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Re: Summary of scientific research on Debian (was: DD age histogram)

On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 03:45:32PM +0200, Paul Wise wrote:
> > That made me wonder whether Debian collects references to the research
> > done on it somehow somewhere.
> There is one mentioned here:
> http://wiki.debian.org/Statistics#Scientific_papers_with_statistics_about_Debian
> And some more here:
> http://wiki.debian.org/research

Several of the work done in the research group I'm a member of in Paris
have directly had Debian packages and their relationships as a subject
of study, or even proposed solutions for Debian Quality Assurance. A
couple of publication listings are at:

- http://upsilon.cc/~zack/research/publications/
- http://www.mancoosi.org/papers/

Note that not all of the papers you'll find there are Debian related, so
someone needs to do some cherry picking. For the papers of which I'm
co-author, I've just done so and this is a list of the corresponding
DOIs or preprint:

- http://upsilon.cc/~zack/research/publications/cbse2011-mpm.pdf
  (DOI not available yet)
- http://upsilon.cc/~zack/research/publications/studia11-dh-ocaml.pdf
  (DOI not available yet)
- 10.1016/j.scico.2010.11.001
- 10.1007/978-3-642-15579-6_40
- 10.1109/MSR.2010.5463277
- 10.1109/ESEM.2009.5316017
- 10.1007/978-3-642-14819-4_19

I haven't done the same for papers I'm not co-author of, because I don't
have the DOIs handy. For all papers above you can find preprints at the
first two links I've mentioned in this mail.

> I'd encourage you to contribute to the research wiki page if you find
> any new/old research.  The debian-publicity folks can help with
> publicising any new research that comes up.

Please do, I think it's very valuable. At the same time, as a scholar in
this field, I don't think it's feasible to imagine paper (co-)authors to
actually maintain those pages. I've myself to already maintain that in
several places (e.g. for periodic review of my work by the university
and/or state) and I won't be particularly willing to do it in yet
another place. You might want to encourage it a bit more by providing
some automated submission interface (which of course will be SPAM prone
...). To be honest, it seems to me that the only way this could be kept
current is if someone other than the authors will step up and maintain a
"Debian Research Bibliography" from within Debian.

We might also want to find an interesting place where to link this from
www.d.o, as it might increase the visibility.

As a last data point, several DebConf-s ago (<= 2007, at least),
Benjamin Mako Hill held a BoF about research done on and around
Debian. It was from all point of views (social sciences, computer
science, etc.), but I'm pretty sure the BoF was based on some
bibliography of his. You might want to check that with him.

> Personally I feel that research without feedback to Debian is
> suboptimal, we should be able to learn from studies of Debian and
> change in positive ways as a result.

Yes, but it should go both ways. I've been doing myself research which
has an impact on Debian (the EDOS toolchain, apt-cudf now in
experimental, etc.) and I can assure you that the overhead for
scientists to have such an impact is enormous when compared to the usual
scholar work-flow. I cannot imagine scholars with low degree of
involvement in Debian (arguably, my own involvement in Debian is quite
high) managing to have an impact on us. The entry barrier is very high
for them. So if we, as in Debian, want to benefit from research
outcomes, it should *also* be us reaching out to scholars and try to
integrate their work.

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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