If you’re someone who is a pessimist concerning the future of our planet and general governance, have you really taken a moment to consider the exciting projects and the phenomenal success of open source communities?
Open source communities are able to organize and collaborate, which is one of the leading benefits which has been brought about in the new era of technology. There are several examples of this. Just look at Linux, Debian, KDE, Drupal, Wikipedia and Ubuntu. If you have paid attention then you know that we have an optimistic future ahead!
These communities seem to thrive on a variety of mechanisms for governance. Many have little to no formal process for governance (relying solely on the culture and norms of the community); while others have developed a process for governance which appears extreme. The variants are astounding.
Obviously the secret of Linux is this open source. Linux is a system for operating which has transformed the industry of software. This company dominates a large share of the worldwide market.
Software is only the initial phase. Open source is spreading rapidly to a variety of disciplines including liberal arts to hard sciences. Methods of open source are even being embraced by biologists for informatics and genomics, essentially creating incredible databases for the genetic sequencing of yeast, E. coli and other fundamentals of research. Open source has been adopted by NASA for missions, depending on volunteers for the identification of thousands of craters and for mapping of the Red Planet.
Publishing for open source has been developed. Bruce Perins helped to define this software back in the nineties; a series of books on computers is being published by Prentice Hall, allowing the modification, redistribution and use of the database. Improvements made by readers are considered for ongoing publishing’s. Project Gutenberg is a library effort which has reportedly digitized over six thousand books and engages numerous volunteers for entering data. Groups of copy editors are called in for other projects like Distributed Proofreading and there are projects for open source for cookbooks, religion and law.
To date, this method has proven to be substantially effective and is now considered to be as advanced and different as the production line was once considered to be. With the plethora of government organizations and businesses that are now using open source methods, it has become apparent that cost isn’t the only benefit.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages:
- Quality: Generally speaking, software for open source comes closer to the demands of users due to the fact that users make a contribution to development. Essentially, developers don’t develop what they think the public wants, but work hand in hand with the user. Reportedly, superiority in technical development is the singular, most important reason for choosing this software.
- Freedom: businesses who opt to use open source software release themselves from harsh lock-in controlled by the vendor which can distress those who use privately owned packages.
- Security: when a number of individuals can view or test specific sets of codes, flaws are caught more rapidly and can therefore be fixed quickly. With open source software, this means that these issues tend to get addressed immediately.
- Cost: With open source software, increased quality is available at a portion of the price of privately owned packages.
- Trial: Usually, a trial period is available which costs nothing. Often there is not a required commitment which is implemented prior to purchase. You don’t have to purchase and then discover that it wasn’t what you thought it was.
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