Common Coupling as a Measure of Reuse Effort in Kernel-Based Software with Case Studies on the Creation of MkLinux and Darwin

Liguo Yu

An obstacle to software reuse is the large numberof major modifications that frequently have to be madeas a consequence of dependencies within the reusedsoftware components. In this paper, common coupling iscategorized and used as a measure of the dependenciesbetween software components. We compared commoncoupling in three operating systems, Linux, FreeBSD,and Mach, and related it to the reuse effort of thesesystems. The measure is evaluated by studying thecreation of two operating systems, MkLinux which isbased on the reuse of Linux and Mach, and Darwinwhich is based on the reuse of FreeBSD and Mach. Weconclude that the way that common coupling isimplemented in Linux kernel induces large dependenciesbetween software components, which required moreeffort in order to be reused to produce MkLinux, whilethe common coupling implemented in the Mach andFreeBSD kernels induces few dependencies betweensoftware components, which required less effort in orderto be reused to produce Darwin.

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