Open source developers bag bugs faster, survey says

Jack Loftus, News Writer

Open source software (OSS) developers find and fix software bugs quickly, according to new analyst research released this week.

Evans Data Corp.'s "Fall 2005 Open Source Software/Linux Development Survey" found that, on average, 17% of OSS developers can find and repair bugs in less than 4 hours.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based IT research firm also discovered that of the 450 developers surveyed, another quarter said they could find and fix "severe bugs" in their software in four to right hours, on average.

In a statement from Evans Data Corp. president John Andrews, the fact that open source software centered on a community atmosphere was cited as one of its main strengths.

These "knowledge repositories" allowed an open source developer to go out and find and fix severe bugs much more rapidly than proprietary systems, he said.

"The open source community has evolved to respond quickly to developer needs and we are finding extremely short bug resolution times in the open source space," Andrews said.

Other findings from the October 2005 survey include:

-- Ninety-four percent of Linux developers' systems have never been infected with a virus. Of the 6% that have been infected, only 2% have been infected three or more times.

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For more news on open source:

Comparing security on Linux and Windows

MySQL CEO: Partnerships will propel open source into mainstream

-- Sixty-four percent of open source developers would purchase a tool for Linux if it worked well but wasn't open source.

-- One-fifth of OSS developers would be willing to pay between $200 and $500 a year for open source software support and 15% would be willing to pay between $500 and $1000 per year for support. A quarter of OSS developers wouldn't be willing to pay any money for open source software support.

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