How much Open Source Software do you have? Measure it for Free!

“Once open source gets good enough, competing with it would be insane.”

2006, Larry Ellison, the chairman of Oracle in conversation with the Financial Times.

Is Open Source Eating the World’s Software?

It’s in your operating system, browser, and favorite games. It’s in the apps you use every day and the tools you use to make them.

But how much open source software is actually out there? We know it’s growing at an incredible rate, but how much of our software is open? How much of our software is built on other people’s open source code? How much of our software is a derivative work from someone else’s open source code? How much open source do we use in our daily lives?

And what about the parts of our tech that are closed but still rely on open source code? Is there any way to measure how much closed-source software uses open source libraries or frameworks in its development process?

In this paper, the industry experts propose a methodology and associated tool that can analyze Java binaries and determine the proportion of open source that comprises them. It also presents empirical measurements of 5 commercial Java software systems, reporting OSS proportions between 76% to 99% among these 5 systems, including a historical analysis covering 6 versions and 12 years for one of the subject systems.

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