I’ve recently been looking into a lot of open source web-based technology and I’ve become
more and more impressed with the solutions. Most of the Web 2.0
technology is built using open source software or platforms of one type or another. Open source solutions can be particularly appealing to small businesses and nonprofits, primarily because they are free.
There are basically three types of open source products: 1) Actual software like Linux or OpenOffice, 2) scripting languages like PHP, or web services or applications like WordPress. Despite my previously discussed gripe about the lack of documentation, I can give you several reasons to consider using open source:
- It’s free.
- The premise of open source is that by taking advantage of a
global community of developers, and because the code is available to
anyone, you can more quickly create stable software and more quickly
identify problems/bugs/glitches and more quickly fix them. And, because
you have a global pool of talent that is contributing plug-ins and
extensions back to a given project, the features and functions are
expanded a great deal at the same great price.
- The open source Web platforms I’ve looked at and/or worked with a
extremely sophisticated and in most cases, match commercial products
feature for feature.
- Open source just looks like the future to me. Who would’ve
thought, but it is pure communism! If people are willing to give such
sophisticated solutions away for free, businesses are going to adopt
them and there’s no way commercial products will be able to compete.
I’m not suggesting you switch over without a thorough consideration of your needs and capabilities, but there’s a reason Google uses the
Linux operating system.
- In many cases, open source offers you an out-of-the-box solution
so it makes no sense to try and build one from scratch when you’ve got
one already available for free.
- I’ve been increasingly seeing more and better open source Web
platform solutions written in PHP than stuff written in
Microsoft’s development languages like ASP.