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O'Reilly.net: European Union Researches the Benefits of Open Source Software

Sep 21, 2002, 04:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Oram)

"A major research project under the name Free/Libre and Open Source Software: Survey and Study, or FLOSS, recently explored reasons behind the widespread use of, and support for, free and open source software. This is, to my knowledge, the first large-scale, rigorous study concerning any aspect of free software. It involves interviews with thousands of developers and hundreds of businesses, with carefully-chosen questions and a correlation of results.

"Equally significant is the funder of the study: the European Union. These government representatives have displayed a growing curiosity about, and sympathy for, the free software phenomenon; see, for instance, the recent announcement concerning OpenEvidence, a project in digital certificates and signatures. The EU is an excellent body to sponsor a sympathetic but demanding inquiry into the purposes and processes of free software development. (The study was carried out for the EU by Berlecon Research GmbH and the University of Maastricht. The business survey involved only European participants, but the developer survey was worldwide...)"

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