Q & A

Questions And Answers

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Open source and public domain

  • Benefits

    OPEN SOURCE (OS) IS CROWD-SOURCED Cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and accountability - that are unsurpassed by proprietary solutions. OS also has long-term viability and is always on the cutting-edge of technology. It's created and supported by a worldwide community of organizations and individuals, many of whom also live by open source values like collaboration and volunteerism.
  • Cost

    The vast majority of OSS is freely distributed. But OSS is said to be -free as in kittens- and not -free as in beer- - it requires maintenance, configuration, and ongoing support. The trade-off is flexibility and freedom. Unlike closed proprietary software, OSS can be altered and extended by any developer familiar with the source code. This grants organizations freedom from -vendor lock-in- and assures long-term viability. A widely adopted OSS project is often supported by hundreds of capable development shops that can always be called upon long into the future.

    These same development shops are constantly reviewing the OSS code they support, as are thousands of independent developers working on the project worldwide. The result is a vast peer review process that ensures security and accountability. Security holes are found and fixed quickly. While anyone can research shops and developers based on the quality of code they write.

    And more often than not, OSS shops and developers hold similar values. In all aspects of life, they are advocates for more community participation, collaboration, and volunteerism. They believe in working together to build free, high quality products that are accessible to for-profit and nonprofit organizations alike. This belief underlines the mission of the best OSS shops and developers. It pushes them to build new features and contribute these features back to the community. As a direct result, popular OSS projects are always on the cutting-edge of technology.
  • Paradigm Shift

    Technologies and architectures sometimes grow stagnant, and open source projects with fresh thinking can drive sea change. For instance, the release of MongoDB, Couchbase, and other NoSQL databases shook up the one size fits all approach taken with relational databases. We saw a sudden explosion of specialized databases and developers began investing time in finding the right tool for the job, choosing from relational databases, document stores, graph databases, etc. As another example: in 2008, JavaScript was synonymous with slow, and websites that used too much of it were barely usable. When Google published Chromium, the project behind Google Chrome, as open source it also released the V8 JavaScript Engine which compiles JavaScript to machine code before executing it and employs an array of optimization techniques. This drove massive performance gains eventually seen in all major browsers, improving the user experience of existing websites, paving the way for the development of web applications, and enabling JavaScript to be used server-side with software like Node.js. Because V8 was released as open source, the entire ecosystem was able to move forward together, rather than just Chrome and its users.