Survey: Developers Slow to Adopt GPLv3

Developers cite restrictions and a clause forbidding patent infringement suits as key reasons.

According to a survey, only a small number of open-source software developers have adopted the GNU General Public License Version 3.

The survey, released Sept. 25 by Evans Data, shows that only 6 percent of developers working on open-source software have adopted GPLv3. The Evans Data Open Source Software Development Survey also shows that two-thirds of the developers surveyed said they will not adopt GPLv3 in the next year, and 43 percent say they will never implement the new license. In addition, almost twice as many would be less likely to join a project that implements GPLv3 than would be more likely to join, the survey of nearly 400 developers shows.

"GPLv3 is controversial because it imposes restrictions on what you can do with programs implemented under this license," John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data, said in a statement. "Developers are confused and divided about those restrictions."


Unlike Microsoft, Novell sticks with GPLv3. Click here to read more.

Evans officials said GPLv3 also incorporates a clause that forbids licensees from bringing patent infringement suits, directly attacking the alliance between Novell and Microsoft. Seventy percent of the developers polled said that alliance has been bad for the open-source community, the survey said.

The survey also drew out other open-source-related findings: The lack of skills in an organization is the greatest barrier to a migration from Windows to Linux; the Apache Foundation was identified as the organization having the best open-source offerings; and a third of open-source developers are developing desktop applications.


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