There is no doubt about the fact that open source has taken the world by storm. Open Source is spearheading the revolution to bring about a change in the world order, where the environment is free, conducive and constructive. However, there are always two sides to a coin, the flipside of the story. There are some burning issues which the Open Source fraternity needs to sort out immediately. In this section we provide you with the thorns in the rose.
The cons of Open Source are
IT COMMODITISES DEVELOPERS
When most of the software is available free of cost, it basically devalues the role and effort of the programmer. Although the cause and foresight is noble, at the end of the day, the developers are not paid for their creations. Appreciation can only sustain one up to a limit. The ‘free beer vs. free speech’ argument only holds thus far.
IT LEADS TO UNSTABLE MARKETS
When there is software available for free which as good as, if not better than software for which one has to pay money, what is the obvious choice going to be? Organizations which have created proprietary software are left with no option to drastically reduce prices while trying to improve their own product. As you can well imagine, this is a Herculean task. Open Source may lead to a better future, but it will destroy the future of people associated with the closed source, unless they find a way to adapt. After all, it’s the survival of the fittest.
IT LEADS TO PIRACY
Nowadays, movies and music albums are released on the internet much before their official release mostly on P2P networks and in the form of torrents. This fact questions the basic morals of Open Source. Is this any better than ‘stealing’? This act is done in the name of promotion and distribution of ‘free and open information’.
IT IS NOT CONSUMER OREINTED
For example, once an application or software is made, the developers don’t search extensively for bugs. Even when the bugs are reported on public forums, they turn a blind eye. The developers do not follow the main release with patches to fix the program or make it more user-friendly.
IT PROVIDES RESTRICTED CHOICE
There are dozens of proprietary software available for every variety of function and use. In comparison, there are very few from the Open Source side. Furthermore, they do not always have top-class functionality and most of the time have poor user interfaces.
IT HAS PROBLEMS RELATED TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
One doesn’t always know whether a software is published under a free license or not. This leads to a lot of legal hassles. The laws related to such kind of infringement are also not uniform throughout the world.
We have to accept that Open Source is not completely pure and harmless. It threatens to decay the basic morals which have been developed over centuries. It is in effect promoting intellectual theft and by doing so, giving a handicap to the people who actually work to earn a living. It is the need of the hour to set right the wrongs of the open source if it is to be a revolution which aims for the betterment of all sections of humanity.
More on Open Source in Software Industry
Open Source Licenses
Open source software is distributed under a license, just like regular proprietary software is. An open source license is a license with a difference: instead of keeping or expanding the software developer's rights over the product, it basically gives them away.
Open Source in Web Development
Apache runs the internet. For that matter, it’s been running the internet ever since it’s been around. Apache has been termed the killer application for the Internet.
Open Source Portals
The needs of the people can only understood by the people, and only the people can provide feasible solutions. However, the solutions need to be updated from time to time, or new ones need to be thought of. Also, there should be a common forum on which all the problems and solutions can be posted.
In our OSS Myth-Busting spree, we noticed that one of the chief misconception people have about open source software companies are all run by volunteers and there isn’t much of a cash flow over there. People believe that OSS developers are just passionate hobbyists and nothing more than that.
There is no doubt about the fact that open source has taken the world by storm. Open Source is spearheading the revolution to bring about a change in the world order, where the environment is free, conducive and constructive.