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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

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0% - 20%
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40% - 60%
  3853 votes / 15%
60% - 80%
  3961 votes / 15%
80% - 100%
  6786 votes / 26%
Less than I had assumed, now that I think about it
  1562 votes / 6%
More than I had assumed, now that I think about it
  617 votes / 2%
Do the things I fix on my parents' computer count?
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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

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  • by lorinc (2470890) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:34PM (#44707523) Homepage Journal

    Well, apart of Matlab (which I could easily swap for octave or scilab, but I'm too lazy to rewrite all my code) and 2 or 3 games I use once in the year, all the other 3k+ packages on my computers are FOSS, which is probably >80%. I guess it is more or less the same for any linux user with no alternative OS.

    • by Idbar (1034346)

      I don't know. I was trying to measure this "percentage". But how do you measure it?

      I have OSS that being useful, I hardly use (HDGraph for example), while I have particular software I use all the time. In your case, if you use Matlab 8 hours a day, but you putty ssh into your server for 1 min a day, how does that count?.

      Is it size in bytes? Length of the package name (OSS probably wins with their odd naming conventions)?

      In short, the "regularly use" seems like a non-quantifiable value I failed to understan

      • by WillKemp (1338605) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @07:17PM (#44711989) Homepage

        I don't know. I was trying to measure this "percentage". But how do you measure it?

        What do you mean, "how do you measure it"? This is Slashdot, we don't measure things, we make them up!

        • This is Slashdot, we don't measure things, we make them up!

          Could you provide a citation for this? Otherwise, I'm going to assume that you made that up...

      • by lorinc (2470890)

        I don't know. I was trying to measure this "percentage". But how do you measure it?

        I have OSS that being useful, I hardly use (HDGraph for example), while I have particular software I use all the time. In your case, if you use Matlab 8 hours a day, but you putty ssh into your server for 1 min a day, how does that count?.

        Is it size in bytes? Length of the package name (OSS probably wins with their odd naming conventions)?

        In short, the "regularly use" seems like a non-quantifiable value I failed to understand.

        Well, even if I was running Matlab 8 hours a day, it would be using a OSS desktop environment using an OSS graphic server running on an OSS kernel, which means its percentage of wasted resources cannot exceed 25%. If you add all the remaining apps (web browser, mail client, terms and text editors, and so on), I doubt it will ever be over 20%.

    • by neonKow (1239288)

      Your phone can run "linux" and still have mostly closed-sourced software.

    • by moyix (412254)

      What about your wireless router? The firmware in your car? Your smartphone? Hell, even MicroSD cards run an embedded OS on an ARM processor to handle bad block remapping and to make it easier to test the cards before they leave the factory.

      If you want to stick strictly to your desktop PC, let's talk about the software running on your network card, GPU, SSD, hard drive (some hard drives even have serial ports that you can connect to and see terminal output!).

      I guarantee you that you use a *lot* more computer

  • Mobile software (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:45PM (#44707643)

    Remember to include the software running on your phones and tablets. That's what lowers the percentage for me.

    • Re:Mobile software (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mu22le (766735) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:54PM (#44707727) Homepage Journal

      now that I think about it, you are right :(

      • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @02:23PM (#44708839) Journal

        On our PCs at home, it's in the 80% or more category. We have a few closed-source applications (Linux versions of Mathematica, Bibble Pro, etc.), and there are some binary blobs in the video drivers, but everything else is FOSS, both applications and OS.

        On our telephones, the open source fraction is much lower. Android is partly open source, but most of the applications are proprietary and closed. There are some exceptions: VLC, Firefox, ssh, AVG, and a few others are FOSS.

        On our work PCs, we have some open source applications (GIMP, Inkscape, VLC, etc.) but the OS is Windows, and most of the applications are closed source. Currently even Firefox and Chromium are disallowed by corporate policy, and cannot be installed or run. I expect it to get worse, and for more FOSS software to be blocked.

        • by segin (883667) <segin2005@gmail.com> on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:12PM (#44709337) Homepage
          You can get a boost on the Android side of things by using F-Droid [f-droid.org], an "app store" that carries only open-source software and also builds most of the hosted own binaries from source, as your first source for software.
          • Another recommendation for F-Droid here. A lot of the programs I use regularly on my phone are from there. The rest typically come with Android.

            Among regularly-used software, on my work PC, it's Windows, MS Office, Visual Studio, and Paint.NET on the closed-source side, and Notepad++, SumatraPDF, Chromium, Thunderbird, PDFCreator for OSS; so greater than 50%.

            At home I dualboot Windows (for games, which are closed-source) and Linux, but most of the software I use on both is OSS, so probably > 75% there.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              How about Open Source games?
              There are a number of them thanks to Humble Bundle.
              There's also a fair number of Open Source games of decent quality from the community.
              Wesnoth (TBS), Spring (RTS), Hedgewars (ballistic TBS)

        • The stuff in your car and kitchen is probably a mix of mostly non-open source with a bit of open source.
          • by c0lo (1497653)

            The stuff in your car and kitchen is probably a mix of mostly non-open source with a bit of open source.

            Those are appliances, I use them not their software. I couldn't care less if they are software supported, firmware driven or rely on mechanical cybernetic automata to perform their function.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      No smart phone or tablet. Just a 7 year old dumb Motorola that just makes calls.
    • by Xtifr (1323)

      A big chunk of the software on my phone is open-source, which helps offset the software on my game console, which mostly isn't. But both are dwarfed (at least by number if not by byte-count) by the software on my desktop, which is almost completely open-source.

    • by tylikcat (1578365)

      Yes, by title I'm easily above 80% - but by time spent using them a couple of non open sourced things on my phone get used really a lot.

      Whereas, on my main box... well, I did finally break down and install the actual flash plugin. That's about it, though.

    • I too answered "80-100%" without thinking about my phones/tablet.

      Both PCs are mostly FOSS, with the exceptions of Skype, Flash, and (on the work laptop) oXygenXML.

      Phones and tablet all run Android with (I suspect) mostly closed-source apps. I guess I should look more seriously into Cyanogenmod and F-Droid.

    • Not me. Maemo is mostly FOSS.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It's a pity Nokia gave up on Debian based phones, and when they were selling them you had to go out of your way to find the things. Some repair shops still have unused N900 phones - still amazing years after release but a bit heavy for a phone.
    • Should I count the software in my car also? That would probably drive the percentage to near zero. I said 50% because I spend so much time using Firefox and cygwin, but on Windows. I generously allowed Microsoft 50% for their contribution to the ecosystem.
    • by c0lo (1497653)
      A tablet is what I take when I have a headache, my mobile phone is an appliance (nothing smart, no even a camera, maybe it can double as a wakeup alarm only if I wakeup because of it, but most of the time I don't). With the exception of Darwinia, everything is open source on my computers (including the ones at the office) - I'm well over 99% OSS.
  • Even if it might not be terribly important, I wish more games were open sourced. I think the "risk" of opening the code isn't actually that bad as the companies might think. If there are some licensed parts, remove them by all means. After, say, 5 years after the release of the game, open the source and keep the art files something you have to buy. The game can still keep churning money and if you're lucky, you might get a Linux port for free, which means another bunch of extra sales. Apart from some rare

  • In terms of number of programs I probably have more proprietary ones than open source on my hard drive. However, I spend most of my time using OSS. Mostly Firefox and Thunderbird (on my home laptop anyway).

  • At work, I use almost all Windows based applications, none of which are open source At home I use FreeBSD for a lot of things, and that's all open source. I also use a lot of software I've written myself, some of which is open source, but mostly not.

  • No, really, I don't know. I use what's best for the task at hand, and I never look to see if it's open sourced or not. For menial or rare tasks i use the best freeware I could find, and for heavy duty I usually choose the best paid application, unless its price is really huge.

    Furthermore, I don't compile source code unless I have to.

  • subject says it. (I don't do MS-Windows...)
  • by erice (13380) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:04PM (#44709257) Homepage

    Almost everything I use is open source except for some electronic design tools. However, these tools are kind of important since electronic design is how I make a living. They have no remotely viable open source alternatives and in some cases, no open source alternatives at all.

  • Wow! Wrong! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Most of you folks are wrong about the percentage that is open source. Are all of the web services you use open source? That is software. It is SaaS, but it is software. Online banking? Software. Social Network? Software. Even if it is just a news site, it is probably software since most sites are very heavy with Javascript these days. Now, you all use slashdot - that is actually open source. Most web sites are not.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget to examine the software running on the server, without which the software-as-a-service would be unusable. If, for example, someone were running a proprietary app on a LAMP stack, it should really count as 80% open source.

    • Re:Wow! Wrong! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RedHackTea (2779623) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @04:26PM (#44710139)

      That's a philosophical question. When I go to facebook via my web browser, facebook is not the software. My web browser is the software. When I view the page, the web browser displays the HTML/CSS appropriately while running the JS. However, facebook's server does send me this data, and I indirectly use the server's database. If I always use an open source web browser and then I go to a proprietary site, does it nullify it? But, of course, you are providing money to the proprietary sites either via advertising or actual money.

      Also, although facebook may not be open source, they have contributed to things like Memcached and have created Hiphop for PHP and use Linux servers. Linux servers are also more dominant in the market place.

      This is also a very variable statistic. They may decide to switch servers (Linux/BSD vs MS/Apple). They may decide to switch programming languages/frameworks/libraries (RoR/PHP vs C#/ASP). They may decide to switch maps (Google vs Bing). How many sites use NodeJS or AngularJS or use Google Maps?

      I think because this statistic is too hard to track that it should be left out for now.

    • What does the "view source" menu option do in *your* web browser? Seems like pretty much every web site is open source from my perspective.

      • Then again, there's the meta-point that if the JavaScript is obfuscated, it is sort of "less open source", because the source has been intentionally made hard to read for humans.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      Most of you folks are wrong about the percentage that is open source. Are all of the web services you use open source? That is software. It is SaaS, but it is software. Online banking? Software. Social Network? Software. Even if it is just a news site, it is probably software since most sites are very heavy with Javascript these days. Now, you all use slashdot - that is actually open source. Most web sites are not.

      Hadn't thought of that... my washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, car, printer, scanner, set top box, and tv all have software in them, and with the possible exception of the set top box (I think that runs linux) none of that is open source.

  • At home I run Linux and open source for everything except tax preparation software. So, not quite 100% open source but really close.

    At work I got handed a corporate standard Windows laptop that I use for email (Outlook to an Exchange server), collaboration (IBM Sametime), and browsing (Internet Explorer). Once in a while I have to fire up something out of Microsoft Office to update a document or spreadsheet. I do most of my work using PuTTY to get into various Linux and Solaris boxes where I usually run

    • An easy-to-use and free way to convert your installed Windows image into a virtual machine. You can then run Linux directly on the laptop, and run the Windows VM inside vmplayer, which is also free.

      • Looked into running Windoze in some sort of VM (I'm fond of KVM). The problem is that the laptop harddrive is full disk encrypted using Sophos which seems to be integrated with the network security. Also, Windoze detects that the underlying hardware has changed (virtual devices not the same as underlying real hardware) and wants to be reactived.

        Cheers,
        Dave

  • Games count as software and just about every big title is "closed source" in terms of both engine and assets (art, music, sound) save for the older id games engines and the few open source games out there. So I do play a lot of closed source games but tend to use open source tools and utilities.

    OpenOffice, Inkscape, GIMP, VLC, Amarok pretty much cover all of my media needs. Best part is they run on both Windows and Linux so I use the same software regardless of OS.

    For EDA and programming I lean toward OSS b

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @06:25PM (#44711523)
    Perhaps the open source tool I rely on most is Subsurface, a SCUBA dive logging application. It's the best for me as it will interface with pretty much any dive computer, and export the data in a simple CSV file.

    Plex is another big GPL-licensed tool I use, but at least part of the code is closed source, so I'm not really sure how to rate that one.

    TWAIN-SANE is another excellent project. It allows me to support my legacy USB scanner. Perfectly good hardware, but Canon stopped supporting it years ago.

  • by rueger (210566) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:11PM (#44712405) Homepage
    Almost my entire computing life exists within Mint Linux, with nothing but Open Source software, or on my Android phone. Come to think of it, I have no idea how much of software (apps) on my phone is actually Open Source...

    Beyond that though, the only things I run that aren't Open Source are Quickbooks (because, no, GnuCash is NOT the same) and Photoshop (because no, the GMIP is NOT the same) which run in a Windows VM about once a month.

    It's been a couple of years since I even installed MS Office, despite having a legal copy.
  • by Master Moose (1243274) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:20PM (#44712465) Homepage

    At home I am 99% Open source.

    At work, I figure I am about 20% Open.

    Regards.

  • I do most of my editing and builds on my Linux box (Ubuntu 13.04), but I do my batch runs on a Windows 7 laptop that has a Core i7 CPU and which is about 8-10 times as fast as my "main box." But the OS is about the only thing about it that's commercial -- the batch jobs are Eclipse builds running under the Oracle-distributed JVM. And the big batches I'm running are of my own OSS project.

  • Since I gave up hope on the whole OSS revolution I feel a lot better (and get more done.)

    I used to be one of those hard-core Debian users who eschewed any and all closed source software. Heck, I'd even buy a usb wifi dongle for my laptop just to avoid having to use ndswrapper to get my on-board wifi working by using the Windows driver in Linux.

    I would spend my time:
    Fighting to get Cinelerra to work (I could never figure it out).
    Compiling and recompiling drivers for some esoteric piece of hardware that /some

    • LOL. Better to have been on Windows in the past (DOS?, 3.11, 95, 98 2000, XP, maybe 7) and migrate to open source now. The world of Microsoft and Apple is the most uncertain it has ever been and all the indications it is going to get harder for advanced users of technology to use Windows and Macintosh. Proprietary software seems to require that useful features be missing completely*.

      *Disclaimer, at work I have seen Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, as well as the Macintosh desktops and server offerings and

  • At work I use Ubuntu as desktop environment, plus mostly OSS. Sometimes I use Virtualbox to startup Windows XP and Photoshop. For the rest I suppose most of it is open source. At home I use OSX, Firefox, Libreoffice and Skype, Mail, Aperture. Then I have an Ubuntu desktop at home which runs 24/7 and is used for several purposes, plus a debian server in the cloud, which uses open source exclusively I think. So how do you count this? I've chosen 40-60%.

  • At home I run GNU/Linux (Linux Mint), and all the software there (apart from Minecraft) is Free/OSS. I do have a copy of Windows to boot into so my wife can play Plants vs Zombies (I had it running under wine, but it didn't always work perfectly), and occasionally Half Life or Portal. I also have a lot of console games that aren't F/OSS. Really it's just the games that aren't, but I'm really not bothered by that.

    At work (I'm a post doc research assistant, modelling E.coli O157 spread in cattle), in one offi

  • Firefox
    Handbrake
    VLC

    That's about it.. Sure there's other free software on my, but they don't make the source available, so obviously can't be called Open Source.

  • At home it's nearly 100% open source (just video card driver is proprietary, and that's changing with my new computer). At work it's split 3-ways pretty evenly between open source, internally written and proprietary software. The proprietary applications I use at work are:
    BeyondCompare (much better than any other diff program I have ever used),
    Matlab (I use Octave at home, but use our Matlab site license at work to ensure better compatibility),
    Intel C++ compiler, because it generates faster code (especially

  • by hufter (542690)
    I for one forgot to include my phone. The apps that I have on my Android phone are nearly all closed source. And android itself is kind of semi-open source.
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Friday August 30, 2013 @03:01PM (#44719147)
    My two favorite Open Source Software are: Open Office, and Gimp.

    Open Office lets me make my resume in a Word doc format, so recruiters can read it.

    Gimp lets me do rudimentary image manipulation.

    Now I need to get a good sound editor that is at least as good as that old 16 bit sound blaster pro software suite.
  • Layers (Score:4, Informative)

    by dlsmith (993896) on Friday August 30, 2013 @04:39PM (#44719957)

    I use OS X (especially Safari and Mail) quite a bit, iOS a little. Definitely not open source, right? But what about Darwin? What about WebKit? What about Apache, MySQL, Linux, OpenJDK, and a zillion other open source things used to serve up the Web sites I visit?

    Frankly, I think the closed-source client software I use is a pretty thin shell around lots of layers of mostly-open stuff.

  • All of the computers in the house run only Linux, but with all that software, it's not very significant to all the other embedded systems I use other than my Android phone.

    Things not open source: the computer's firmware, firmware on external cd/dvd drive, monitor firmware, tv, dvr, game platforms, remote controls, thermostat, cameras, gps receiver, gps satellites, my car, traffic lights, cash registers, work computers, unknown number of routers on the internet, websites, and lots and lots more.
  • Is it open-source-like-in-free-software? If so, then its 95% of software I run on my machine. But if it may also mean anything with its source code open somewhere on the Net (e.g. github without a license or some other proprietary "you-use-the-code-only-this-way" stuff like unrar), then I must specifically say that these 95% consist of "free software as defined by the Gnu project" instead of just "open source". P.S. I call FLOSS ÂÐÑ-ÐÑOEнÐÐ Ñо
  • For non-game software, it's probably around 60-70%. My laptop runs Windows, but my desktop dual-boots OSX/Windows and I spend most of my workdays SSHd into various Linux servers.

    I usually use Firefox or Chrome as my browser, use Thunderbird for email, LibreOffice for office stuff, Komodo and CodeBlocks for coding, PuTTY as my terminal emulator, and MySQL Workbench for database stuff. All of these are open source.

    The closed-source stuff I frequently use, besides Windows, is Google Talk, Windows Media Player,

  • by CalRobert (2451626) on Friday August 30, 2013 @08:13PM (#44721233)
    Since the whole point of open source is being able to see what the code is doing, does obfuscated JS count? After all everything's open source if you go to a low enough level; just decap the chip. While common libraries (jQuery, etc.) are open-source and reduced down to minimized versions, much software on the web, even if "open source", would be a pain to actually look at.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      Since the whole point of open source is being able to see what the code is doing, does obfuscated JS count? After all everything's open source if you go to a low enough level; just decap the chip. While common libraries (jQuery, etc.) are open-source and reduced down to minimized versions, much software on the web, even if "open source", would be a pain to actually look at.

      If you consider that they have their JS "source code" and that it is "compiled" into "obfuscated JS", then no, I wouldn't consider it to be open source.

  • At home I run Debian Stable. Use 100% open source software on it.

    For work I am _forced_ to run M$, and M$ closed source softare, as well as 3rd party closed source software, on a work-provided and locked-down laptop.

    Since I run both machines when I am telecommuting, I will say my ratio is 60% debian/open-source, and 40% closed source. The higher 60% is due to the fact I will still 'surf the net or work on personal programming projects on my Debian workstation after shutting down my work laptop at the end of

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

 



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