The Open Source Difference


First, lets get a definition of Open Source from wikipedia for those who aren't familiar:

Open source products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.


The most familiar story of open source to the average person might well be the Linux project. If you haven't heard it before, it is well worth the internet rabbit hole (here's a talk by Bryan Lunduke on the subject). Linus Torvolds -- the creator and long-time maintainer of the Linux Kernel -- created an arguably more influential technology for distributed collaboration called git, possibly sparking the popularization of open source contribution (creating the worlds best method of tracking your collaborator's changes will do that).

We've come a long way since the release of git and its predecessor open source projects, and its a bright future indeed! Due to open source's leanings toward meritocracy, most popular projects tend to be leaner and faster than their proprietary counterparts. I would never have been able to host my site from a cardboard box without it starting on fire if it weren't for those extremely smart and generous folks. Software like Nginx, Supervisor.d and Gunicorn enables extremely low requirement server's to be set up on single board computers.

Open source allows developers to work faster, and achieve more without reinventing the wheel, and boy am I happy for that. Setting up an entire custom web-app for home automation might only take you an afternoon once you are familiar with the frameworks used to create such a thing.

I've been obsessed with open source for long enough, that any software I write for myself (and is usefull), I open source! While I use my own selection of open source git HTTP viewers, options like GitLab and git.sr.ht exist to enable those without the resources to host their software on fully free and open source platforms!

This all goes without mentioning the fact that open source software is in the pocket of 87% mobile phone users via Android (according to an IDC data analysis). Open source is truly the future!

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