FSFE and promoting software quality

Vitaly Repin vitaly_repin at fsfe.org
Wed Feb 17 08:25:29 UTC 2021


I went through the long thread "FSFE-defined coding standards".  Did not
read all the mails in this thread as at the end it deviated from original

I developed software for different domains and  I do not think it is a good
idea to promote one-fits-all approach for coding standards. E.g., coding
guidelines for safety-critical applications (which do actually exists as
industry standards) are different from coding standards for financial

Therefore I do not think that FSFE shall develop any coding guidelines for
open-source apps. Coding guidelines to follow are dictated by domain, not
by the fact that the specific software is open-source.

However, it is very important to promote quality in software. And open
sourcing actually contributes to a software quality in a number of ways. To
mention couple:

  * Education. Juniour developers use open source software to study how the
code shall be developed in a professional way. They also learn how to
cooperate with other developers in the mailing lists, bug trackers, git
repositories etc.
 * Independent reviews. Open source software is constantly under review
from the community. More eyes you have, easier it is to find a new bug
(yes, including security vulnerability).

I think that FSFE can focus on promoting open source as a way to improve
software quality.
What practically can be done?

Couple of ideas:

- FSFE quality award to the open source software projects (based on the
objective metrics - lint, coverity, relative defects amount etc)
- Educational track. Promote open source as a way to create quality
software. Online courses, hackatons with quality as one of the focuses etc.

But FSFE coding guidelines sound like a wrong goal for me.

WBR & WBW, Vitaly
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.fsfe.org/pipermail/discussion/attachments/20210217/4678871b/attachment.htm>

More information about the Discussion mailing list