Open source software underpins our business. We run our office on open source, we provide our hosting services on open source and we promote open source in all our business activities.
Why have we chosen to take what some people consider to be a risky step? Quite simply because open source software is designed for the benefit of the end user which leads to a far more functional, a richer and a better-supported product.
Open source benefits the end user
Day to day, this translates into software designed to meet the real needs of end users. Open source is not designed with developer glory in mind, or to lock end users into complex and expensive agreements. Open source developers aim to create a solid, usable product that can be endlessly tweaked or sometimes go down a separate dvelopment fork to create a related product. Open source developers are often very approachable and open to questions and suggestions. We’ve had contact many times with developers, in order to iron out problems or understand how best to approach a situation.
Open source = open standards
Then there’s open standards – did we mention open standards? Open standards facilitate interoperability, ie different programs playing nicely together. This is what the Open Source Initiative has to say about it, opening its article with this indisputable truth:
As the Internet shows so clearly, there is great social, technical, and financial benefit that comes from massive interoperability.
This level of interoperability is of tremendous benefit to the end user as it enables them to choose software based on their needs rather than any requirement to jump through hoops. It reduces hassle for everyone involved and opens up worlds of possibility.
Open source means choice and freedom
In a nutshell, open source provides the end user with choice and freedom. It’s hard to see why any company worth dealing with would want to present their customers with anything less.