FLOSS Is A Winner

No matter how many times we read that FLOSS is junk made by amateurs “In 2013, for the first time, we saw open source quality for the projects in the Scan service surpass that of proprietary projects at all code base sizes. The 2012 Coverity Scan Report looked at a sample analysis of more than 250 proprietary code bases totaling more than 380 million lines of code, with an average codebase of nearly 1.5 million lines of code, and we found that open source code had lower defect density levels up to 1 million lines of code. For the 2013 report, we analyzed approximately 500 million lines of code across almost 500 proprietary C/C++ projects.” the reality is different. FLOSS is made by all kinds of programmers but because it is FLOSS and everyone can run, examine, modify and distribute the software, more eyes make bugs disappear. Coverity is one of the eyes and they tell us that out of hundreds of millions of lines of code scanned, FLOSS has a lower density of defects.

Size of Codebase (Lines of Code) FLOSS Non-Free
Less than 100,000 .35 .38
100,000-499,999 .50 .81
500,000-1 million .70 .84
More than 1 million .65 .71
Average across projects .59 .72

Accept it. No matter whether it’s price, performance or correctness that matters most to you, FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

See 2013-Coverity-Scan-Report.pdf.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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34 Responses to FLOSS Is A Winner

  1. dougman wrote, “15 years from now, Windows will be an afterthought.”

    For consumers it won’t take nearly that long. See the ads M$ is having on TV between releases? That’s M$ paddling like mad trying to avoid becoming irrelevant to consumers. Young people today rarely use a keyboard except for school work. They can hook keyboards up to tablets and smartphones without using M$’s software.

    The idea that a legacy PC is somehow necessary is quaint. The default smartphone is way ahead of the default desktop PC (camera, mobility, multiple networks, touch, voice, video, GPS). They are small cheap computers that do a lot more for a lot less. Mobile ISPs are giving them away for $0. Why would anyone buy a legacy PC? They are so much harder to carry around, cost more and do less. People may still have a use for a keyboard/mouse/monitor but they don’t really need that other OS or a legacy PC to get those.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “The question is how long until PC users become a minority.”

    Exactly. The next generation are spending hours on their Android/Linux phones and a few minutes at best with their legacy PCs. When those legacy PCs die, will they be replaced? It will be 4 or 5 years at most to have the answer absolutely but the trend-lines are encouraging me to believe we have passed some tipping point a year or two ago. Wintel just cannot put FLOSS on ARM back in the bottle. Everyone knows it’s out there and that it works and it that it’s affordable. I think whatever budget consumers had to spend on legacy PCs is now being spent on wireless connectivity. Think of the money people used to spend on floppies and CDs. That’s mostly gone and will never return. Same for legacy PCs. There may still be a role, like huge storage/CPU/RAM/networking, but those are few and far between. What consumer needs 10 drive-bays or 3 displays or more than 2gB? They are getting what they need on smartphones. My smartphone is years old and it has what I need. I am a consumer.

  3. dougman wrote, “Only single-minded M$ trained-brain IT-idiots, would come to a Linux-centric blog trying prove that Windows is far superior.”

    That’s probably the only explanation for that behaviour but it’s still irrational. Why are they bothering? To delay The Day of Doom a few seconds longer? Have they no sense of cost/benefit? Isn’t there something else they could be doing like making software people want and actually serving the users?

  4. dougman says:

    Only losers use Windows, it’s a proven fact.


    Also, M$ admits Windows 8 was a mistake, are you going to refute them? LOL..


    Only single-minded M$ trained-brain IT-idiots, would come to a Linux-centric blog trying prove that Windows is far superior.

  5. dougman says:

    You won’t waste time trying to prove me otherwise? By all means, please take the other trolls with you, as I hate to waste their time as well.

    You are most welcome to not come back either.

  6. oiaohm says:

    Yonah It is not exactly less functionally. There is a list of functionality users require. If a users requirements are meet they will not be wishing for a PC.

    To have wish to have a computer you require a reason. Most surveys are also showing people are not making do with less. Most in this case is quickly becoming a major over statement. Lets first take into account 20 percent of people don’t use the Internet at all even in a developed country like the USA. Take out those that can currently be serviced by android without PC market size for PC is in fact under 50 percent of the population. Most is no longer true. The question is how long until PC users become a minority.

  7. Yonah says:

    Oiaohm: “Notice now you are saying most likely Windows.”

    That’s no surprise for those who are both familiar with and comprehended my previous statements. I think the latter is problematic for you. I always strive for linguistic accuracy when dealing with amounts, thus I rarely use words like “everybody or nobody”, as well as avoiding phrases such as “all people.” Instead, I use words like “most, few, majority, and minority.” For example, Dougman has said several times that, “Nobody wants Windows 8.” I wanted it and purchased it. Just one person wanting Windows 8 makes his statement false.

    Bearing this in mind makes most of your response unnecessary, either making statements that agree with what I already said or refuting points I never made. For example, you said, “Not every one of them is looking for a PC.” I never stated, implied, or inferred that everyone is looking for a PC. I said “most of them” still hope to have one.

    Here’s another one: “Yonah there are percentages of functionality.” Something I already understood, which is why I said, “Yes, people can make do with less.”

  8. Yonah says:

    Dougman, you didn’t condense my statement. You changed the wording to suit your own narrative. Basically, you’re trolling, but at least your posts are easily readable and use proper English.

    Listen, you want to call me a Linux user because it makes you feel proud? Knock yourself out. However, the encroachment of Linux doesn’t bother me one bit. If it did, why would I use an Android phone? I have no problem with hardware or software companies developing things for Linux because most companies continue to develop hardware and software that works with Windows. Of course, you think that Windows days are numbered. I won’t waste time trying to convince you otherwise.

  9. dougman says:

    I bought my Chromebook from BestBuy when the clunker laptop died. The HP 14″ came from Amazon and and I await the Chromebase machine that LG is coming out with for the kitchen.

    15 years ago Linux did not have this much of an impact as it does now and 15 years from now, Windows will be an afterthought.

  10. wolfgang wrote, “linux recognition at party”.

    It’s not important whose party it was. These were non-geeks from random walks of life they chose. One of them I only met once before the party and he certainly had no love of M$ before I met him. The other I have known for many years, totally non-geek. This is a random sample of real people from the real world, the current world, the present. As far as I know of the 60 people in the room my son and I were the only computer-geeks present but there were as many folks who knew GNU/Linux as there were geeks. So, GNU/Linux is approaching ~10% visibility/mindshare rather than ~1% as some would have us believe. Folks are seeing the words on TV every 15 minutes, for pity’s sake.

  11. wolfgang wrote, “computer store with one funny linux computer”.

    Stop mischaracterizing my words.

    1. That store is a chain of which there is a local store in Winnipeg.
    2. That funny computer is an ASUS product and they make a lot of good products. Small is not funny. This machine runs an Intel Atom with plenty of RAM and it’s 64bit.

    They just threw out everything most of us don’t need, leaving a very functional device. I installed one in the Arctic years ago and it was more capable than the big desktops we were using at the time.

  12. DrLoser says:

    wolfgang do I need to pull out the Microsoft memo stating that the so call proff from patents stuff is Microsoft generated FUD without a single document to prove it.

    Well, it couldn’t hurt. In fact, it would be a relevant point.

  13. wolfgang says:

    …pcs in local store…

    many kinds of store, and you were talking about wallmart not having anything but windows pc. now you hunt around and find computer store with one funny linux computer. search same store for windows computer and see they have beaucoup for sale. no doubt which make store most money.

  14. wolfgang says:

    …linux recognition at party…

    sound to me like family party. not so good as anecdote to use. maybe just humoring old grandpapa to keep the peace. I go to lots of parties, too and no one ever mention linux. never mention windows either. closest come with kids playing candy crush on ipad.

  15. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang there are many parties making profit selling support for Linux programs. The issue is most commercial Linux programs are not desktop design. Alfresco and sugercrm come to mind.

    Note you said I think to andorid. Android started off with a very uniquely hacked Linux kernel. Every year passing and new versions of Android appearing the difference at kernel between mainline Linux and Android fork is getting smaller.

    Android is a foothold not matter what. Android is bringing resources into the Linux kernel allowing fixes to be done that Linux world did not have the funds todo. Android existence has changed the overall performance of Linux Desktop and Servers. Yes Android has reduced lag.

    wolfgang do I need to pull out the Microsoft memo stating that the so call proff from patents stuff is Microsoft generated FUD without a single document to prove it.

  16. wolfgang wrote, “those pcs not in local store and no news as to when or ever.”

    I am near Winnipeg and Memory Express has real bricks and mortar stores all across Canada with GNU/Linux desktop PCs. Note: they have a limit of “2 per customer”. I guess they are selling rapidly. They also have a Chromebook.

    Here is the pile of bricks in Winnipeg:
    View Larger Map

    The ones in Calgary are much more beautiful.

    Neat, they have a system configurator which lets you see the cost of that other OS. You can install “no OS” or that other OS. If you wanted a box with huge storage/CPU/RAM or extra NICs, it’s no problem. They even list many choices of SSD. This is an interesting outfit.

  17. wolfgang wrote, “linux user always hoping that next year is year linux get recognition and widespread use. never come.”

    I don’t meet a lot of people these days but I was sitting at an Easter party and a young man sitting beside me started telling me how fast GNU/Linux was on my daughter’s notebook… At the same party a young lady was going on about how I shouldn’t have to give away such a great product to gain entry to the market. She’s working on her MBA. Ordinary people are talking about GNU/Linux. The MBA-student even knew that Android/Linux was */Linux. The word is getting out even if GNU/Linux doesn’t have enough salesmen yet. It’s getting really close. The MBA-student had even noticed ads for GNU/Linux on TV.

  18. wolfgang says:

    …linux user…

    back in day, using linux was putting linux os on old pc and schlepping around looking for programs that did same thing as windows programs. maybe even trying to use windows programs with pretend interface that work like windows real interface. almost. never exact.
    linux user always hoping that next year is year linux get recognition and widespread use. never come.
    finally google invent tablet and phone Android that use linux stuff down deep. hooray! say linux users, today is the day! but it not the same thing, I think.
    idea was for linux to take over pc and that not happen. still 1% and pogson prove it time an again saying now 1.08% or not 1.27% or even now 1.67%. say show huge progress and at same time knock accuracy of statistics. anyway, those pcs not in local store and no news as to when or ever.
    linux users some thrilled that tablet or phone doing what pc used to do and happy that microsoft not getting all the money. even though microsoft selling phone and tablet themselves and getting a little money from selling os to others and more money collecting fees to use patents on android makers.

  19. wolfgang says:

    …anyone can take linux…

    not true at all. dougman cannot do that, Pogson cannot do that, even oiaohm cannot do that. wolfgang cannot do that either. just pie in sky. too techie and business too hard nut to crack. Big company like Samsung can do that and did do that. handful of others make try, only Samsung making profit. Red Hat make profit selling help, too, but others trying to make profit selling linux programs losing money. only small number even trying very hard.

    all others, like dougman, just think maybe make money due to saving money when buying windows. waste lots more money fooling with own linux though.

  20. dougman says:

    Let me condense Yonah’s statement, “I am not a Linux user, but yet I use things that are powered from it……..I am a Windows user running a mix of proprietary, freeware, and FOSS software on both platforms and I see no Linux……to me, Linux offers no advantages and has many disadvantages, namely it sucks and will suck for you, so don;t bother yourself with it, but I still use it when it suits my needs. Linux offers less, but Windows offers more in malware all sorts of nefarious intrusions by Microsh1t….just deal with it and look the other way.”

    So see, when people purchase things these days, the majority of times it has Linux baked into it. The encroachment of Linux upon your mindset must be numbing to you.

    See, even today Intel is looking to use Android and M$ is writing software for Linux as well. If the OEM’s solely relied on M$, they would be out of business and this is Pogsons’s point!

  21. oiaohm says:

    http://linuxonandroid.org “Complete Linux Installer”
    Yonah calling yourself a Android users itself is many shades of grey. Android and desktop Linux is not an either or choice. So where do you put users of “Complete Linux Installer”. So that android device in front of you can be running a full blown Linux.

    Really it is very incorrect to say that All android users are not GNU/Linux users. The reality a percentage of Android users are GNU/Linux users to get access to particular applications.

    Like for me under android there is not a full port of Libreoffice. If I need to open ODF documents and be sure they are correct I need Libreoffice. Also another item is installing gnu/linux inside android gives me access to full cups or in other words more direct to network printer support.

    Notice now you are saying most likely Windows. Yonah there are percentages of functionality. There are a lot of users with tablets/phone who are 100 percent happy only having a tablet/phone. Not every one of them is looking for a PC.

    Out of List of critical on-line banking, on-line accessing government, and basic document create. These days a chromebook or an android device could complete these tasks. The major critical missing is personal/small business financial record keeping.

    Yonah games its a games console for most people not a PC. Minority use PC for gaming these days. Minority will use a PC for those other 3 tasks in future as well.

    The reasons for a person to want a PC are disappearing. This is also reflected in dropping PC sales number by volume and profit.

  22. Yonah says:

    I use an Android, but I wouldn’t call myself a Linux user. I still reserve that label for the minority of people who run Linux on a desktop or laptop PC. I’m an Android and Windows user running a mix of proprietary, freeware, and FOSS software on both platforms. For me, Linux on a PC offers no advantages and many disadvantages.

    Sure, there are people who use a smart phone and don’t own a PC, but most of them still hope to have one in the future. Just as they also want a car, spacious home, big screen TV, washing machine, and other modern appliances. Yes, people can make do with less, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want more. I think what bothers you is that when they do end up getting a PC, it’s most likely going to be running Windows.

  23. dougman says:

    Wolfie admits to being a Linux user, but chokes on splitting hairs, lets not call it what it is, just say Nexus / Android.

    See, you pointed out the obvious, anyone can take Linux, create something new with it, repackage it, rename it and sell it for profit. That was the intent of Linux all along.

  24. wolfgang wrote, “if linus fellow cash in chips and go to guatamala to live on beach and never write any more linux program, google will still sell nexus”.

    The human resources in the Linux group are quite diverse and distributed. One would have to make huge lists and send out assassins to strike simultaneously to stifle Linux temporarily. The code will live on and others will step forward. You cannot put FLOSS back in a cage. That’s part of the Freedom of Free/Libre Open Source Software.

  25. wolfgang says:

    …wolfgang use linux…
    not care much. not use linux, use nexus just like everyone else using nexus. google will have some os in product and not care what others do. want to make sure gmail on app screen and google search so can make money showing ads. fair trade. if linus fellow cash in chips and go to guatamala to live on beach and never write any more linux program, google will still sell nexus and control whats inside. only pogson call it linux anyway, everyone else call it android.

  26. dougman says:

    Wolfie is a Linux user as well, and yet he refuses to see Linux in the real world.


  27. wolfgang says:

    …tablets and smart phones…
    wolfgang use all 3, pc, nexus, phone. sometimes one better than others for job at hand. sometimes can make do with one or other and save effort to go change. personally don’t see where os matters for tablet or phone. all apps pretty much available for all os. big deal is hardware.’

    $79 tablet junk. $229 nexus is great, just as good or maybe better than $339 ipad mini. not much difference between phones, but iPhone people sneer at non-iPhone people. silly people, I think.

    silly reason to be happy when phone not use windows too. better to raise rutabagas in back yard and weld on lawnmower.

  28. dougman says:

    Windows is a loser. Go ahead and continue using Windows, it will only cost you more money in the end.


  29. wolfgang wrote, “pc same old same old. no chromebooks there either.”

    Tablets and smartphones are the new personal computers for consumers. About the only typing being done is some cryptic messages or auto-completed URIs.

  30. wolfgang says:

    …Pogson spend money…

    go to walmart and see bunch of pcs with windows and some phones and tablets. say revolution for os. maybe only revolution for tablet and cell phones, pc same old same old. no chromebooks there either.

  31. oiaohm says:


    kurkosdr be-careful what you ask for. Shocking reality is GPU assisted encoding if many codecs is in fact slower and generate bigger files than using the cpu. Of course there is an exception. opencl handbrake and lightworks using GLSL shaders both are able to use GPU to assist encoding without quality failures.

    Basically I would be more exact in my request kurkosdr. If Linux gets GPU encoding everywhere I want Lightworks or handbrake like versions.

  32. I spent the afternoon spending money. At my local Walmart, there were 3 or 4 desktop boxes with that other OS, still in boxes, 3 or 4 notebooks with that other OS (no ChromeOS…) and a raft Android/Linux tablets and smartphones. Apple was displaying a few smartphones but not much for tablets. How different the world is today. It was only a couple of years ago you would be hard pressed to find anything but that other OS. Customers were shoulder-to-shoulder hovering over Android/Linux tablets but you could have bowled past that other OS. The gadgets placed in the high-traffic aisle? Android/Linux and iOS smartphones.

    I would say FLOSS is winning the hearts and minds of consumers.

  33. kurkosdr says:

    I want completeness… I want GPU encode.

  34. Herbert says:

    Just to add: Open Source developers apparently take the Coverity scans very serious. Just a glimpse into the LibreOffice GIT: During the last 30 days the team fixed 650 defects detected by the Coverity Scan report.


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