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Open source in a new light: Open source software is no longer just for alpha-geeks

Apr 23, 2010, 13:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brett McLaughlin)


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"Open source in 2010

"Before you tune out, this isn't some grand state of the open source union. If anything, this is an attempt to dispel the myths brought on by a wealth of exactly that sort of state-of-the-union approach. If there's anything you need to begin thinking, it's this: Open source is no longer an all-or-nothing choice. In other words, nothing in this article is going to insist that you dump Windows®, install GNU Linux®, or curse Adobe or burn Apple in effigy.

"What this article does attempt, is much humbler: to convince you that open source software is a solution for some subset of problems and that some of your problems most likely exist within that subset. So whether you have browser issues with Internet Explorer®, are looking for a nice code Integrated Development Environment (IDE), are tired of paying for PhotoShop, or just want a closer-to-real-time support system, open source might be just right as part of your software stack.

"A hybrid approach is almost always best

"Let's assume you're not into open source for purely philosophical reasons. That's not to say you may not appreciate the open source approach; it's simply stating that you have pragmatic concerns for looking at alternative solutions to software issues you're facing. Given that, you're probably not a candidate to go "all open source." So you're going to have some software — even the majority of your software — that is "closed source." That means the software is commercial or just doesn't give you access to the source code. That's fine. There's nothing that suggests it's bad form to mix open source and non-open source software."

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