Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Love Open Source Software

I love Open Source Software because it maintains the spirit of early collaborative, cooperative computing.

With the Internet, a geek or several geeks - the originator(s) - can start work on something that interests them and other geeks from all over the world can help to build additional features, add "objects", etc.  Also if any geek (or user) discovers a bug or flaw, word goes out quickly, and people get to work looking for a fix.  All a user has to do is indicate that they would like such-n-such and someone will start to build a way to meet the user's need.  There is a code of recognition where credit is given and reputations are well-known for many of the main participants - for finding and/or fixing bugs, adding features etc - in addition to the names of the originators..

Source code should be well-written with comments because from the beginning there is the intention that others can understand the code.   It will not be a crisis if/when the originator(s) want(s) to work on other projects.  If the project has value, others will carryon.

People are welcome to modify the code to suit their own purposes and these variations can even develop into branch projects.

I have been using OpenOffice Suite for several years on my home computer.
I use MS Office Suite at work.
I am totally satisfied with the OpenOffice Suite.  I used the trial version of MS Office 2007 on my home computer just to become familiar with it.  I intend to do the same with a trial version of MS Office 2010.

I usually save files in rtf because almost everyone can open them.  I don't save anything as a doc.

I have 2 memory sticks - (also called USB drives or thumbdrives) that I carry in my purse so I can easily work on anything anywhere I want.

Everyone knows that commercial software products are far from "bug" free or free of security/privacy problems.  I think it is sheer "flim-flam" to assert that a company or individual is getting a better product or has better access to help when needed because they purchased a commercial product.

A long time ago - back in the 1960's or early 1970's, there was an expression - "No one ever got fired for buying IBM".    Today we can say - "No one ever got fired for buying "Microsoft".  You can substitute any major Commerical name that you like - a well-known vender of library products etc into the saying.

Whatever software your library or company decides to use, there will be a start-up period, training, and maintenance issues.

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