The Source is Out There...
By nitkal on Mar 21, 2009
Having worked for a couple of years now in the open source software realm, I guess it would be worthwhile to key down my reminiscences, and with the Open Source Mela Blogging Contest instigating a reason to write, here are some nuggets of what I consider my experience with the open source software .
It would do this post better justice if initially, I speak-not from an open-source software developer's perspective...So let me impersonate someone who spends their free time trying to hack some written code or write some hackneyed code for the benefit of the body and soul or at times for the larger benefit of the brethren. What would this kind of passion-driven programmer turn to at first attempt, for his software needs ranging from an IDE to a server to any framework? Free open source software or premium paid secret sauce software? Its clearly the former..And if that free-lance software developer is reasonably good at what he does, he is likely to produce another innovative piece of open source software , exploring the existing ones and fitting a few right ones in the right places..For this precise reason - freedom to innovate, open source software is priceless...in the exact sense of the word..
To the astute novice programmer, the code that is open is a free practical tutorial not just for familiarizing himself with "professional" software, but also clarifying issues, participating in the community and contributing more to the existing source. So the student community is likely to get more familiar with the open source software while in school, and if old habits do die hard, the students are likely to stay in touch with these when they graduate to professional programmers. So, open source software does have the pedagogical edge too..
To the open-source software developer, community participation in terms of issues and forum questions not only help in free testing of the "unexplored areas in unknown avenues", but also to open that normally closed perspective to new suggestions..And of course, it helps in making new interesting friends..Trust me :)
So all said and done, what of the revenue factor?How valuable or vulnerable are the original software developers to the open-source software product which has a strong community base? These are some hard questions which require strategic answers that might make or break the open-source software product. But being open-source is like being infectious..It has to spread across vendors, sooner or later, unless of course, you are bolstered by a strong immune system. So, if the cardinal factors which might help such an open-source product survive the test of revenue and the test of time are decisively addressed, this does seem the way for the industry to go...The source is out there..Go, Seek it!!