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 findings, being announced on Tuesday, 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 .53 per 1,000 lines of source code. The average defect density in commercial software comes in at 0.51 per thousand lines of source code, according to Reasoning, of Mountain View, Calif.

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

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

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

Reasoning's 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.

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