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Why You Should Use Open Source Programs

November 02, 2010 By: lilybird Category: Software

If you’ve spent any amount of time browsing the Internet, you’ve probably heard of open source software but may not have fully realized how it works and why it even exists. This article will explain this recent development and some of its benefits for normal consumers as well as coders.

In a nutshell, open source software is made by everybody – for everybody. The ambition driving its progress is that through free access, it might evolve into something that represents the real wants of internet users. Through a wide community of user involvement, the application in question is enhanced and debugged without costs or administrative politics.

Traditionally, applications are created behind locked doors. A team of trained designers create and the community at large isn’t part of its creation. It’s expensive to produce and as you can likely guess, that cost is passed on to the consumer. Open source software on the other hand is free. Free to download, free to install, free to use, free to improve, and free to share.

Started more than twenty years ago, it’s a trend that is gaining in both recognition and publicity. In its first conception, open source gave birth to the World Wide Web as we know it today. The Internet as a whole is the result of open authorization to access the web, use the web, contribute to the web, and share the web with others. But it certainly hasn’t halted there. In the not too distant past, Netscape transformed its once commercial Navigator internet browser to open source. Now today, open source is growing into the commercial realm as well.

At first thought, the concept of open source may sound just plain crazy to those who earn a living from application development. But the evidence tells a different story. Open source software can put companies in a terrific position to re-brand and re-position themselves in a market that they may have been unable to reach before. In the business world, open source is all about image and when users see organizations giving (instead of selling) to the buying public, they recieve big favour in the eyes of their users (plus tremendous chances to sell other items).

Inviting the public inside a product’s development grows community and trust. It also creates a platform for increased reliability. Advocates of open source applications are adamant about reliable software and highly criticize commercialized softwarefor being buggy and error-ridden. Avid fans even proclaim commercialism is the reason for bad software.

As an end user, this means you are able to contribute to an open source venture as well, and help to build it into an applictation that reflects your direct desires. You aren’t “trapped” using open source programs the way you are stuck using an expensive word processor or database. You have the same access to open source software as the programmers have and in fact, you are your own client!

Maybe at this point you’re curious about where you can involved in this wonderful opportunity. There are plenty of open source possibilties sprinkled across the web and they can be simply found by any search engine. Google “open source project” and you’ll be sure to find more websites than you can possibly become involved in!

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