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Free Software Evaluation

Here is the basic questions I used to evaluate free software (and to be sure that is free software (as defined by the FSF)).

License Used

Evaluation stops if license is not listed at OSI ( or listed as free license (

License Modified?

If the free software license has been modified (like exception or trademark extension), a deeper analysis must be done to ensure that the license is still free software. Usually the evaluation stops until the analysis completed.

Does the project rely on non-free software to be run or build?

If yes, this stops the evaluation.

Is the project active?

I consider a project active if a (major or minor) release has been made in the past year.

Is the project using a SCM (a revision control system)?


Do they provide an anonymous/read-only access to the SCM?


Do they use a distributed SCM (like git or mercurial)?


Is there more than one regular committer in the project?


Is there a public wiki or a mailing-list for the project?


API and Technical Documentation available?