Change in Software Ecosystems
As software continually changes, communities must propagate and adopt potentially disruptive updates. This is difficult because software ecosystems are complex social systems that struggle with scale, mismatched priorities, heterogeneous levels and areas of expertise, and limits on communication and collaboration. In this paper, we aim to explore the social challenges of rolling out software changes. We first characterize some of these challenges. Next we describe a community structure that has allowed some organizations to develop efficient and scalable tooling for adapting code to handle software changes. We end by discussing current and proposed solutions for propagating changes—and the problems they still face.