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Software Research Meetup (online)
October 21, 2020 @ 14:00 - 14:45
Maintaining interoperability in open source software: A case study of PDFBox
Abstract: Software interoperability is commonly achieved through the implementation of standards for communication protocols or data representation formats. Standards documents are often complex, can be difficult to interpret, and may contain errors and inconsistencies which can lead to differing interpretations that may inhibit interoperability. This talk discusses the findings of a case study of two years of activity in the Apache PDFBox project which examined day-to-day decisions made concerning implementation of the PDF specifications and standards. The study identifies fundamental types of decision made by project developers including emulation of the behaviour of dominant implementations and the extent to which to implement the PDF standards. Factors influencing the decisions to support the continuing technical relevance of the software are related to the sustainability of the OSS project itself, and choices made by external actors, including the developers of dependencies of PDFBox.
Online Software Research meetup, more information and registration: