open source

Key Arguments in favour of Open Source

ere are the key arguments I have come across justifying Open Sourcing of software. Not everybody hold all of these views. Each proponent lays emphasis on some arguments more than on others. Note also that these different arguments also reflect different constituencies (users, vendors, community/society, etc.). Can you think of others? (Please let me know if you do).
  • Moral/Altruistic: Information is free (or should be). ==> Give it away [FSF, Richard Stallman]
  • Economic: The software is free (couldn't get cheaper than that!). It runs on low-cost, commodity hardware.
  • Developmental/Technical: Code Quality and Productivity improves dramatically under the gaze of thousands of eyeballs ("more users find more bugs"; more users have more ideas) [E S Raymond]
  • Political/Libertarian: People should be free to change their sofware to do whatever they wish it to do (e.g., you can change your car into a pickup if you desire) ==> Open up the source [FSF, EFF, OSF].
  • Motivational: Programmers will gravitate towards solving problems (building programs) that they most enjoy working on and for which they have the most competence
  • Operational: Open Software provides flexibility to the user, to change it when and how.

Open Source Resources

Open Source Philosophers

Eric Raymond

Richard Stallman

Linus Torvalds


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