FLOSS != GitHub: A Case Study of Linux/BSD Perceptions from Microsoft's Acquisition of GitHub

Raula Gaikovina Kula, Hideki Hata, Kenichi Matsumoto

In 2018, the software industry giants Microsoft made a move into the Open Source world by completing the acquisition of mega Open Source platform, GitHub. This acquisition was not without controversy, as it is well-known that the free software communities includes not only the ability to use software freely, but also the libre nature in Open Source Software. In this study, our aim is to explore these perceptions in FLOSS developers. We conducted a survey that covered traditional FLOSS source Linux, and BSD communities and received 246 developer responses. The results of the survey confirm that the free community did trigger some communities to move away from GitHub and raised discussions into free and open software on the GitHub platform. The study reminds us that although GitHub is influential and trendy, it does not representative all FLOSS communities.

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