Personal tools
You are here: Home Articles EU Research investigates the Quality and Socioeconomic aspects of Free Libre Open Source Software
Document Actions

EU Research investigates the Quality and Socioeconomic aspects of Free Libre Open Source Software

by xavier last modified 2008-11-05 12:51

As part of its research funding activities the European Commission has been funding research into Free, Libre and Open Source software (FOSS) for a number of years. Many projects make use of existing FOSS. Some focus on FOSS itself, seeking to improve the technologies used and to remove barriers for adoption and use.

Source: "FOSS projects" by ‘Software & Services Architectures, Infrastructure and Engineering’ Unit information Society and Media Directorate-General' – European Commission

This article presents a selection of projects investigating the Quality and Socio-economic aspects of FOSS. The full list of projects is available in the FOSS projects leaflet

Projects investigating the Socio-economic aspects of FOSS


FOSS is arguably one of the best examples of open, collaborative, internationally distributed production and development that exists today. With partners around the globe, the FLOSSInclude project will develop a roadmap for international cooperation to realise the potential of FOSS as a tool for social and economic development.


Free/Libre/Open Source Software is much discussed, especially in the context of development and economic growth. But very little hard data are available on the use, deployment and development of FOSS outside Europe and North America. FLOSSWORLD reproduced a number of surveys previously carried out in Europe (and to some extent in the US) in selected developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Where in the world do FOSS developers live? Does their contribution and motivation differ based on the countries and regions in which they live and work? What about the role of employers, higher education institutes and governments?

FLOSSWORLD collected, for the first time, comparable data from several countries in order to answer these questions.


Projects investigating Quality and FOSS 


Industry, SMEs, public administrations and individuals are increasingly relying on libre (free, open source) software as a competitive advantage in the globalisation, service-oriented software economy. Because of that, detailed, reliable and complete information about libre software is needed, and specifically about its development process, its productivity and the quality of its results. It is important to know how to benchmark individual projects against the general level, and how to learn from, and adapt, the methods found in libre software to their own development processes, especially within industry.

FLOSSMETRICS addresses those needs by analysing a large quantity (thousands) of libre software projects, providing detailed quantitative data about them. Several aspects of libre software development (software evolution, human resources coordination, effort estimation, productivity, quality, etc.) will be studied in detail.


Currently, most companies select FOSS in an ad-hoc manner and often neglect to consider important factors. In response, the Qualoss project proposes to build a methodology for assessing the robustness and evolvability of FOSS endeavours. This includes the assessment of software code but also of the other elements that constitute an FOSS endeavour, i.e., work products, community members, software processes, and tools and libraries. The results of an assessment on all FOSS endeavour elements will provide a comprehensive picture and will therefore improve the decision makers' confidence in making an informed decision about FOSS endeavours.

More information

Download leaflet "FOSS projects and the European Research & Development Framework Programme"