication channels like mailing lists, IRC and instant messaging play a vital role in open source software development by facilitating communication within geographically diverse project teams e.g., to discuss issue reports to facilitate the bug-fixing process. More recently, chat systems like Slack and Gitter have gained a lot of popularity and developers are rapidly adopting them. Gitter is a chat system that is specifically designed to address the needs of GitHub users. Gitter hosts project-based asynchronous chats which foster frequent project discussions among participants. Developer discussions contain a wealth of information such as the rationale behind decisions made during the evolution of a project. In this study, we explore 24 open source project chat rooms that are hosted on Gitter, containing a total of 3,407,622 messages and 16,665 issue references. We manually analyze the contents of chat room discussions around 476 issue reports. The results of our study show the prevalence of issue discussions on Gitter, and that the discussed issue reports have a longer resolution time than the issue reports that are never brought on Gitter.

Bibtex

@article{sahar2020JSS-Gitter-Issues,
 abstract = {Informal communication channels like mailing lists, IRC and instant messaging play a vital role in open source software development by facilitating communication within geographically diverse project teams e.g., to discuss issue reports to facilitate the bug-fixing process. More recently, chat systems like Slack and Gitter have gained a lot of popularity and developers are rapidly adopting them.  Gitter is a chat system that is specifically designed to address the needs of GitHub users. Gitter hosts project-based asynchronous chats which foster frequent project discussions among participants. Developer discussions contain a wealth of information such as the rationale behind decisions made during the evolution of a project. In this study, we explore 24 open source project chat rooms that are hosted on Gitter, containing a total of 3,407,622 messages and 16,665 issue references. We manually analyze the contents of chat room discussions around 476 issue reports. The results of our study show the prevalence of issue discussions on Gitter, and that the discussed issue reports have a longer resolution time than the issue reports that are never brought on Gitter.},
 accepted = {2020-10-29},
 author = {Hareem Sahar and Abram Hindle and Cor-Paul Bezemer},
 authors = {Hareem Sahar, Abram Hindle, Cor-Paul Bezemer},
 code = {sahar2020JSS-Gitter-Issues},
 day = {29},
 institution = {University of Alberta},
 journal = {Journal of Systems and Software},
 month = {October},
 pages = {1--53},
 role = { Researcher / co-author},
 title = {How are issue reports discussed in Gitter chat rooms?},
 type = {article},
 url = {http://softwareprocess.ca/pubs/sahar2020JSS-Gitter-Issues.pdf},
 venue = {Journal of Systems and Software},
 year = {2020}
}