Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open source in plain English

Filed under
OSS

Much of the debate about open source has been in technical terms, or increasingly in political terms. I'm not criticising either approach, but I suspect many potential open source converts are left cold by discussions that border on the religious in their fervour. What many companies really need is a direct and clear discussion about the tangible benefits of open source, without the political baggage.

At heart, the arguments around open source are simple. They are about cost, and they are about how to give an organisation the freedom and flexibility to run its IT for itself. It's about escaping the world where the tail wags the dog, and reclaiming the agenda to make technology serve your goals.

Look at your own organisation, and you'll see that IT consists of three broad groups: hardware, software and the "know-how" that makes it all work. It has been said that "IT doesn't matter", and increasingly, that's true. The purpose of IT is to serve the goals of the organisation, not the other way round.

We don't create IT systems for their own sake; we create them to communicate internally and externally; to create, manage and store our documents; to help run our organisations; to gain control of our finances and accounts. If we can do all this while figuring out how to do it better and reduce our costs, we are meeting the economic imperative of doing business.

The first part of the IT equation — hardware.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Debian-Based Distribution Updated With KDE 3.5 Forked Desktop

Q4OS 1.2 "Orion" is the new release that is re-based on Debian Jessie, focused on shipping its own desktop utilities and customizations, and designed to run on both old and new hardware. Read more

Atom Shell is now Electron

Atom Shell is now called Electron. You can learn more about Electron and what people are building with it at its new home electron.atom.io. Read more Also: C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

A Fedora 22 beta walk-through

The new Fedora, with its GNOME 3.16 interface, is an interesting, powerful Linux desktop. Read more Also: Web software center for Fedora Red Hat's Cross-Selling and Product Development Will Power Long-Term Growth Red Hat Updates Open Source Developer and Admin Tools

Unix and Personal Computers: Reinterpreting the Origins of Linux

So, to sum up: What Linus Torvalds, along with plenty of other hackers in the 1980s and early 1990s, wanted was a Unix-like operating system that was free to use on the affordable personal computers they owned. Access to source code was not the issue, because that was already available—through platforms such as Minix or, if they really had cash to shell out, by obtaining a source license for AT&T Unix. Therefore, the notion that early Linux programmers were motivated primarily by the ideology that software source code should be open because that is a better way to write it, or because it is simply the right thing to do, is false. Read more Also: Anti-Systemd People