My college had been too busy with Festember, the cultural fest. So, organizing an SFW ( Software Freedom Week – celebrating opensource ) has got a bit delayed. Still, to keep the brains working a bit, I had given my juniors a ( rather simple ) task of penning down their views on open source. Since it was a weekend when the whole college was dancing to the beats of Sivamani and swaying to the voice of playback singer Karthik, I never expected much of a response from the 80-odd strength of the CSE department second years. Moreover, I had given a deadline too, which was midnight, yesterday. In fact, I expected only about ten entries.
But then, mails started pouring in at regular intervals. I have received about 30 articles, a number much more than my expectation. I have been reading the articles since yesterday evening, whenever I could find time. It is evident that students have sought the help of the internet. But, certain articles were really well written ( might have been a direct rip from some website too… Still, the message they convey is strong ).
I am planning to publish a few of their articles out here in my blog.
Before that, here are some excerpts…
“When the world is wide OPEN …
Why do u require doors or WINDOWS…?”
“What the closed-source players lack is the recognition that the open source movement is a result of years of collaboration with the customer, involving them in every step of development, and delivering premier class support and services – a completely different business model to what they are accustomed to.”
“Any time you give something away for free, you are looking to make money off something else as a result. In this case, the free software compliments a core asset (usually also software). By increasing the market share of the compliment, you increase the market size of the core asset. Open source comes down squarely on one side of this debate, since open source software is an extreme case of an open standard: Not just the interfaces are exposed, but the entire body of source code. Furthermore, competing vendors are more likely to participate in an open source process, not just an open standards process, because there are no hidden components that may be changed out from under them.”
“Open source culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of found and created content. Examples include collage, found footage film, music, and appropriation art. Open source culture is one in which fixations, works entitled to copyright protection, are made generally available. Participants in the culture can modify those products and redistribute them back into the community or other organizations.”
“Open source is a definite force to reckon with for the companies that create trialwares and for Microsoft and Apple.”
“The main advantage of open source is that the number of developers is enormous as compared to any company. This leads to more ideas , better applications and better performance.We are right now in the transition of completely changing to open source software. By present statistics it shouldnt take a long time…”
“However, if open source does usurp journal science, several new challenges are created. How are scientific contributions by researchers measured for tenure and grants? How will the quality of science change? Time will tell.”