Sunday, June 19, 2005

Real Value of Open Source

I am quoting here what Tim Leung quotes Wladawsky-Berger (Vice president, Technical Strategy and Innovation, IBM):
I know that there are a lot of people who spend a lot of time worrying about that they key to open source is to look at the source code of software. Trust me, that is really boring. If I tell you that you can now spend your Saturday night looking at the source code of AIX, boy I hope you don't get excited, because then we have a real problem. The real value of open source software is that allows communities to work together and solve problems.
This is very true. The greatest value of open source that I have experienced is we (either individuals or communities) can solve problem very quickly because we can understand what's really going on with a debugger in hand. When we know that, a solution is usually very easy to find. In comparison, the alternative of fighting somebody's technical support organization to get a new certified jar or DLL is not appealing at all, to say the least.