The Free/Libre/Open Source Software Survey for 2003

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

Very importantImportantA bit importantNot important
I thought it was the best way for software to be developed 32.36% 36.26 19.53 11.85 1536 responses
I thought we should all be free to modify the softwarewe use 47.19 31.40 14.49 6.92 1532
I needed to perform tasks that could only be done with modified versions of existing software 30.83 25.49 23.40 20.27 1534
I needed to fix bugs in existing software 26.83 26.31 24.87 21.99 1528
As a user of free software, I wanted to give something back to the community 42.73 35.06 16.82 5.39 1540
I wanted to help provide alternatives to proprietary software 36.49 25.39 22.01 16.10 1540
I wanted to interact with like-minded programmers 24.20 32.99 27.26 15.55 1537
I saw it as a way to become a better programmer 36.52 32.16 19.30 12.02 1539
I liked the challenge of fixing bugs and problems in existing software 13.54 26.95 28.97 30.54 1529
I wanted to find out more about how a particular program worked 22.50 32.18 26.14 19.18 1538
My employer wanted me to collaborate in open source development 3.18 3.98 10.41 82.43 1508
Another reason 59.24 9.24 1.36 30.116 368

List of other reasons for starting OS/FS development, as given by the respondents:
A challenge & opportunity to push myself - It's not a consumer but 1000's of your peers
Access to free services like Source Forge
Achedemic Imperitive
Afforded me the opportunity to learn API and OS differences across platforms.
ahh... well, in 1982 there was no software to do what we wanted... sigh...
All the software we used at college was open source - I really had no concept of proprietary software.
artistic expression
As an employed software-developer it gives me the chance to develop things, I cannot develop at work. It also might help getting other jobs in the future.
At the time some things just didn't exist so I created and distributed them
because of the underlying philosophies of freedom and sharing
Because software engineering can only be practiced as a science, when the source is available
Becouse I love programing and I love freedom !
being known, respect
Beyond what my employer wanted, we used existing open source software in the work place before I started my employment. We needed to add features and fix bugs to maintain existing systems. Management may or may not have known what  open source was.
closed source is immoral
closed-source software was too expensive
Collaboration is an essential characteristic of my field
contribute to a better and free computer scene
cost is a huge factor.  I can develop something with my time, versus buy something that I don't have money for
Cost, couldn't afford proprietary os and development tools
Creating democracy in the digital world. No Digital Divide. Independence from US spyware
Danish translations for KDE, maybe a bit of nationalism or love of culture
DARPA/NSF Funded software design and implementation research.  Tax dollars pay for it so I SHOULD be given to the public.
development s/w was IMO to costly
Developping commercial software requires too much marketing effort
did not have the resources to pay for some programs I wanted
didn't like to spent time looking for cracs
Die Datenformate muessen auch in der Zukunft lesbar bleiben, selbst wenn die Entwicklung der Software von mir eingestellt werden sollte.
do an internship
Easier to develop quality code by using already developed works
Eliminate proprietary software from my machines
Employers could not afford proprietary alternatives
Exposure to a wide range of technologies
Fame and recognition :-)
Fast acting.
Faster for development.
For a small business like ours ...this was the best option available
For fun
for fun
For Fun.
free and open standards for a peaceful cooperation
Free Linux was the only one providing system protection from apps
Free software affords the developer freedom in his work -- proprietary usually restrict
Free software works the same way my mind does.
friend asked help
Friends were already active in the project (i.e. getting involved because of social peer pressure)
fun :-)
Fun and customer feedback
fun writing software
Fund crunch
get in contact with the latest technologies and the best practices while using them
Get knowledge from the community
Give away software so others can use it.
good for knowledge excange in a comunity / wide know-how base
Had had an Amiga but not enough money to buy commercial development tools, so I needed OSS
Had Windows SW and changed to Linux. Though, someone else could make the bugfixes in it or make it better :)
have fun
Help build resume
Hobby and satisfaction of writing the software exactly as you want it with no schedules as excuses to cut corners.
Human knowledge belongs to the world
I am a student, and the best way to learn was do it the right way - the "free"dom way
I believe in realy OpenStandards
I come from a community of programmers that wrote in interpreted programming languages, everything we wrote was open source in some format *g*
I could not keep the pace with proprietary software license and upgrade management
I couldn't achieve my goals using proprietory/commercial software that *I* could afford
I couldn't afford commercial alternatives to many of the open source tools
I developed a software that didn't exist
I didn't have the funds needed to purchase development tools.
i didn't know how to read the docs (HOWTO, man pages, info sheets), i need help, i helped myself by writing shell scripts that wud help me read those docs.
I didn't want the project to die if I were to stop development.
I don't like GNU/people and even more Stallman, i prefer BSD ;) and de Raadt
I fully agree with the Free Software (Not Open Source) Philosophy founded by the GNU Project.
I got a connection to the internet
I had an ego to feed :-)
I had ideas how particular software might improve, and just implemented them myself
I had to choose a course on my University, C++/linux appealed more to me than Java or Delphi/W32
I had to do it to get my job done as my employeer wanted
I hate closed source developers because they are smarter than me!!!!!!
I have been guiding undergrads to develop software in open source
i have decided that i hate anything with the name microsoft on it. My goal is to help prevent anyone company from being able to dictate the IT industry
i just liked it when i was 15-16....lots of free time and nothing much to do except play soccer and computer games
I just needed it and didn't see any point in being selfish.
I like the ideology of Free Software developers and I wanted to join this ideology.
I like to stuff other people appreciate
I like working on my CV
I liked to try new ways of doing what proprietary software did inefficiently
I love Linux and FreeBSD and hate Microsoft
I needed a app which has not been available so I started it
I needed a certain feature that didn't exist, not even in commercial software.
i needed a feature that was unavailable at the time
I needed a solution that was extremely expensive as proprietary software
I needed a specific program that was not there
I needed a tool, that didn't exist
I needed software that didnt exist at all
I needed the tool, I was developing and why making it open-source?
I needed to solve a specific problem, could not find a solution so did it myself. Afterwards I wanted to ahre the results.
I needed to use a software tool that was too expensive for me to buy.
I needed tools that were not available for low money, so I wrote them myself and published them
I opened internal projects to better weight development costs & IMHO best legal way to cooperate with other enterprises on software development
I owed for my use of OSS
I read the GNU GPL for the first time
I think must be more quality alternative for proprietary software
I think using more OS will grant more employment! My company bought a CRM-System and 50% of the IT-department were layed off! Would not happen as easy with using OS!
I thought it was going to be fun
I thougth it was better way to find bugs and to perfect software
I want to be the boss of my computer, not the Computer iss my boss :) ... in OS i can find out what my Computer iss doing
i want to get rid of the differences between people who have and people who don't have
I wanted a program that didn't exist yet, so I had to create it
I wanted freedom to use tools and benefit from upgrades to software made by peopole like me.  NO LICENSE HASSLE.
I wanted more users to have access to my software - it would be virtually self distributing
I wanted my linux box to have a better GUI for *me* to use
I wanted recognicion in the FS community.
I wanted the project to survive without me and continue to thrive on the same basic principles that it was created with.
I wanted the support of other programmers on my project
I wanted the work I do to be able to benefit everybody, not just a private company
I wanted those, who will use my program, to fill themselfes free with it
I wanted to add features in other software
I wanted to attain a good reputation for future jobs and projects.
I wanted to be a part of the community
I wanted to be able to continue to work on a particular piece of software, and to distribute it unambiguously.
I wanted to be able to use software which didn't exist for the Linux OS at that time, so I wanted to help creating it.
I wanted to be SURE I knew how key software tools worked.
I wanted to be sure that no one could 'steal' the code for own propietary programs.
I wanted to become more popular in the web.
I wanted to create a program for a particular task
I wanted to create a reputation
I wanted to create some software as a reference for my skills
I wanted to create something that did not exist before (proprietary or open)
I wanted to create things the way I thought they should be created
I wanted to develop software that didn't violate the user's privacy
I wanted to develop software that fit my needs
I wanted to focus on using open standard and save money
I wanted to get a little name recognition
I wanted to have portable libraries
I wanted to help develop a protocol with the potential for large scale application. So I chose JXTA
I wanted to help technical and scientific innovations come to OS/FS software
I wanted to help users by providing free software.
I wanted to introduce Free Software to my office
I wanted to learn
I wanted to learn more about the open source processes
I wanted to proove my skills.
I wanted to provide a Free environment for Multi-Value DBMS's.
I wanted to provide software to international users in their own language- a language not supported by proprietary software of the time
I wanted to share what I did, and get some feedback
I wanted to sovle a very specific problem.
I wanted to use non-Microsoft operating systems and software
I wanted to write things that people used.
I was in love with someone who was interested in that. :)
I was pissed about the problems with "other" operating systems...
I was tired of waiting for companies development cycles to finish
I wrote a tool I needed and decided it was better to make it available to others
If you want to do it right, do it yourself. Open Source mostly is rubbish
I'm crazy about computer science
In my country it's the only way to learn "the real thing"
Increased security - much eyes looking on source code find more problems.
information wants to be free - the idea that anybody owns an idea is absurd
It can potentially provide faster time-to-market and better thought-out code and functionality for software applications and services.  It also provides true round-trip collaboration/feedback/bug-tracking (which is comprehensive at the actual user levels, not just some internal UAT or test department level, which is inherently limited).
It doesn't feel like something is being taken away from me, like with propriatary software.
It enabled solutions otherwise impossible to achieve
It gives me all the tools I need for development for free as speach & beer
It is easier to write software under Linux than Windows
it is fun
it is fun to develop OS/FS
It is my duty to contribute into the pool of free software and free documentation.  Without developers, the software would stagnate.
It is readily available
It was fun
It was fun
it was kind of 'online-scene' which was different from regular chatters who are talking 'bout sex and stuff
It was lots of fun !
it was the natural extension of previous colaborative efforts.
it would be fun
its fun
It's fun
It's fun - a hobby does not really need any other motivation
it's great fun!
It's like a challange. I wanted some recognition for my work, somehow like an athlete.
It's my project, and I see this as a viable way to both gain market share, and add more features into a product than I could possibly find the time to put in myself.
jff :)
just for fun
Just for fun
Just for the fun of it
Lack of certain software
Learning good programming style
LINUX philosophy
low cost and open standard
Made it possible to do university UNiX based assignments at home
makeing myself heard!
maximize number of users
modifying existing OS/FS was cheaper than buying equivalent proprietary software
Modifying existing software gives you insights and you can learn a much
Morally, it's the right thing to do
Most important of all: just for fun! Closely relatet to (g), and to see a product of mine used by thousands of others.
Most OS/FS is better than proprietary software
most software in use when I started (mainframe/mini) was open source, although not always free
Move from high priced hardware to commodity PCs - cost savings
no access to the functionality i needed, required dicumentation not available, so existing open source programs were the only reference material i got
no alternatives, experimental software
No free software existed at the time to meet the particular need I had
No tool existed to do the job at the time
not skilled enough to publish professionally
Nothing like the software existed in commercial form.
on the systems of the day, there wasn't really any alternative... the evil came later!
Only OpenSource is possibly secure as it is verified by a lot of peopleat any time
only the best things are free !
Opportunity to work on software which I hadn't had the chance in business (like 3D software, etc.)
OS is Odlyzkos "Kontent is not King" effect in Softwaredevelopement
OS/FS development focuses on building up and using the skills of a developer (which is better for the health of a company) as opposed to purchasing a software license. 
OS/FS expand the lifespan of applications
OS/FS provides a nice environment for hobbyist programmers..
OSFS allowed more intl. config. of software, as opposed to USA only config. of most.
Peer recognition
Personal interest
Portability was easier with an open compiler existing for many os`es rather than using proprietary compilers on each platform
practice programming and spread knowledge to others seeking for it
Programming is fun
Proprietary software cost too much to use for development
Proprietary SW too expensive, No proprietary alternatives for problem
Publicise research for reproductibility
Pure challange and fun
research, micro kernel based realtime operating systems
Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman spoke at my school
RMS's speeches and ESR's books
Saw it as a business opportunity
schnarch bla bla
science, fame, Fields medal
scientific work and propietarity software isn't good family
seemed rational
since free software is developed by people like me i get what i want, and even if i gont get it i modify the code so that others like me can use it. So in OS community you can easily get what you want and not what software companies force you to use.
Since source code was provided with the software, I could run business software with more confidence.
software evolves faster when everyone hast the code.
software like didn't exist to my knowledge.
software to support research needs to be open to enable the scientific process (i.e., peer review). You can't put everything in a journal article.
someone hire me?
Student, nothing better to do.
The application I wanted did not exist, so I needed help.
The available programs didn't have the features I needed
The challenge of creating something never done before
the community
the comunity was great back then: modern pen pawls
The existing Open Source program for my problem area (fetchmail) was a festering pile of shit.
The framework I started with had no existing equivalences
the only possibility to realize ideas wich are to big for a single person
The OSS programs were better than any proprietary ones I had access to at the time.
the pleasure one derives in making one
the possibility to change and understand things that were hidden with other software
the software I needed did not exist
The software piece I got involved with existed only as open source
The stuff worked, worked well, and nothing even remotely as capable was available eleswhere
The tool I needed did not exist, so I had to do it. And why not give it others who need the same.
the tools (compiler etc.) were free
Then it was science, and that was how science was done - openly published.
there is no employer who limit the number of people who can contribute to the project
There is no software to solve my special problems
There was no other program solving the problem
there was no solution for my needs
There's was no alternatives - cost for products of Microsoft Corp. is too high in out country. o.k., we can always use piracy software, but I don't need that
Tired of Proprietary solutions which prevent you from providing the best support to your own customers by not been able to fix bugs when you see them or even not being able to integrate an application with another
To be free! You can only be free when you are not bound to a companys tools! I dont like to be told by my PC(Software) what to do. I think a PC is a tool like a hammer, a car or a telephone - I want to decide what it has to do or how I want it should work!!
To Change the world
to create and invent something
to demostrate, that the mexican can do programing too
To End Monopolies like Microsoft and bring down the cost of software so even poor people around the world can have access to these software
to get good feedback
To get independent from the US slave keeper M$
To get peer review of my own works, and to reach a wider audience
To have choice in the Operating System and Applications space where proprietary software companies did whatever they want forgetting the actual needs for normal user and charging him/her a huge fee for entire software package of which only part  he/she will ever use.
to help africa
To help make it impossible to protect Intellectual Property.
to know exactly what the software do
to participate in an new, non economical form of negentropy...
To promote standards via free open source reference implementations.
To show my skills to possibly new employers
Trying new ways for solving a problem
Wanted to develop an OS program that only existed in the proprietary world.
Wanted to develop my own GPL-licensed server software with FSF tools and without having to pay for commercial components
Wanted to develop without doing all the parts (lots of modules need to be created for lodd to make it more useful), and this can best be farmed out to the userbase.
Wanted to get my code distributed to as many people as possible
Wanted to help provide additional functionality to promising software
wanted to solve a problem for myself, then share the solution with others having the same problem
We had some old MS-DOS code developed long ago.  We wanted to see if it could be portet to the Linux platform.
when I started, most end user software was 'free' and 'open'
windows seemed too limited, I wanted to know an operating system deeper
work on projects too big for a single person