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Re: Survey: "Motivation of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) Developers"

From: "Jeroen T(dot) Vermeulen" <jtv(at)xs4all(dot)nl>
To: Marc R?ttig <marc-roettig(at)web(dot)de>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Survey: "Motivation of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) Developers"
Date: 2004-07-01 21:57:27
Message-ID: 20040701215727.GG25134@xs4all.nl (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Mon, Jun 28, 2004 at 10:50:53PM +0200, Marc R?ttig wrote:
> Survey: "Motivation of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) Developers"

Some remarks:

 - Although the MIME header doesn't say it, the document is encoded in a
   Windows-specific encoding.  This is screwing up the apostrophes (')!

 - Q3 ("should all software be Free?") doesn't distinguish between
   software that's distributed and software for internal use.  Thus the
   question can be taken to mean "should all software be made available
   to the public, and under a free or open-source license?" but also, at a
   stretch, "are free licenses the only ethical way to distribute
   software?"  The two are very different, yet the difference does not
   come up anywhere in the answers... Q6 does phrase it very carefully,
   but also doesn't provide differentiation in the answers.  Neither does
   Q15: is internal-use software also counted as "should be F/OSS," i.e.
   does this refer to all software a company produces or only to the
   software it sells/publishes?

 - Maybe Q5 should allow multiple options.  I'd be willing to pay for
   software, but it depends on the price _and_ on the license (or as you
   put it, "only if I get the source.")

 - The phrasing in Q10 is a bit awkward.  For instance, "I only feel joy
   when coding" can mean either (a) "I feel nothing but joy while coding"
   or (b) "I get my only joy in life from coding."

 - Also in Q10, I think "pensum" should be "quota" in English.

 - Q18 ("if you build your own company on your software, how would you set
   your prices?") seems to assume that the only way to make money from
   software is to sell the software itself.  Perhaps you should make clear
   whether the pricing question involves only the software or also any
   services etc. related to the software.  The answers you get may be very
   different, e.g. because it's pointless to charge high prices for freely
   available software.  Yet e.g. developing the software or providing
   consultancy about it is a different matter.

 - Q19 unfortunately is a bit vague when it comes to how software may be
   "sold."  Take SCO for an example: what exactly did they buy when they
   "acquired Novell's Unix business"?  In the case of a BSD-licensed project
   like PostgreSQL of course, a company could already package, modify and
   sell the product without buying anything.  I would interpret "sell all
   the software" differently for a BSD-licensed project than I would for a
   GPL'ed project.  And it might be different again for an Apache-licensed 
   project.  In any of those cases, "selling" the software wouldn't mean
   that you'd lose your own rights to use, maintain, extend, or distribute
   the code.


Jeroen


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