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Open Source Innovations on the Cutting Edge

May 25, 2010, 13:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

[ Thanks to snydeq for this link. ]

"Open source doesn't innovate -- so goes the old saw. Proprietary software vendors, including Microsoft, would have you believe the open source movement has produced nothing but knockoffs of existing products and cast-off code that couldn't cut it in the free market.

"But while many open source projects, such as OpenOffice.org, do in fact represent well-established categories, to claim that open source has contributed nothing new to the software landscape is a gross exaggeration. For starters, much of the software in use on the Web today -- from the Firefox and Chrome browsers to the Apache Web Server to scripting languages such as Perl, Python, and Ruby -- began life as open source projects.

"The open source movement remains a font of innovation to this day, and not just in the commercial sector. Numerous projects founded by universities, loosely knit communities, and individuals are exploring areas yet to be taken on by mainstream, proprietary software products. Here are just seven examples of exciting new ideas in software that you may be able to buy from proprietary vendors someday, but that you can only get for free from the open source community today."

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