A-Z of computing: O is for Open Source

O is for Open Source

open sourceOpen source software (OSS) underpins our business. We run our office on OSS, we provide our hosting services on OSS and we promote OSS in all our business activities.

Open source software is designed for the benefit of the end user, which gives a raft of benefits. It 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. OSS 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. Sometimes developers go down a separate fork to create a related (‘forked’) product. OSS developers are often very approachable and open to questions and suggestions. We’ve had contact many times with developers and always find them keen to co-operate.

Open source = 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 is of tremendous benefit to the end user. They can 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.

OSS means choice and freedom

In a nutshell, OSS 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.

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