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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