What would you like an open source program to do?
Imagine you’re already a very happy open source convert, full of the joys of freedom of choice, and you’ve chosen Original Sync (imaginary software for our imaginary scenario) to keep track of your contacts, appointments and emails. You love it 95% of the time but there’s this little niggle – you’d like it to be able to do something additional to save you a job or help you work more efficiently. Wouldn’t it be great if it could talk directly to your note taking app or come with different coloured backgrounds for different days of the week or fill in a time sheet or in some other way do something totally incredible that it doesn’t do atm? An open source program and approach allows you get those changes made – here’s how it works:
Adding the features you want
You approach your hosting provider (that’s us) and pose us the problem. We talk to the programmers that we know and trust and ask them if that mod is possible. Chances are it is, so the programmers obtain the source code (because that code is ‘open’, ie available to see and use) and develop it to include the features you want. Bingo – you have software that does just what you need it to do, an open source program with your name on it (not literally). The modified source code and new program is available for anyone to use, because why not? The world is a happier place because Monday is pink and Tuesday is a delicate shade of sea green.
Choice and freedom
Using open source to run your business expands your horizons as it gives you the choice and freedom to use the software that’s right for you, not the software that a developer wants you to use or that you have to use if you want other related packages to keep working. This is called ‘lock-in’ and is one of the most unattractive aspects of proprietary software. Switch to open source and lock-in becomes something that holds back your competitors, not you.