UK developers prefer open source

Survey finds majority of UK developers would use open source if given a choice

The majority of UK developers who do not already use open source licences for their products would do so if they had the choice, according to a new survey from Kingpin Intelligence.

The survey found that among development organizations that do not produce open source software, the main things preventing them from doing so are client requirements and licensing restrictions.

The survey of 400 developers from Kingpin's database illuminates some key facts about the way open source is approached in the UK.

Britain is the laggard of Europe in the use of open source, according to industry body OpenForum Europe. Its director, Graham Taylor, said earlier this month that up to 90 per cent of public administrations are locked into proprietary vendor solutions because of poor business decisions.

Among developers, at least, open source has a significant proportion of supporters, according to Kingpin's survey.

Even at developer organizations that do not use open source, 62 per cent of respondents said they used open source software outside of work.

Nearly half of all respondents, or 42 per cent, said they believe the LAMP software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) poses a threat to entrenched technologies.

But only 31 per cent were convinced the open source development process produces higher-quality software than proprietary processes.

Amongst open source development organizations, only 30 per cent of respondents were contracted to enterprise organizations, the study found.

And reflecting the dominance of Windows, open source developers targeted the Windows and Linux operating systems almost equally, Kingpin said.

Overall, the firm said the survey results reflect growing interest in open source amongst UK developers, with cost and flexibility seen as advantages under current economic conditions.

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