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GNU Automake tops reuse survey



Alex Handy
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March 30, 2009 —  It's fairly common to see lists of the most popular open-source projects. But Black Duck Software dug a little deeper when it compiled numbers regarding open-source code reuse. The company looked at the redistribution of binary components in open-source projects software, and it found that GNU Automake is the most widely reused open-source component.

Of the 1,311 open-source projects included in the survey, the Black Duck team found over 365,000 instances of reuse in the wild. That means that over 365,000 other projects have redistributed binary assets from the core 1,311. The survey focused only on projects in which binary assets are redistributed as part of a downloadable application bundle. Thus, the survey ignored software that used actual snippets of open-source code in the body of an application.

That explains why GNU Automake is so popular: It automatically generates Make files for compilation of a software project. In a world where Linux is not the standard and not everyone who compiles binaries is a programmer, GNU Automake can simplify builds for end users. GNU Automake is written in Perl.

GNU Automake appeared in 12,469 other projects, according to Black Duck. Arriving at a distant second with just over 6,000 instances was GNU Autoconf. This number was somewhat odd, however, as GNU Automake requires GNU Autoconf. No explanation was given by Black Duck for this discrepancy.

GNU Automake 12,469
GNU Autoconf 6,621
XFree 86 5,925
Foxtrot 5,737
Apache-Jakarta Log4j 5,059
Apache-XML Xerces Java 2 4,960
Jakarta Commons Logging 4,939
Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE, J2EE) 4,312
Apache Tomcat 4,136
MS VB 2005 Samples 4,098













Related Search Term(s): Black Duck, open source


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Comments


03/31/2009 02:44:29 PM EST

Thanks, Alex, good question. GNU Automake does in fact require Autoconfig. When we did our initial analysis we looked at instances where developers were using components of Make, not the entire project, and also instances where they were using components of Autoconfig, and we reported on those numbers. If, however, a developer was using most or all of Make they would need all of Autoconfig, and in that case the numbers reported would be identical. Thanks for paying such close attention. Peter Vescuso, Black Duck Software

United StatesPeter Vescuso


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