The Open Source model of software development has gained the attention of both the business, the practitioners’ and the research communities. The Open Source process has been described by the seminal paper by Eric Raymond  and . However, sound empirical studies are still very limited , .
Our goal is to investigate the OS process by empirical means, to analyze, characterize it, and possibly model it with quantitative models. It should be noted that the Open Source process provides open process and product data, and therefore is a rare opportunity for empirical research.
Our initial research focus is on the characterization of the process, starting from the evolution of OS projects. In traditional projects, a significant number of releases in a short time is usually considered an instability factor  and , while in the OSS community, it is an evidence of vitality, shows the commitment of the authors and the power of attraction of other programmers . Is it possible to characterize the vitality of projects? And, can vitality be traced to some other characteristics of a project?