Posted by Peter Degen-Portnoy on February 5, 2018
The Black Duck Open Hub is the premier source for research and comparisons of open source software components. The majority of visitors have an active, contributory role in open source. Visitors come to look at their own open source software contributions, to research and compare open source software projects, and to learn more about open source contributors.
The Open Hub is also essentially an online community and public directory of free and open source software (FOSS), and we offer analytics and search services to help people discover, evaluate, track, and compare open source code and projects. Where available, the Open Hub also provides information about vulnerabilities and project licenses. We didn’t just want to provide information, however. We wanted to know more about our users and how they’re using it, so we recently surveyed the community using Open Hub. Here’s an overview of what we learned from them.
The vast majority of respondents were users of open source – software developers, engineers and contributors. And I was happy to see that we have some folks who consider themselves software hobbyists and open source software enthusiasts.
Although respondents reported a wide variety of industries, it comes as no surprise that computer technology hardware and software was by far the leader. I thought it was great to see education, government and automotive coming as well.
It was really interesting to see the range for the number of employees working at respondents’ companies. It actually is pretty similar to what we see in the Open Source 360° Survey. Our top response was for companies with fewer than 50 employees – but companies with over 5000 came in second. Open source really is everywhere.
It’s always fun to see that responses are coming from around the world, and our Open Hub survey is no exception. In this case at least, Europeans responded far more than anyone else, followed by folks in North America.
As the person who runs Open Hub, it’s almost impossible for me to imagine not contributing to or using open source software. Looks like almost everyone who took our survey agreed!
Now here’s where the data gets really interesting. I want our team to improve Open Hub and make it an even more valuable resource for the open source community. So why are people using Open Hub? Research and comparison were obviously key, but I was happy to see people us it to claim their open source contributions and looking at their projects.
Who doesn’t like to hear about their best features? I thought it was great to learn both the best and worst features of Open Hub. This helps us improve the site and understand what is and isn’t working. Respondents were overall very positive (123 positive comments to 80 critiques), stating that they are most pleased by the code analysis and statistics and most annoyed when those stats are not up to date.
Finally we can’t just improve what we have — we have to know for what else people are looking. This will definitely inform our roadmap for improvements to Open Hub over the next year.
I want to thank everyone who responded. I appreciate the feedback, and I want to remind respondents and readers that the Open Hub is editable by everyone, like a wiki. All are welcome to join, add new projects, and make corrections to existing project pages. This public review helps to make the Open Hub the largest, most accurate, and up-to-date FOSS software directories available. Join us on the the Open Hub and claim your commits on existing projects and add projects not yet on the site.
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