Open Source: All You Need is Love (Mostly)


One of the perennial questions concerning free software is why people keep on writing it. Cynics like to think that given half the chance, people would actually rather get paid to code, and that free software is just a kind of fill-in, or a means to a better job; but others, citing general research into motivation, point out that altruism is a strong and universal urge, and sufficient to explain the continuing production of open source.

Thanks to an OpenLogic survey of its Expert Community on the subject, we have a few more data points. One finding is that their open source work often occurs within proprietary software companies, with not much overlap between work and open source coding, but that most people don't believe there will necessarily be a company behind free software projects in the future. The final question is symptomatic

Why did you join the OpenLogic Expert Community?
To make money 52%
To support open source software 64%
To help more people/companies use open source software 52%
To see what it was all about 60%

Sounds like a draw, to me.