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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Episode 50 Joe Polk of Pennsylvania Technology Assistance Program on Open Source and Open Office

The Open Source and Open Office
Joe Polk
Open Source
Joseph M. Polk
Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program
400 North Lexington St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Software experts and researchers on open source software (OSS) have identified several advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage for business is that open source is a good way for business to achieve greater penetration of the market. Companies that offer open source software are able to establish an industry standard and, thus, gain competitive advantage. It has also helped build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product. Moreover less costs of marketing and logistical services are needed for OSS. It also helps companies to keep abreast of all technology developments. The OSS development approach has helped produce reliable, high quality software quickly and inexpensively. Besides, it offers the potential for a more flexible technology and quicker innovation. It is said to be more reliable since it typically has thousands of independent programmers testing and fixing bugs of the software. It is flexible because modular systems allow programmers to build custom interfaces, or add new abilities to it and it is innovative since open source programs are the product of collaboration among a large number of different programmers. The mix of divergent perspectives, corporate objectives, and personal goals speeds up innovation Moreover free software can be developed in accord with purely technical requirements it does not require to think about commercial pressure that often degrade the quality of the software. Commercial pressures make traditional software developer pay more attention to customers requirements than to security requirements, since such features are somewhat invisible to the customer.

The free software movement was launched in 1983 to make these freedoms available to every computer user.[1] From the late 1990s onward, alternative terms for free software came into use. "Open source software" is the most common such alternative term. Others include "software libre", "free, libre and open-source software" ("FOSS", or, with "libre", "FLOSS"). The antonym of free software is "proprietary software" or non-free software.
From Wikipedia
Some major free programs:
Fire Fox is the world's largest Open Source software development web site.

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