WELCOME TO FLOSS-US! This online survey is being conducted by researchers at Stanford University’s Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). It is a part of an NSF-supported project on the Economic Organization and Viability of Open Source/Free Software.

If you are an Open Source/Free Software developer, please assist our research by filling out this questionnaire.

We will make public tabulated responses for each of the questions as soon as the survey period is closed. We are committed to protecting respondents' privacy: no personal identifiers will be stored with your answers and responses will be reported in aggregates that will prevent inferences about individual identities.

At the end of the questionnaire you will find links to to the SIEPR/KNIIP website and further information about our project. When you have submitted your response there will be an opportunity to comment on the questionnaire itself, and to request any of the publications that will be based upon analyses of the survey data.

If you would like more information about the survey before beginning, please click here.


1. When did you first start participating in open source/free software development?

Year? How old were you then?

2. Before you started participating in OS/FS development, how often did you use OS/FS ...

 Only a little 
   for recreation?      
   in your coursework?      
   as an employee? 
   in your own business?    

3. How long were you using open source/free software before you started participating in OS/FS development?

About 6 months About a year About 2-3 years More than 3 years

4. How important were the following factors when you first started developing open source/free software?

Very important
A bit important
Not important
a) I thought it was the best way for software to be developed
b) I thought we should all be free to modify the software we use
c) I needed to perform tasks that could only be done with modified versions of existing software
d) I needed to fix bugs in existing software
e) As a user of free software, I wanted to give something back to the community
f) I wanted to help provide alternatives to proprietary software
g) I wanted to interact with like-minded programmers
h) I saw it as a way to become a better programmer
i) I liked the challenge of fixing bugs and problems in existing software
j) I wanted to find out more about how a particular program worked
k) My employer wanted me to collaborate in open source development
l) Another reason - please specify:

5. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements about open source, free, or proprietary software?

Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree
a) I believe that users of software should have the right to see the source code.
b) OS/FS is superior in quality to proprietary software (fewer bugs, more features, etc.)
c) Open source development is the most efficient way to develop software
d) Proprietary software has its uses and proprietary development may create some software more efficiently
e) Some proprietary software is high quality, although ideally all software would be developed as open source/free software

6. Do you identify more with the Free Software community or with the Open Source community?

I identify more with the Free Software community
I identify more with the Open Source Software community
I don't think there is a difference between the two communities
I identify equally with both communities
This is not important to me

7. What are the roles of an open source/free software license? (check all that apply)

To prevent others from appropriating the software we've created
To allow us to create OS/FS without scaring commercial firms from using it
To force credit to be given to programmers' work
To promote the launching of other OS/FS programs
To protect the freedom that software users should have

8. What license restrictions apply to the following tools that you use to program OS/FS? (check all that apply, or leave blank if you do not use the tool)

Click on the column header for information about each license
Other OS/FS licenses
(Open Source Foundation
License List
Free Software Foundation
License List
   Compilers -
   Editors -
   Development environments -
   CVS or other code depositories -

9. How many OS/FS projects have you contributed to?

Number of projects:

10. Please name the project to which you currently (or most recently) contributed, and the first project to which you ever contributed:

Name of current (or most recent) project:
Name of first project:

11. Approximately when did your involvement with each project start and end? (leave the end date blank if your involvement is still going)

Current/most recent project:
Start Date (month/year): End Date:
First project:
Start Date (month/year): End Date:

12. Why did you choose to participate in each project? (check all that apply)

Current/most recent project:
First project:
It was an important and visible project
It seemed technically interesting
I knew people who were working on it
The software being developed would be useful to me
I launched the project
Other - please specify:

13. Approximately what is the average number of hours per week you contributed to each project?

Current/most recent project:
First project:

14. What was the greatest number of hours you can recall having worked in a single day on each project?

Current/most recent project:
First project:

15. For approximately how many days did you work with that intensity on each project?

Current/most recent project:
First project:

16. What roles did you play in each project? (check no more than three in each column)

Current/most recent project:
First project:
algorithm design
user interface design
providing user support
project maintainer
public relations, marketing, or promoting
providing feedback on bugs,
features needed,
and enhancements

17. What percentage of the code you've submitted to each project has been included in the project's release version?

Current/most recent project:
Less than 25% 25-50% 50-75% 75-100%
First project:
Less than 25% 25-50% 50-75% 75-100%

18. How long has it usually taken for code you submitted to be included in each project's release version (if your code is indeed included)?

Current/most recent project:
First project:
1-2 days
1-2 weeks
1-2 months
3-4 months
More than 4 months

19. How well known to the OS/FS community at large were these two projects?

Current/most recent project:
famous well-known slightly known unknown
First project:
famous well-known slightly known unknown

20. With regard to your current/most recent project...

Approximately how many people have contributed since the project's launch?
Approximately how many lines of code are included now (or when you left the project)?
Approximately how many lines of code have you contributed?

21. How important was your contribution to the code written for your current/most recent project?

Very important Important Somewhat important Nominal Insignificant

22. Did you launch your current/most recent project?

Yes, along with others
Yes, by myself

23. How much of the time spent working on your current/most recent project did you contribute to each of the following activities?

A majority
A substantial
A bit
coding -
debugging/testing -
desiging algorithms or user interface -
communication with other programmers -
documenting the code -
public relations or promoting the project -

24. Are you the "project maintainer" for your current/most recent project?

Yes No

25. How many times have you occupied the role of "project maintainer"?

Never 1 time 2 times 3-5 times 5-10 times More than 10 times

26. What do you think a good project maintainer should do? (check all that apply)

Nothing Coordinate the project contributors
Resolve technical disagreements between contributors Release new versions of the code
Select which code will be included Give credit to a contributing developer
Intervene as little as possible

27. What do you think a project maintainer should expect other contributors to do? (check all that apply)

To use the software and request features
To test the software and to submit bug reports or patches
To program new enhancements
To help fellow participants and less experienced users
To acknowledge the contributions of those who have taken responsibility for carrying the project forward

28. Which of the following is the most appropriate description of your present occupational status?

Student Employee Self-employed Not employed

29. Which of the following statements are true for you? (check all that are true)

I work for an OS/FS foundation and get paid for my participation in OS/FS development
My school/employer knows that I work on open source/free software
My school/employer has assigned me to work on OS/FS on the job
My school/employer is unaware of my involvement in OS/FS
My school/employer does not want me to collaborate in OS/FS development
I do not currently have an employer

30. Have you been employed by an organization producing proprietary software? (Check all that apply)

Yes, within the past 2 years
Yes, 3-5 years ago
Yes, 6-10 years ago
Yes, over 10 years ago

31. Among the OS/FS projects in which you have been involved, how many received some support from a business corporation (or consortium), private or public foundation, or other sources of funding?

more than 5
Within the past 2 years:
3-5 years ago:
6-10 years ago:
Over 10 years ago:

32. Who supported any of the OF/FS projects in which you have been involved during the past 5 years? (check all that apply)

None of them were supported Computer hardware companies
System integrator companies Distributors of open source/free software
Makers of PDAs and other internet devices Proprietary software vendors
Software consulting companies Universities or schools
Grants from public foundations or government agencies Individual donations

33. Do you earn money from OS/FS, either directly or indirectly? (check all that apply)

Yes, directly: I am paid for developing OS/FS
Yes, directly: I am paid for supporting OS/FS
Yes, directly: I am paid for administrating OS/FS
Yes, directly: Other reasons - Please specify:
Yes, indirectly: I got my job because of my previous OS/FS experience
Yes, indirectly: My job description does not include OS/FS development
Yes, indirectly: But I also develop OS/FS in my work
Yes, indirectly: Other reasons - Please specify:

34. Have you earned any income from business firms in the following industries? (check all that apply)

During the past
2 years:
During previous
Computer hardware
Banking and Finance
Other - Please specify:

35. What roles have you had in private firms? (check all that apply)

During the past
2 years?
During previous
Company director
Company officer
Other - Please specify:

36. What roles in a business enterprise based on open source/free software can you see yourself having in the future? (check all that apply)

None Owner
Company director Company officer
Employee Consultant
Other - Please specify:

37. When do you work on open source/free software projects? (check all that apply)

Before I go to work After work
At work, during work hours On weekends
At work, but off work hours I'm not employed right now, so whenever I want

38. What is your sex?

Male Female

39. Do you have children? (check all that apply)

Yes, younger than age 6
Yes, older than age 6

40. What is your marital status/domestic situation? (check whichever one is currently most applicable)

Unmarried, without partner
Unmarried, not living with partner
Unmarried, living with partner
Married, not living with spouse
Married, living with spouse

41. In which language(s) are you fluent enough to interact with other OS/FS developers? (select as many languages as apply, hold down the control button to select/deselect each language)

42. In what country were you born?

Same as the country I live in now
Other -

43. What country are you living in now?

44. Have you worked in another country during the past year?

Yes, mostly in
Yes, also in

45. What is your highest formal education level?

High school Undergraduate Graduate (Master's or Doctoral) Professional (JD, MBA, etc.)

Thank you very much for participating! Click "Submit Survey" to finish.