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Linux Journal: Europe Takes a Deeper Look at Free/Libre and Open-Source Software

Oct 02, 2002, 20:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Fred Noronha)

"The final report on Free/Libre and Open-Source Software (FLOSS) from the International Institute of Infonomics at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands is being viewed as a 'major research project' coming out of Europe. The report takes a detailed look at the reasons behind the growing use of free and open-source software. Commentators have already called this study perhaps the 'first large-scale, rigorous study concerning any aspect of free software'. It included interviews with thousands of developers and hundreds of businesses.

One of the key persons behind this study is Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, who moved from the Indian capital of New Delhi to Europe a couple of years ago. Before moving, the 27-year-old Indian-born was involved in the Indian internet/telecom scene. He also wrote for technical and mainstream publications. In addition, Ghosh had his own newsletter, 'Indian Techonomist', that went out to people such as Reed Hundt and Vint Cerf. At the request of senior Indian government officials, he contributed various consultation papers concerning opening up internet policy, especially to small providers.

"So does Aiyer Ghosh believe the FLOSS report will change the way free and open-source software is perceived? 'Not necessarily', he says but then adds, almost as an afterthought, 'but hopefully the study will increase the depth and clarity with which the phenomenon is understood...'"

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