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Scott Miller Appsguild - Software craftsmanship, project management, and the biz of software
Enough about Open Source already! I know this is flameworthy, but am I the only one who thinks that Open Source is a complete waste of time? I work in a cheap organization. We got audited by Microsoft back in 2000 (and had to pay alot of money because we didn't have physical licenses for many seats of Windows 98). Ever since then the IT staff is on an anti-Microsoft crusade. I am the only one who uses .Net. Using open source is encouraged. Well, maybe you have had the same experience as I have had, it goes something like this: 1. Look for open source on the net. 2. Download open source product. 3. This results in one of the following: a. I have to build the code, often from the command line. b. The code is incomplete or "not finished" yet. c. There is little or no documentation. If there is documentation it is written in fragmented English. d. If I ever get the code or product to work, it is usually not what I thought I was getting, it is slower than molasses. I am sure there are open source success stories (apache, Dot Net Nuke), but what is the percentage of success? (< 5%). And Dot Net Nuke is really slow. How can CIO's and organizations justify the extra time spent trying to figure out, setup, and maintain the product? The TCO cannot be reasonable. Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 10:56 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Open Source

# re: Open Source
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I could never use open source. They always have this "if feature X is missing, why don't you do it yourself" attitude. Not everyone has time for that. Of course there are good products that came out of the OS movement (e.g mostly *nix stuff), but the ones coming out of the .NET (like the castle project trash and nhibernate), they're all poory products.
Left by Trilogy on Aug 30, 2005 3:45 AM

# re: Open Source
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While I certainly don't dislike open source, you do have a point. In my experience the best open source projects are those aimed at developers and technical people, such as NUnit or your own example Apache. Also open source projects aimed at Windows users tend to be better than ones aimed at Linux users. I think this is more of a cultural thing at the developer level. Of course there are always success stories such as Firefox that breaks the trend. Open source is young and still finding it's way. If anything it has spured other companies such as Microsoft to fight harder.
Left by Scott Kuhl on Aug 30, 2005 5:53 AM

# re: Open Source
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The computer-using world is not divided into OSS lovers and haters, in spite of the attempts of certain parties to polarise us. Just as with proprietary software, there are good and bad open-source programs. Most of us just look for software that gives the most overall satisfaction; cost and openness are just two of many considerations. For me, I use OpenOffice (open) for word processing, but mainly UltraEdit (prop.) for text-editing. I use C++Builder (prop.) and ActivePerl (open) for programming. I use Windows (prop.) on my desktop and Linux (open) on my laptop.

We shouldn't fall into the trap of viewing either side as communists or fascists; let's just pick whatever software suits us best.
Left by Tony on Aug 30, 2005 11:02 AM

# re: Open Source
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NUnit is a great program. And I don't "hate" Open Source, and I am not one of the naysayers. I am just saying that I have not been that impressed overall.
Left by Scott Miller on Aug 30, 2005 1:25 PM

# re: Open Source
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I'd have to agree about the slow part. Every large OSS project I can think of (Firefox, OpenOffice, KDE, Gnome, etc) is incredibly bloated and slow. I guess when you got that many hands in the code things get messy, plus it's more fun to add new features than write optimized code.

I do have to disagree with this statement though: "I have to build the code, often from the command line." What's wrong with using the command line? Not everything has to be point and click.
Left by Matt K on Aug 30, 2005 7:48 PM

# re: Open Source
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Ever heard of Debian's apt-get client Synaptic? Point-and-click, all the way. Just add the universe and backports repositories [still no command line, just point and click] and search for your app. Check-mark what you want to install, it sorts out dependencies, installs everything for you. No worries! Same goes for RPMs in RedHat/Fedora, Mandrake, etc.

The only time I compile anything from source, is when I have to recompile my, erm erm, Apache server for modules I want to add. And that's too painless to mention!

And before I start a my-distro-is-better-than-your-distro flame war: I do use and love Slackware, RHEL, and Kubuntu as well.

Are you sure your post wasn't sponsored by M$? Perhaps the audit came about through an "anonymous" tip-off from an insider...
Left by Jernau Gurgeh on Sep 05, 2005 9:31 PM

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