Tag / Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business

  • June 13, 2017 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    The Business Value of Open Source Software

    This article is part of the comprehensive guide to open source for business. The previous article in this series covered the technical reasons for why OSS is often better than proprietary software. This article will explore how OSS can benefit a business from a non-technical perspective. Open Source Development Reduces Costs One of the major reasons more companies are adopting OSS is because it is a very effective way to reduce development costs. The two primary ways open source reduces development costs is by simplifying software licensing and increasing development speed. Simplifies Licensing Initially, the most obvious place OSS reduces costs is through the complete lack of licensing costs. Proprietary software typically includes initial licensing costs and ongoing maintenance contracts that can be a significant portion of the initial costs; these are often unavoidable. OSS licenses grant free use, modification, and distribution rights to everyone, meaning there is no initial […]

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  • March 27, 2017 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    The Technical Value of Open Source Software

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. Technical value is one of the most important traits of software development and engineering. A mature open source community will often have multiple companies, organizations, and individuals who contribute to and depend on the code base. Any groups that depend on the code are invested in the future of the code, making it much less likely for the code to disappear while simultaneously encouraging participants to play an active role in ensuring proper bug and security fixing processes. This article will explore the ways open source software can benefit a business from a technical perspective by offering improved code stability and greater control over the software stack. Open Source Improves Code Stability Software built by a proprietary component provider can typically only be fixed by employees of the vendor company. In an open source community, anyone can test or fix […]

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  • April 8, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    Common Tools Used in Open Source Development

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. Up to this point, this guide has focused on the fundamental characteristics of open source communities and how these communities are organized. One of the major reasons these communities have organized around a relatively standard set of practices is because of the tools that are available to get work done in a distributed community. These tools must support individuals from diverse backgrounds who each have their own unique needs. This article will describe the tools that are commonly used in an open source community and will explain the roles they play in an open source community. Additionally, it will provide some insight into how to get the most out of them. Communication and Problem Solving Development in an open source community includes people from numerous timezones and cultures around the world. The tools used for communication in […]

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  • March 18, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    An Introduction to the Open Source Development Model

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. If you are someone who is accustomed to working in a traditional, proprietary software development, the open source development model might challenge many of your perceptions about how code is produced in large scale software development projects. This is a result of a fundamental requirement of transparency and communication which results in a development process that is distributed, extremely fast, and modular. This article will explore how development occurs in an open source community. It will also explain how a typical open source community operates in order to provide context for how the actual development of code is carried out. General Community Practices Open source development is a highly collaborative process, and the only way for this to be successful is for all participants to make their technical motivations, intentions, and plans related to their participation visible […]

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  • January 15, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    Common Characteristics of an Open Source Community

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. Open source communities are as complex as the diverse individuals that contribute to them, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition of how they operate. With that said, there are a lot of common fundamental practices and organizational strategies that many communities migrate towards. This article will provide a general definition of how open source communities are organized and operate in order to provide greater context for the rest of the guide. New definitions Open Source – Denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be modified and redistributed. Upstream (noun) – The originating open source software project upon which a derivative is built. Maintainer (Committer) – An individual who is responsible for organizing code into source repositories, committing patches, and building the source code into binary packages for distribution. Community Organization […]

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