Hello Collaboration!

Open Source is Great!
September 20, 2008, 3:02 am
Filed under: Collaborative Technologies Course | Tags: , , ,

Open source software, which I’ll refer to as OSS, provides great opportunities for developers and end users. My initial understanding of OSS is that it is software developed to contribute to the common good of technology, so it is free of patent. The initial objective of this type of software is to provide a technology base for developers to look at, learn, pick apart and improve upon. Check out this article from USA Today On-line for a pretty thorough summary: great open source summary. The technical meaning of OSS is that the computer source code behind the program is visible to everyone that views the software, not just the originators. This can help developers learn and improve technology faster. The really nice thing for people like me, a non-programmer, is that the OS software is generally free for the public to use. The low/no cost aspect, along with their creative nature makes OSS especially great for providing resources for small business solutions OR for small problems in a big business.

Last semester, in my MHRM coursework, I took an HRIS course. In this course we did our fair share of end user sampling of many open source softwares.  We used them free of charge to create solutions for organizational problems. One of OSS(s) that we used was a software for building a “wiki.” We also sampled some collaborative and media editing softwares. The possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to OSS because developers want to get their software noticed, critiqued and used by professionals and end users alike.

As noted in a Helium magazine article, a negative associated with OSS is that a lot of the programs are not necessarily at their peak of end-user friendliness as are competitive patented products. In addition, they are not always compatible with other patented software…so integrating them into daily work can be challenging. For programmers, it could become frustrating to work strictly with open source projects because they are so “public” and therefore not as competitive as patenting.

Regardless, everyone should try a few out and decide for themselves. Check out the Wikipedia list of available OSS arranged by functional category.

Check out this video of a casual conversation about Intel’s open source strategies.


4 Comments so far
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OSS does provide great opportunities for the provider and end-user. I took a look at the list of different kinds of software. I wanted to expound a little on Genealogy. Most people associate this with family history. It is all about tracing your ancestry as far as one can go. Thanks to the internet, this has made genealogy much more popular. Recently new software has come out that is OSS and allows end users to track their family. You can then export your files that are compatible with other programs.
There are other examples of OSS. Some we use everyday and never know it. Many of us are into games. We like to play them at home or at work when the bosses are not looking. These are also good examples of OSS.

Comment by scoutmstr25

Shayla Sibley Due Date 9/20/08
Collaborative Technologies
ISYS 203 U
Professor Kimberly Davis

Open Source Software
I totally agree about the thought of programmers having the freedom of viewing codes to existing software programs that enable them make to great improvements. The idea is to have the best operating systems available to the consumers. The field of technology is extremely competitive and only the best and most efficient can survive. This concept is brilliant, at any given time many great mind are working together to create “plug-ins” or add-ons to enhance the software capabilities and speed. Source Forge is on the major players in on the cutting edge of this new great idea to improve many existing software packages in the marketplace.

Comment by shay23

Free of patents! Interesting??? How long would this last? Improving of technology for ‘the good’. Is there a ‘catch’? I cannot imagine these days that there are computer programmers willing to share their hard work and not protect it from patents in this competitive world of business. You said you had success with using it—so that is pleasing to know. I am definitely going to keep an eye and ear out for more updates on how the users and programmers interact with each other for the ‘good of technology’.

Comment by mnd103

[…] Open Source is Great! by mdholden […]

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