Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Open source survey: many questions remain

Used in the right context, statistics can often illuminate and point the way. On the other hand, these days, given the degree of spin around, they are more often used to confuse and blur an issue.

That's why I am always suspicious about surveys. Over the years I've been writing about free and open source software, I've seen numerous surveys from the proprietary software crowd - which always tend to paint a positive picture of proprietary software. Curious.

And then there are surveys from proponents of free and open source software - which, mysteriously, end up favoring the FOSS community and its software.

It's not surprising that the great Benjamin Disraeli once referred to statistics as being the third kind of lies - after lies and damn lies.

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