what does everyone think of Open Source?

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  1. profile image0
    mtsi1098posted 14 years ago

    some examples of Open Source are software/utilities that do not enforce funds such as OpenOffice an alternative to MS Office

    some others:

    gaim for IM...
    songbird for MPS and music...

    1. Portamenteff profile image65
      Portamenteffposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      As a Gnu-Linux user, just about the only software I use that is not open source is Skype, video and sound codecs, Java runtime, and Flash Player. I don't feel I'm missing anything either.

  2. Anti-Valentine profile image75
    Anti-Valentineposted 14 years ago

    I use GiMP instead of Photoshop, and I'm happy with it. I've got other open source or freeware programs too.

    Generally, if I can find something for free that can do everything that a paid-for product can do, then I'll go with the freeware option.

    I do have some commercial products though, like Microsoft Office.

    1. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes I use this myself...

  3. profile image0
    soUPERManposted 14 years ago

    I think opensource is a wonderful concept and very useful. I personally think that it is the future of software revolution. The years where source code was hidden and program flaws were shunned and took years to address them has finally ended. Now i can write a software knowing that in about a week i can possibly see my program improved by someone else and that will give me a chance to learn through it.

    1. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      A similar thing happend in one of my hubs - a reader made a design improvement to a possible invention...thanks

    2. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image60
      JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I am not as technically good in software as my son. He does a lot for me in computers.
      He  is a fan of open source. Hence, I recommend this.

      Jyoti Kothari

  4. profile image0
    zampanoposted 14 years ago

    state institutions are using ubuntu and other linuxes as OS in france.
    mysql becomes a DBMS used to store sensitive information, as reliable as oracle, for a minimum cost.
    The concept of open source is wining allright.

  5. Cirdon profile image60
    Cirdonposted 14 years ago

    As others have mentioned, Open Source Software is by all means a viable and thriving sector of software.

    It's also far more reliable and secure than the nay-sayers give it credit. For example, the leading web server software, Apache, is Open Source and has proven to be more secure out of the box than the second-leading web server software, Microsoft IIS.

    One thing I especially like about Open Source Software is that it has the power to break Microsoft's veritable monopoly in the software industry. For example, in the 90s, Microsoft strong-armed Netscape out of business and nearly drove Apple out, as well. They were able to do this because their rivals at the time were also for-profit, money-based companies. Since Microsoft had more money to throw around, they won. Then came Mozilla with the Firefox browser (as Firefox) in 2004. Because Firefox was Open Source, and the Mozilla Foundation not-for-profit, Microsoft didn't have the power to strong-arm them out of existence with money like they did with Netscape and Apple. That, in turn, allowed for other browser makers, such as Opera and later Apple with Safari, to thrive again in the mainstream.

    Eclipse is an open source development environment, originally designed to develop Java programs, it's also versatile enough to use for web development and other languages.

    As others have mentioned, Gaim (now known as Pidgin) is a popular IM client, similar to Trillian (multi-protocol).

    Here are some more for people to try (with their proprietary counterparts), that are currently available on Windows:

    Open Office -> MS Office
    Gimp -> Photoshop
    Inkscape -> Illustrator
    Mozilla Thunderbird -> Outlook
    SumatraPDF -> Adobe Reader
    VirtualBox -> VMWare (Virtual PC software)
    VLC (VideoLAN Player) -> Windows Media Player (specifically, the video portion)

    1. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Microsoft didn't strong arm anyone.  More people chose to use Microsoft products than any other.  Instead of complaining, Netscape should have done what they later wound up dong and created a better web browser than Microsoft.  IE is still packaged with Windows but there are a lot of people, like me, who use Firefox.  Apple screwed themselves by keeping all of their architecture proprietary and not opening it up like IBM did.  That's why you see PC clones and not Mac clones.  Because of that, economies of scale lowered the cost of PC's much more than Macs, so more people used PC's than Macs.  It's all very easy to understand.  That's why those companies had more money to throw around than Apple, they made stuff people actually wanted to buy and did it inexpensively.

      It has to do with how useful people find things and how inexpensive things are.

      1. Cirdon profile image60
        Cirdonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        The US DOJ disagrees with you that Microsoft didn't strong-arm Netscape and Apple out. In fact, Sun Microsystems, AOL Time Warner, Opera, and many others have also filed antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft for their anti-competitive behavior. Internet Explorer itself was created with the sole purpose of destroying Netscape Navigator, that's also the reason that it was intricately part of the operating systems. This is also why IE stagnated with IE6 until Firefox came into the picture and became a real threat to Microsoft's browser monopoly (Microsoft didn't announce IE7 until a year after Firefox came out, when it became clear that it had a good chance at taking market share from IE).

        The ruling was that Netscape couldn't compete because a) IE was already installed on all PCs (a big deal in the days of 16k modems), b) IE was unnecessarily bound to the operating system and functioned in ways that Netscape couldn't make Navigator work (Active Desktop) and couldn't be removed, and c) Microsoft required OEMs to license and install IE on all their computers that had Windows installed on them, as part of the agreement to license Windows to preinstall on computer (which the OEMs didn't have another option at this point, as Microsoft's monopoly made it a commercial necessity for OEMs to install Windows). As a web browser was and is considered a different software piece separate from the operating system, this was seen as an anti-competitive move by Microsoft, and was also seen as working to maintain the monopoly that Microsoft enjoyed. It would have been a completely different matter had Microsoft developed IE and posted it on its website as a free download, or just included it in it's "Plus!" packages, which were purchased separately from the base operating system.

        Also, while Netscape Corp did start the Mozilla project and initially developed the Gecko rendering engine, they pulled out of it before Firefox was developed (Mozilla Suite is essentially a continuation of Navigator, but it should be noted that it is not built from Navigator's code or engines, Firefox was created as a response to Mozilla Suite's bloatedness and are, therefore, two totally different projects, Navigator 9 is also removed from its Navigator predecessors in that it's based off of Firefox 2, and therefore does not contain any of the original Netscape code), when Netscape was acquired by AOL. The Netscape name finally died completely when AOL filed a suit against Microsoft and part of Microsoft's settlement was to allow AOL to distribute IE royalty-free for seven years. When Time Warner took over, they officially disbanded Netscape completely. The Mozilla Foundation was launched after AOL dramatically scaled back its involvement with the Mozilla Organization (which operated separately from Netscape, even though it was a subsidiary). The Mozilla Foundation was/is its own entity.

        Now, I do agree that Apple didn't do itself any favors by not opening up its architecture the way IBM did, and it did come back to bite them for most of the 90s. However, that also proved to be their strength in coming back to the market, as it provided high-quality parts that proved to be superior to IBM-clones for such things as video and animation production. That's beside the point, though. In regards to price, though, the Quadra, Centris, and Perfomis lines were actually cheaper than comparably-specced IBM clones, but were perceived to be more expensive due to poor marketing. So no doubt, Apple shot itself in the foot. However, the DOJ still ruled that Microsoft's porting of IE to Apple's OS and Sun Microsystems' OS were moved designed to keep non-IE browsers from gaining any foothold, anywhere. I do stand correct, though, that Microsoft officially strong-armed Apple out (although it should be noted that Apple did attempt to file a suit against Microsoft because Microsoft clearly modeled the Windows UI off of the Apple one, but since the original Apple design was based off an unlicensed GUI design/concept and the DOJ ruled that you can't copyright an idea, which in part why Microsoft still blantantly continues to model their UIs off of Apple's UIs).

        1. ledefensetech profile image68
          ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Of course the DOJ does, but the DOJ has a very long history of using the anti-trust acts to make things worse for the average American, not better.

          http://mises.org/store/Antitrust-and-Mo … -P296.aspx


          1. Cirdon profile image60
            Cirdonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            You might want to consider reading the case, since it seems you haven't. If you had, you would have read where a) Microsoft possesses monopoly power (80%+ market share is considered a monopoly, and at that time Microsoft enjoyed 90% market share), and b) Microsoft actually went to Netscape to try to talk them into not competing after concluding that it would "be very hard to increase browser share on the merits of IE 4 alone. It will be more important to leverage the OS asset to make people use IE instead of Navigator."

            It's a textbook case of anti-competitive behavior, plain and simple, as was the case against ATI and nVidia a few months ago (who were busted for using their oligopoly for inflating prices).

            1. ledefensetech profile image68
              ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Why bother reading the case, it's more of the same.  Anti-trust has been used since the beginning of the century by the losers in a marketplace to slam the winners.  If what you say is true then why has Firefox taken off?  IE is still loaded with the Windows operating system, so what's the difference?  At the time Microsoft was trying to be all things to all people.  Remember Yahoo and the internet portal phenomenon? 

              What Microsoft forgot was that they were known for Operating Systems and that's their core business.  Remember Windows 2000, or God help us, Windows ME?  They focused on their core business in time for XP and forgot it again for Vista.  By all accounts they seem to have hit it out of the park with Windows 7.  There is nothing keeping people from using alternatives.  That is why Microsoft is not a monopoly.

              Your comparison with video card manufacturers might hold more weight if people were charged for IE or Firefox, people aren't browsers are free.  You also missed the makers of computer memory, they got busted for the same practice a few years ago.  That's called a cartel and they don't last very long in a free market because, well, people sue.

              If IE captured 90% of the marketplace then that must mean that there were no better alternatives out there.  Netscape couldn't compete and they deserved to fail.

              1. Cirdon profile image60
                Cirdonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                If you're not going to bother reading the case, then there's no point in arguing further about it. It goes into great detail about why Microsoft is considered a monopoly and why Microsoft lost that antitrust suit. As I've stated several times, have pulled quotes as examples, and given you the case in question that goes into detail about it, Microsoft actively worked in an anti-competitive manner to push Netscape out of the picture. It never had anything to do with which one was better.

                And actually, there was a "better" alternative available, Opera, but because it, too, was profit-driven (the browser itself has been free since 2000, but was funded through ads and could also be bought), it was driven underground after the first browser war and maintained a small niche market until Firefox got a foothold and began to break down IE6's browser monopoly.

                Why has Firefox done so much better?

                1. This is a new generation (compting-wise). For the most part, the slowest connection to the Internet when Firefox came out was a 56k modem, and most people were even broadband. That's a far cry from the Netscape days, where 56k modems were on the top end.

                2. Firefox, and it's parent company, The Mozilla Foundation, are not controlled by money like Netscape was (instead, Mozilla is a non-profit project, funded by donations). Therefore, Microsoft can't use money to push them out like it did with Netscape (since in the days of Netscape, it was common to sell a browser on a disk at a store).

                3. Microsoft allowed Internet Explorer to stagnate after the fall of Netscape. IE was developed solely to take down Netscape (it should be noted that Netscape did reach 90% market share, but had done so legitimately). After Netscape was gone, there were no competitors that Microsoft viewed as a threat (as I mentioned, Opera went underground after the browser war). That's why there's a 5 year gap between IE6 and IE7. If it weren't for Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior, overtaking IE6 would have been as simple as complying with the W3C web standards of the time, which had already been around for three years before IE6's release and IE6 never complied with them (this is still an issue web developers are dealing with today, because IE6 still has enough market share that they have to spend extra time hacking their code to make it work in IE6).

                Actually, Microsoft is a monopoly because it holds enough market share that it's not economically feasible for companies to use anything else. Now, this is becoming less true as more people put pressure on Microsoft to actually comply with standards and to actually compete (they have for years used their monopoly power to create de facto standards with things like the Office document formats, and because they didn't open the formats to other companies, no one else could compete because they couldn't get the specs for the document format so that they'd be compatible with MS Office, open source software was also the one to break that by studying the binaries and creating compatible binaries).

                1. ledefensetech profile image68
                  ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  Again, you fail to take note that Microsoft is changing the way it does business because the customers are demanding it and if Microsoft doesn't comply, then there are now viable alternatives to MS products.  MS was an innovator and anytime you have a company like that, they're gong to be able to use the tactics MS did to drive sales.  It's stupid and short term thinking, which is why they're losing market share in Office to OpenOffice.  Also the industry itself has matured.  It's been around long enough that there are "generic" versions of products that used to be MS proprietary.

                  Microsoft will never wield the power they did in the 1990's again.  The power they once had has been distributed over many competitors.  That's the mark of a mature marketplace. 

                  Do you know what I don't see?  People complaining that IBM used an unfair monopoly in the early days of computing.  In fact it was IBM's hubris that broke their hold on computing.  Much like MS did with search engines, IBM ignored the PC market.  They couldn't figure out why anyone would want a PC on their desk or at home.  So they released the architecture and that's why PC's dominate the market instead of Apple. 

                  Google is hot on the heels of MS because MS ignored the potential of the Internet.  Rather than fight the "browser wars", they'd have been better off developing search algorithms like Yahoo and Google did. 

                  Someday Google will lose the top spot to someone else because of some oversight on Google's part.  No I don't know what that might be, if I did, I could make a killing.  That's how free markets work.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  I think you'd agree that we're all better off with Google as our search engine today, aren't we?  Did government anti-trust laws bring Google into being?  No.  Will anti-trust keep us safe from Google's monopoly of the search market?  No.

    2. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      good examples...thanks

  6. sunforged profile image69
    sunforgedposted 14 years ago

    ...in the age of torrents, almost everything seems to have the major draw of open source ...free wink

    But, jesting aside, big fan of the open source movements

    VLC is hands down the best media player out there

    I love customizing my install of Linux on the netbook

    GIMP is a very sleek photo editing software (
    but isnt a true alternative to photoshop!)

    Open Office is fantastic and is also a tight little program on the netbook, easily a third of the size of its MS counterpart

    1. Jeffrey Neal profile image69
      Jeffrey Nealposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm using GIMP right now for a hub I'm working on, and I use OpenOffice exclusively.  I have played with VLC a little also.

      Have you seen this? http://portableapps.com/

      I have it loaded on a thumb drive and it has OpenOffice as well as a nice collection of open source gadgets.  Great for when I'm with friends trying to show them some ideas, and they don't use OpenOffice.

      1. profile image49
        larry_lionposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        i will like you to contact me at my mail at abiodun_oore@yahoo.com

      2. profile image0
        mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        thanks for the link...I will check it out

    2. profile image49
      larry_lionposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i will like you to contact me at my mail at abiodun_oore@yahoo.com

    3. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      songbird is a good music player...thanks

  7. GreenMathDr profile image65
    GreenMathDrposted 14 years ago

    I use Open Office but I already had a copy of MS Office. Since I do a fair amount of math I prefer Open Office because they allow you to use the math symbols. I'm sure MS Office has that capability but Open Office has it right there and I don't have to search for a special option. I also use Fire Fox. Some of the others mentioned previously I was unfamiliar with but I am checking them out.  In the past I have avoided these free programs bu they've come along way and they are as useful as the paid ones.

  8. jacobkuttyta profile image37
    jacobkuttytaposted 14 years ago

    I like open office and Obuntu!!!!

  9. profile image55
    C.J. Wrightposted 14 years ago

    My personal experience is that Open Source is the best solution for personal use and small scale commercial use. Of course there are open source products that seem to do well when applied to larger systems.  LINUX and MySQL come to mind.

  10. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image60
    JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years ago

    I have downloaded Ubuntu linux from ope source that is equivalent to Windows.

    I am facing difficulties in working with this software as I am used to with XP and Vista.

    If I download open office how can I get back up in CD? MS office is not compatible with Ubuntu.

    Can I run window base software in Ubuntu? How?

    Is there any other soft ware in open source that is equivallent windows, XP or Vista?

    Please help me fix this problem.

    Jyoti Kothari

    1. Cirdon profile image60
      Cirdonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Ubuntu should come with Open Office already installed. You can find it in Applications -> Office. You shouldn't need a CD version (like what you would buy MS Office on), because Open Office is freely available for download from OpenOffice.org, and most versions of Linux have a program that can retrieve hundreds of software titles that you can install, which includes Open Office.

      Open Office will allow you to create documents in the MS Office format, but the format has to be specified when you first save the file. You can find the format in the format drop down list in the save dialog, below where you would put the name in. Simply choose the Microsoft Office format for the document you're saving (so, if you're in the Word Processor, it would be the "MS Office Word (.doc)" format option), and it will save it in that format after you confirm that you want it in that format.

      You can run Windows programs in Linux with the help of a program called Wine, which you can find at WineHQ.org (it will give you instructions on how to install it). However, I've found little need to use Wine for anything other than specific software titles that aren't available on Linux and can't have Linux alternatives (namely, specific game titles).

      I'm not fully sure I understand what you're trying to ask with your last question, so I'll give you both thought routes that I took when interpreting your question.

      1. Do you mean what other operating systems are there that are equivalent to Windows Vista or Windows XP?

      There are three main Operating System branches -- Windows, Apple, and Linux. You're already familiar with Windows. You're probably also familiar with Apple, but unfortunately, you can't get a supported copy of the Apple Operating System, Mac OS X, unless you buy their computers.

      Linux, which you've played with a little via Ubuntu, is the third branch. There are hundreds of different versions of Linux, known as distributions, or distros. Most of them are based on two or three distros for their primary functionality, but from there, they've created their own look and feel. If you're looking for another mature alternative to Windows, I recommend looking through distrowatch.com and trying out the different Linux distros that they have available by creating a LiveCD that you can run and try the Operating System before installing it.

      2. Do you mean what other software (such as Office) is available that's comparable to Microsoft titles?

      Aside from the titles listed in this thread, you can get a good look at what's available by opening the Synaptic Packet Manager in System -> Administration and looking through the list. That list is of programs that have been backed by Ubuntu's parent company, Canonical, or the Open Source Community. Typically, if it's made it into the packet manager, the program is mature enough to compete with other programs, such as Microsoft's titles.

      As for any other questions or problems you might have, I recommend checking out the Ubuntu community. The community is extensive and you can generally find all the help you're looking for. You can find them at ubuntuforums.org. The documentation can also be helpful, which you can find at help.ubuntu.com.

  11. you2pointzero profile image61
    you2pointzeroposted 14 years ago

    I always tell my customers to go open source if they can, excluding Linux.  All of my customers prefer to stick to Windows, but with the increasing amount of open source software for Windows you have many options.

    1. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Some of our clients have switched to Linux, a few are even considering a linux server

  12. Blogging Erika profile image69
    Blogging Erikaposted 14 years ago

    I have been supporting/fixing open source operating systems (specifically BSD Unix and Red Hat Linux on web/mail servers), as well as using it at home in my free time (Ubuntu and SuSE before it) since 1998. So I think it's safe to say I'm a fan!

    1. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Great...I have been running Red Hat since version 6.x and have turned it into a Samba server with three clients (Fedora 10, Win XP and Win MC)...1998 was a great year - I hope you have continued success...

  13. profile image0
    assemberposted 14 years ago

    I find it ironic that we would all like to make a living online, but paying for software is not high on our list, Including me too, i go for free stuff anytime i can smile

    However, What about we all write our hubs for free and hubpages collects and keeps all the money, I am sure they'd be happy campers too smile

    In a free world, I'd each to their own, I use both open source and what you might call proprietry software.

  14. Beth100 profile image68
    Beth100posted 14 years ago

    Open Source is a great alternative.  I've seen whole programs written which work smoothly by knitting various open source material together.  I've also seen some young software companies have their start by using open source.

  15. floating mind profile image69
    floating mindposted 14 years ago

    I really like open source.  The primary reason is because may mother (78 years young) has started doing things on her computer and Internet.  When she asks me for a program, I direct her to portableapps.com.  In most cases, she finds what she is looking for and is able to install it on her own and start using the newly install program right away; all without my assistance.

    I use portableapps.com programs as well.

  16. jpbaugh profile image67
    jpbaughposted 14 years ago

    Open Source most certainly has its place in the software world.  It has significant advantages, which typically includes a larger, more open set of talents.  Quite frequently, open source fans are very passionate and really enjoy being challenged and contributing to the project(s).

    However, it does often suffer from "too many cooks spoil the broth" situations, as well as the fact that hackers too have access to the source code, which is why open source software is frequently attacked.  Even with commercial products that include open source software (under LGPL, typically) in their source, hackers often find ways to exploit the "open source portion" of the software.

    Also, open source communities sometimes are filled with smug individuals who really enjoy pointing out imperfections to newbies, such as "You n00b, you posted this in the wrong forum.  You are not worthy of being here with all of us l33t h4x0r5."

    Companies that offer both open source and commercial solutions have a very interesting way of doing business.  They take advantage of an enormous amount of "testers" in the community, many of which who fix the code themselves and proudly post their solutions, thus improving the overall quality of the software, both the open source offerings, and the commercial solution.

    There are good and bad aspects to open source.  It is a necessary, and often quite helpful, addition to the software universe. 

    I personally believe it is best not to be on either extreme of the commercial vs. open source debate. 

    We must face the facts:  engineering software is a talent.  And it is a talent that deserves a decent and steady income.  But on the other hand, commercial software sometimes is too closed to a community that could help improve it considerably.


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