15 October 2005

James Purser's weekend answer

James Purser asks:

What is it about F/OSS that attracts you?

That’s easy: the Lego™ factor. I can build whatever I want to, very quickly. I can take something another person has built and alter it, very quickly. I can see how anything is put together, both to check its functionality and to pick up better techniques for my own work. I can quickly and easily swap parts and sub-assemblies for testing and improvement (or for “political” reasons).

The absence of red tape helps a lot, too. I don’t have to bend my mind around deliberately-obtuse licencing rules or get financial clearance before adding more users or processors to a server. I don’t have to find a hologram or a serial number for each and every software component before installing something, nor type (or mistype) sixty-digit codes into rego screens to get stuff working.

3 comments:

Alpha said...

I think the best thing is the hidden vendor lockin. If you deploy Red Hat for example and learn all the red hat management tools, processes, and all things Red hat does that are unique to other vendors...it is almost impossible to move to any other distribution especially if you also consider the application stack certified to specific distributions. It almost sounds like proprietary software when you say it like this...

Leon Brooks said...

And this attracts you to F/OSS? (-:

I prefer Mandrake, but also drive Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat and SuSE fairly regularly. The vast majoirty of difference is in the details, not in the principles.

For example, URPMI, Aptitude, Yum and so on all achieve the same end, with varying degrees of clumsiness and polish.

Alpha said...

Actually after selling Novell and Windows for many years things for all that is different is still very much the same. I like the idea as my customers keep coming back...the principle of change and the reality of change hasn't really changed much :-)