C. Artho, K. Suzaki, R. Di Cosmo, R. Treinen, and S. Zacchiroli. Why do software packages conflict? In Mining Software Repositories (MSR), 2012 9th IEEE Working Conference on, pages 141--150, 2012.

Determining whether two or more packages cannot be installed together is an important issue in the quality assurance process of package-based distributions. Unfortunately, the sheer number of different configurations to test makes this task particularly challenging, and hundreds of such incompatibilities go undetected by the normal testing and distribution process until they are later reported by a user as bugs that we call “conflict defects”. We performed an extensive case study of conflict defects extracted from the bug tracking systems of Debian and Red Hat. According to our results, conflict defects can be grouped into five main categories. We show that with more detailed package meta-data, about 30 % of all conflict defects could be prevented relatively easily, while another 30 % could be found by targeted testing of packages that share common resources or characteristics. These results allow us to make precise suggestions on how to prevent and detect conflict defects in the future.

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