The tOSSad project has released 15 new papers containing over 600 pages dealing with the FLOSS ecosystem and europe. The study describes the current situation as well as possible developments and ways of improvement.
tOSSad is short for “towards Open Source Software adoption and dissemination” and is a EU founded project to improve the FLOSS community by supporting the coordination and networks of the community. To achieve that goal several studies about the state of the art, current solutions, problems, studies about national situations and so on are provided.
As other studies I already mentioned these tOSSad papers released some days ago will provide more scientific and substantial data about the FLOSS eco system. The full list of publications is available here, the highlights are presented at an extra page.
But to be clear about that: I haven’t read the papers. I simply do not have time to go through 600 pages at the moment. Still, German IT news heise.de posted an article about the main topics of the papers there was one thing I found rather interesting:
For example the main barrier for using FLOSS in the European governments is not missing support, but existing contracts with proprietary software vendors and missing money to train the staff. Only half of the people asked even had support contracts. The others had in house capacities to deal with their problems.
That means that at least for governmental institutions support is not a problem: only half of the people need it, and these people who need it also don’t have problems with missing support.
Btw., thanks heise for a providing such an article!
Another thing mentioned in the highlight section of the tOSSad project page is that usability tests of some of the larger FLOSS projects indicated that it is indeed usable. This is not really surprising for me because at least newer versions of KDE, Gnome, OpenOffice and Firefox went through several usability tests. Large parts of these studies and tests were made by Novell afaik.
It looks like that at least for the European continent there are now more and more studies about FLOSS. I hope that such studies make the problems of software monopolies more aware to politicians and managers.