The Orbiten free software survey

  • Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
  • Vipul Ved Prakash


Free software is supposedly developed by a loosely organised "community" of programmers. However it has been quite unknown until now who, except for some well-known celebrities, belongs to this community, and more importantly how contributions are distributed. The authors present a first survey of free software authorship, with the emphasis not on building a census or even a "hall of fame", but on identifying patterns of concentration and distribution of contribution. The sample code size is not necessarily representative and there are several errors due to the automated and vast nature of the task of identifying and crediting authors. Nevertheless, comprehensive data is collated for the first time, and can be scrutinised in detail on the survey Web site.
How to Cite
Ghosh, R. A., & Prakash, V. V. (2000). The Orbiten free software survey. First Monday, 5(7).