Wheeler: Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers! [Revised]
Jun 10, 2004, 16:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David A. Wheeler)
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From the author:
My paper "Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)?
Look at the Numbers!" has just undergone a major update, after 6
months of quiet development. It gathers, in one place, quantitative
data showing that OSS/FS needs to be considered by any software
This update includes updates and new references to various
In market share, I've updated the Netcraft and Security Space
surveys of web servers (Apache still dominates), and added a new
DNS survey showing (in yet another way) OSS/FS's massive dominance
in that market.
In security, I noted that SUSE and Red Hat have received Common
Criteria evaluations, and noted some of the serious security
problems that seem unique to proprietary operating systems (91% of
broadband users have spyware; 80% of spam is now sent from infected
For reliability, I've added the May 2004 Netcraft survey of
reliable servers (80% of the top ten most reliable hosting
providers are OSS/FS based), and an IBM study showing that Linux is
quite reliable under continuous high stress for 30 and 60 days.
For scaleability, I added a reference to "Thunder," the fastest
computer in North America (it runs on Linux).
I added a lot of text noting that OSS/FS isn't pirated source
code (a new claim being heard occasionally, though so far only from
people who appear to be paid to say it). I added much more text
about SCO and AdTI, including some of Tanenbaum's statements and a
Minux/Linux code study refuting AdTI's claims.
In the discussion about forking, I noted the XFree86 vs. X.org
fork to show that forking can be about licensing, not just about
My thanks to the many who sent suggestions.