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Open Source

This section covers Open Source software and systems on Windows, *BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) and Linux.

Like it or hate it, the Open Source concept is becoming increasingly viable and pervasive. Its effects are going to be both profound and interesting - as in the Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times'.

We have used Open Source software for many years, we advise clients about Open Source, we promote it whenever it makes sense - which is increasingly almost everywhere. We are prejudiced in favor of Open Source.

Why are we advocates for Open Source? We are not blind to its limitations, nor exempt from its occasional frustrations. Nor do we think we are excessively stupid.

Simply put - when all the pros and cons of Open Source have been exhaustively argued over, debated or flamed to death - Open Source is about who controls your freedom to control your - economic or national - destiny.

With Open Source if you don't like the functionality, don't like the documentation, don't like the performance or any other aspect of a system or package, because the source code is freely available you have the control to change it in any way that suits your purpose. You have the freedom to act in your own self-interest. To protect your own self-interest. The you in this context can be an individual or a sovereign group of individuals - sometimes called a country! The self-interest can be personal, commercial or altruistic.

Clearly it is not always practical, and only rarely necessary, to modify a system or application, but that is not the point. One or more applications or systems will be simply too important, too strategic for individuals, companies, states, nations and - without wishing to sound too idealistic - perhaps even the planet, to simply cede control to third parties. To wait for third parties to fix a problem, provide an essential upgrade or even to continue to provide the software.

These pages do not provide answers, rather they try and provide information from which you may derive answers appropriate to your circumstances.

Title Contents and coverage
Open Guides One of the great myths of Open Source is that documentation is poor, inadequate or non-existent. In fact one of the great surprises about Open Source is how rarely this is true. In general the quality and volume of documentation is remarkably high and on-line. There are exceptions. These guides are designed to plug gaps where we consider the available documentation to be less than adequate.
Open Source Overview Open Source is a new paradigm. Like all new paradigms it must be understood - objectively - before it's power can be harnessed. These pages provide information from ZYTRAX and third parties to help understand the applicability of Open Source in education, as a development technique, for small and medium businesses. Hey the big guys can look after themselves!
Open Source FAQ Answers to common questions and misconceptions about Open Source.

Problems, comments, suggestions, corrections (including broken links) or something to add? Please take the time from a busy life to 'mail us' (at top of screen), the webmaster (below) or info-support at zytrax. You will have a warm inner glow for the rest of the day.

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Page modified: July 11 2011.

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