Can We Trust Open Source Software?

Vieri del Bianco, Luigi Lavazza, Sandro Morasca, and Davide Taibi published a survey on Open Software Trustworthiness.

Conceptual Map of the FLOSS (Free/Libre Open S...

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Computing Now | October 2011 | What’s New | A Survey on Open Source Software Trustworthiness.

They write:

“Over the past few years, users in many sectors have increasingly adapted open source software (OSS) products. No longer the product of lone coders, industrial-strength OSS is often developed by organized communities and sometimes even by major software companies applying the same rigorous processes and high-quality standards they use when developing their commercial products. However, many software companies and users alike are still somewhat reluctant to massively adopt OSS in their mainstream activities, primarily because they’re unsure if and to what extent they can actually trust OSS. Trust must be built, and, as with any offering, OSS products would probably be more easily trusted when their claims are backed by reliable evidence.”

READ FULL ARTICLE (pdf)

Having been for 13 years one of the public spokespersons of Sun Microsystems, the company that contributed most code to the Open Source Community in the industry,  I gave hundreds of presentations at conferences and at customer sites on “Open Source–Open Systems–Open Standards” (you can look at an example presentation here) and I still believe that this is a powerful and more sustainable model for software creation.

Do you think that the people surveyed were overly optimistic? Overly pessimistic?

Or should we ask: Can we trust closed systems and proprietary software?

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