We met online several years ago on forums, chatrooms, and other websites. We shared tips and tactics on how to use open source software to mostly create infographics and videos. Due to our common love for open source software, we decided to create this hub to share information on what we feel are the best tools, how to use them, and news involving the open source community.
Open Source software tends to offer more benefits to the user and less to the actual company creating it. Software companies require revenue streams from their products, and can gain them by offering upgrades, product support, and by the actual sale of the software itself. Open source removes these benefits from the company and takes a different approach. One in which the efforts of a community of developers ends up creating software that is more reliable, stable, and auditable.
If normal software has a lot of bugs when it is released, typically those bugs get reported to the software developer. At that point the developer fixes the bug and decides when they are going to release the updated “bug free” version of their software. With open source, if a developer notices a bug, they have a tendency to fix it. Perhaps it’s just part of a developer’s mindset to fix something even if they are not getting paid for it, or maybe the developer feels as though it’s his or her civic duty as a user of that software to help make it better. Regardless, with open source, bugs have a reputation of being fixed within hours of discovery, and updated versions are immediately uploaded by the developer and available for immediate download. Because of this, open source software is often viewed as being more reliable.
For these very same reasons, open source software also has a reputation for being more stable. Developers are constantly fixing and tweaking it, making it run more smoothly with every opportunity they have. Having software that is not only more reliable, but more stable as a result of being open source are two huge benefits.
Since the code is posted openly, it also becomes significantly more auditable as well. Users can check and make sure the software is secure and that the code is written properly. The code can also be routinely reviewed on a more frequent basis since all users have access to it. This allows for issues in the software to be identified more quickly, making repairs happen almost immediately. This creates much more enjoyment from a user’s perspective because they won’t have to wait months or years for a fixed version to be released.
Lastly, the use of open source software also allows for more creative expression among developers. Literally any developer can chime in with proposed upgrades, fixes and edits. In general people seem to enjoy what they do more when they are allowed some creative freedom during the process. Self-expression is important in all areas, even ones in which conformity seems to be the norm.
As momentum and popularity continue to grow for open source software solutions, so will the advancement as software as a whole. The collective developmental abilities of thousands of programmers will always be more effective than that of a small team designed to create proprietary software. Allowing a group of developers in that magnitude to work together will catapult the quality and ability of all open source software in the future.