Why to Share

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 - Posted by Amphinicy Blogger
Open Source

Did you ever wonder why open source model is so successful? Well, I did.
Why would I use open source software, or even better, why should I share my work?
Why would any company give anything for free. We are in capitalism, money runs world, right?

First of all, open is not the same as free. You can sell open source code, most open source licenses permit you to do that. On the other hand, if you use a free software you do not pay money. But who pays in the end?

Let's say you are using a free web search engine like Google or Bing. Doing so, you watch advertisements. This way you become a product. Companies pay money so you would watch their ads.

But we all need to understand that it is not just about being free, it is about being open and sharing. It is not just about sharing software, we can share many things like ideas, solutions, knowledge, data and even chocolate with our office colleagues.

Here is a good example. Scientists from Germany had shared a genome of a virus. They were asking worldwide scientist for help. Together they were able to solve the problem and find the cure. If they tried to solve it by themselves, they would have failed. They were aware that they did not have all of the best minds in world. So if they wanted to have best solution, they had to share their problem, the virus genome. Even better, world scientists have given away their time and knowledge for free. In return, we got the best solution, or in our case the only solution. This is the power of sharing. Same applies to companies. None of companies hires all the best minds in the world. If they want to achieve the best, they have to share. By sharing we all get the best ideas, solutions, products, software etc.

This means that by using open source software we have probably picked the most brilliant solution. Being open means nothing is hidden. There are no hidden backdoors like in some proprietary software. There are less vulnerabilities, still more eyes are watching over the code since it is open and available to anyone. When a company makes closed software, they make decisions based on shareholders. Naturally, they want to make as much money as they can. Unlike that, open source is made based on the people who are going to use the software.

This sounds brilliant, but who pays makers of the open source software? It depends. Sometimes it is voluntary and sometimes they are backed up by users of software via donations. If we are talking about the companies that are contributing to open source, they could be backed up by other companies as well or they could sell open source software based services.

At the end of the day, by choosing an open source you get better, cheaper and more secure software.

All you should do is use open source, spread the word and contribute.

Your mother was right, it is better to share.