Open Source is here to stay!
GPL license. The entire license can be accessed at www.gnu.org.
Most software that's available as Open Source code made a humble beginning
as a simple project to accomplish some task. Some may reach great heights
while some may not. As they say, "What counts in the Olympics is not
winning, but taking part". Many such sites like www.freshmeat.net and
www.sourceforge.com are at the forefront in promoting Open Source
applications and projects.
So this brings us to the question: Why do people write stuff, invest such
a lot of their time, knowledge and money into developing a product and
then release it as Open Source? The driving force is the spirit of sharing
one's knowledge and working together to develop something really good for
others to use.
There's no dearth of applications in Open Source. Be it scientific Beowulf
clusters, High availability solutions, parallel computing, distributed
computing, high end databases, clustering, firewalls, routing software,
GIS software etc. One of the astounding facts of Open source is that the
huge amount of peer review makes it possible for only the best to survive
and to make it to the top. Of course at the end of the day, it's up to you
as it's a matter of your exercising your choice.
The developers of a particular Open Source product may be geographically
separated but what keeps them in touch is the revolutionary USP of the
Internet: E-Mail. Developers generally have a Mailing list through which
everyone is able to convey their message to the others. Most Open Source
projects have a home page where weekly/nightly/monthly builds (latest
addition of code to the project) are uploaded to the server and version
control is enforced via CVS. There are time schedules and deadlines for
every task. It is up to the developers to take out time from their hectic
schedules to do their share for the Open Source movement.
Open Source is all about putting choice into the hands of the consumers,
but they can benefit only if they do their homework well before exercising
their right to choose. This is in complete contradiction to the philosophy
of the Closed Source model where your solution provider develops some
application for you and decides most of the configurations for you.
I've been and continue to be part of a company that hopes to change the