Open Source Software: developers survey

I have recieved an invitation to fill in the second survey developed by University of Maastricht (the Netherlands) to study Free/Libre/Open Source Software. The first one was about two years ago and I barely remember it.

Anyway, these guys could use some help, so if you are in any way participating in FLOSS (I hate this word) community and have some time on your hands, check it out. It took me “You took 35 min 58 sec to fill out this survey.” There are slighly more than 40 questions.

Below is the full text of the email that they have sent.

From: “FLOSSpols” flosspols (at)
To: my email address
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 13:47:12 +0100
Subject: Open Source Software: developers survey

Dear FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) participant,

Two years ago, the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands), carried
out the FLOSS developer survey supported by the European Union. This was
the first survey that provided deep insights in the international FLOSS
community, its beliefs, and its functioning. Although this study has
been pathbreaking for many research activities in the following years,
some very important questions regarding this phenomenon remained
unanswered so far.

The original FLOSS survey and follow up FLOSS-US (Stanford) and
FLOSS-Japan/FLOSS-Asia (Mitsubishi Research) showed that “Learning new
skills” was the most common reason provided by developers for their
community participation. Another significant finding of surveys is that
there are far fewer women in FLOSS development than in software
development as a whole. In this two-part survey, once again supported by
the European Union, we would like to find out, first, how learning is
organised and perceived within the FLOSS community and, second, to
understand better the role of women within the community.

For this purpose we rely heavily on your support, because you and your
colleagues are the only ones who have the experience and expertise to
help us revealing a realistic and appropriate picture of the community.
Therefore we would like to ask you to fill in the following
questionnaire. The more FLOSS developers respond, the better and more
accurate the survey results.

FLOSSPOLS is a scientific project that is financed by the European
Commission and carried out by the University of Maastricht and the
University of Cambridge. It serves exclusively purposes in the public
interest, especially the provision of support for European policies
towards Open Source and Free Software. The information you provide will
be kept strictly confidential, and nobody outside the FLOSSPOLS research
team will have access to personalised data. Moreover, all results we
publish will ensure that the identification of persons who have replied
to the questionnaires will be impossible.

If you are younger than 18 years, we would like to draw attention to the
fact that surveying of underage persons is a sensitive ethical issue in
the EU framework. However, we acknowledge that many members of the FLOSS
community are quite young. If you are underage, we would like to
recommend that you carefully consider the purpose of our survey, as
stated in this letter, before filling it out.

You can start the survey by clicking on the link:

If you have further questions or comments on this topic do not hesitate
to contact us.

University of Maastricht
the Netherlands

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