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Open Source Solutions Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 October 2006

What is Open Source? Open source is a disruptive technology.

Disruptive technologies change our relationship to the world - how we travel, communicate, work. The railroad was a disruptive technology to the horse and buggy, the automobile to the railroad. It is the technologies that don't evolve or disappear.

We believe the proprietary software development model is a horse and buggy whose time has come and gone.

Here's why: Proprietary software development occurs within one company. Programmers write code, hide it behind binaries, charge customers to use it-then charge them more to fix it when it breaks. The bigger the company gets the more control it can exert over its customers.

No one ever has to know how bad the software really is.

 

With open source software development, everybody collaborates, the best software wins. Not just within one company, but among an Internet-connected, worldwide community. The code is open. You can see it, modify it, and learn from it.

Open source works because of a very basic principle: The customer takes control. When they don't like how one vendor is serving them, or if that vendor stops supporting the product, they can choose another without overhauling their current infrastructure. That means:

  • No more monopolies.
  • No more price gouging.
  • No more technology lock-in.

Open source opens up the creative process. It joins people of disparate backgrounds and experiences to solve problems in new ways, from new perspectives. It multiplies one company's development capacity many times over and increases the chances for that lightening-strike of creativity.

Above all, we believe open source simply creates better software.

But this doesn't just happen by accident. Open source needs the right elements to make it work:

The meanings:
It's no coincidence that the rise of open source closely followed the rise of the Internet. The Internet moves information, code, ideas around the world in an instant. It's the ideal breeding ground for collaboration.

The managers:
Linux-originator Linus Torvalds and his second-in-command, Red Hatter Alan Cox, lead an organization that collects software submitted by the open source community. They then integrate it, test it, and decide whether or not to include it in an upcoming release.

The motivation:
Programmers use the software they create. What keeps them coding? For some, it may be the satisfaction of challenging a monopoly by creating better software. For others, it's the glory of writing code alongside some of the world's best.

 
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