Briefly, FLOSS programs are programs whose licenses give users the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program (without having to pay royalties to previous developers).
The goal of this paper is to convince you to consider using FLOSS when you’re looking for software, using quantitive measures.
Some sites provide a few anecdotes on why you should use FLOSS, but for many that’s not enough information to justify using FLOSS.
I should note that while I find much to like about FLOSS, I’m not a rabid advocate; I use both proprietary and FLOSS products myself.
Vendors of proprietary products often work hard to find numbers to support their claims; this page provides a useful antidote of hard figures to aid in comparing proprietary products to FLOSS.
Others have come to the same conclusions, for example, Forrester Research concluded in September 2006 that “Firms should consider open source options for mission-critical applications”.
I believe that this paper has met its goal; others seem to think so too.
This paper (and its supporting database) provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software (abbreviated as OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS) is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures.
This paper’s goal is to show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software.
This paper examines popularity, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership.
It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, OSS/FS on the desktop, usage reports, governments and OSS/FS, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions.
An appendix gives more background information about OSS/FS. A short presentation (briefing) based on this paper is also available.