This post is a follow up to my previous post, which I agree was a very biased and personal but a valid ecommerce guide. Since I am new to blogging, the response from that post made me realized why so many of us are blogging now. Itâ€™s good to hear positive feedback and itâ€™s even better when you get feedback which you donâ€™t agree with as this would further develop into a healthy debate. My intention was to provide the fastest and cheapest as well as SEO, SEM, affiliate and link building tools complaint solution. My reasons for this was purely to empower the user with a technology which is current and let him worry about the more important and relevant worries such as marketing, sales, management, and above all search engine optimization as there is nothing like free traffic. Itâ€™s not that I did not expect the response but somehow the thread lost its direction, which was to empower the user with tools to sell online. So in this second article on the same series I would like to discuss why I chose the open source technologies and what the open source fundamentals are.
What is open source?
Quote from redhat.com
â€œAll software is written with source code. With open source software, the code is protected by a special license that ensures everyone has access to that code. That means no one company can fully own it. Freedom means choice. Choice means power.
That’s why we believe open source is inevitable. It returns control to the customer. You can see the code, change it, learn from it. Bugs are more quickly found and fixed. And when customers don’t like how one vendor is serving them, they can choose another without overhauling their infrastructure. No more technology lock-in. No more monopolies.
And we believe open source simply creates better software. It multiplies one company’s development capacity many times over. Everyone collaborates, the best software wins. Not just within one company, but among an Internet-connected, worldwide community. It’s no coincidence that the rise of open source closely followed the rise of the Internet. The perfect breeding ground for collaboration, the Internet moves ideas and code around the world in an instantâ€œ
Quote from Dwheeler.com (a highly acclaimed research paper on Open source)
â€œOpen Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS) (also abbreviated as FLOSS or FOSS) has risen to great prominence. Briefly, OSS/FS programs are programs whose licenses give users the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program (without having to pay royalties to previous developersâ€œ
Mr. Richard Stallman writes about GNU (GNU Operating System) at gnu.org
â€œWhen we call software â€œfree,â€ we mean that it respects the users’ essential freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of â€œfree speech,â€ not â€œfree beer.â€
These freedoms are vitally important. They are essential, not just for the individual users’ sake, but because they promote social solidarityâ€”that is, sharing and cooperation. They become even more important as more and more of our culture and life activities are digitized. In a world of digital sounds, images and words, free software comes increasingly to equate with freedom in general.
Tens of millions of people around the world now use free software; the schools of regions of India and Spain now teach all students to use the free GNU/Linux operating system. But most of these users have never heard of the ethical reasons for which we developed this system and built the free software community, because today this system and community are more often described as â€œopen source,â€ and attributed to a different philosophy in which these freedoms are hardly mentioned.â€
Common Misunderstandings of â€œfree softwareâ€ and â€œopen sourceâ€
Mr. Stallman further clarifies the anomaly between free and open source software.
â€œThe term â€œfree softwareâ€ has a problem of misinterpretation: an unintended meaning, â€œsoftware you can get for zero price,â€ fits the term just as well as the intended meaning, â€œsoftware which gives the user certain freedoms.â€ We address this problem by publishing the definition of free software, and by saying â€œThink of free speech, not free beer.â€ This is not a perfect solution; it cannot completely eliminate the problem. An unambiguous, correct term would be better, if it didn’t have other problems.â€
Lastly from yoism.org, a site which advocates open source practices in real life.
â€œA community of individuals united by a shared vision of human possibility. Together, we can create Heaven on Earth.â€
It all sound so good isnâ€™t it? Do you think IT vendors who mold their services around open source model can survive? Please comment.