Re: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?, Part 2

Subject: Re: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?, Part 2
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 12:30:10 -0500


I am quite familiar with most of the philosophical arguments about
free and open source software, although their "free as in beer"
analogy I have never taken the time to understand.

Some, like Richard Stallman, are fanatics on the subject--and I have
little use for fanatics. (Of course, he would argue against the term
"open source"...)

Open source is profoundly changing the computing landscape. It will be
increasingly difficult to justify high prices for most applications, I
believe--unless restrictive software patents continue to make inroads.

To me, though, it is simple: in many categories, open source means
that more knowledgeable eyes are scrutinizing the code, so bugs and
vulnerabilities can be found and fixed better than nearly any
proprietary company can or does. ("Windows security" is often an
oxymoron, for example).

Thus, I *require* open source for my security-related software.
Usually, most of my Web browsing is on a Linux box for this reason,

On the other hand, I am not reluctant to use good software simply
because it is proprietary. Some of the XML tools, for example, are
well ahead of their open source counterparts; we have been discussing
InDesign, as a clearly best of breed application.

In sum, the kind of license is only one factor of many to
consider--and it may have a different weight in the deliberation
depending upon what kind of application we may be considering. When
all other aspects are equal (but they so rarely are!), I will opt for
the open source alternative. When they are not equal, I choose the
best solution available to solve the problem set.

Today, IT budgets in general are much more constrained than they were
a few years ago. Open source software can enable more flexibility
within these budgets, freeing up resources to be dedicated to other

However, I believe that the prevalence of web applications will
continue to grow, making the operating system increasingly irrelevant
when anything that can run a web browser can be a meaningful


On 8/19/05, Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axion -dot- net> wrote:

> Here's a follow-up question: To what extent are list members familiar
> with the philosophies behind open source and free software? And how do
> people regard those philosophies?


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Re: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?: From: Mike O.
Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?, Part 2: From: Bruce Byfield

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