Open, Voluntary and Democratic

The COSMIC organization commenced its work in 1998. The organization has grown informally to a global community of professionals. The Constitution (first version of published in 2011) recognizes that the organization relies and will continue to rely on unpaid efforts by volunteers and that finding and appointing individuals to a position of responsibility in the organization happens mainly by personal contact. Legally, COSMIC is an incorporated not for profit organization under Canadian law.

Congratulations to the COSMIC Community On its 20th Birthday On 1st November 1998, seven software metrics experts met in London to launch a project to develop a new method for measuring a functional size of software. The experts, from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK had mostly been members of an ISO working group that had defined the general principles for such methods in the standard ISO/IEC 14143/1. However, it was clear that what software engineers really needed was not just a statement of principles but a practical new measurement method. The name chosen, ‘COSMIC’ (Common Software Measurement International Consortium) showed the breadth of our ambition. We defined detailed aims, the most important of which were “to develop, test and bring to market a new generation of software size measure(s) which should: be suitable for normalising and comparing performance of activities throughout the software life cycle, and for use in estimating development and maintenance effort and time; be applicable to as wide a range of software ‘domains’ as possible; be academically sound, conform to ISO Standard 14143/1, and to measurement theory; draw on the best ideas from the current FFP, IFPUG, MkII and Nesma methods.” The first version of the Measurement Manual (MM) which defines the principles, rules and definitions of the method was published in October 1999, authored and reviewed by 38 experts from 14 countries. The method was trialled successfully and the data from ten organizations in six countries reported at an ESCOM conference in April 2001. Since these modest beginnings, we have met and far exceeded our original aims. The method has become an ISO standard (ISO 19761) and been adopted all over the world, for software from all domains. The MM has been translated into 10 languages. The method is now mature and frozen; COSMIC sizes can already be measured automatically from requirements in various forms and from code, and further tool developments are underway. We thank the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed to the development and refinement of the COSMIC method and to its implementation over the pat 20 years. All of us can look back with pride on our achievements. Happy 20th birthday! (For more, see Alain Abran, Co-Founder Charles Symons, Co-Founder Frank Vogelezang Chair, COSMIC President, COSMIC