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BCS Open Source Talk


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A talk I gave to the British Computer Society's North London Branch about the rise of Open Source Software. The talk was given in April 2004.

A talk I gave to the British Computer Society's North London Branch about the rise of Open Source Software. The talk was given in April 2004.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Open Source: It's Already Here
      • Dave Cross
      • Magnum Solutions Ltd
      • [email_address]
  • 2. Some Facts
    • Linux is a great desktop operating system
    • Anything you can do in Windows, you can also do on Linux
  • 3. Some More Facts
    • is as powerful as MS Office
    • Mozilla is a better browser than IE
    • Evolution does anything that Outlook does
      • (and is less vulnerable to virus attack)
  • 4. Or Opinons
    • There are many more “facts” like these
    • But they are just personal opinions
    • They only convince Open Source fans
      • (like me)
    • So let's try another approach
  • 5. Another Approach
    • Who has used Linux?
    • Who has used Linux today?
    • Who has used any Open Source app today?
  • 6. Another Approach
    • Who has used PayPal today?
    • Who has used Google today?
    • Who has used Amazon today?
    • These are all Open Source applications
  • 7. Open Source Business
    • All of these companies run their business on Open Source software
    • There are many more like them
    • What software are they using?
    • What advantages do they see?
  • 8. Web Site Software
    • An operating system (e.g. Windows)
    • A Web Server (e.g. IIS)
    • A Database (e.g. SQL Server)
    • A Programming Language (e.g. .Net)
    • What are the Open Source equivalents for these?
  • 9. LAMP
    • An operating system (Linux)
    • A Web Server (Apache)
    • A Database (MySQL)
    • A Programming Language (Perl, PHP and Python)
  • 10. Linux
    • Unix Clone
    • Originally for x86 architecture
    • Now runs on many platforms
    • Well established as an alternative to Unix
    • Long heritage – GNU Project
    • Many distributions
    • Commercial support
  • 11. Apache
    • “ A patchy server”
    • Modular architecture that makes it simple to add new features
    • The web server that all others emulate
    • Phenomenally successful
  • 12. Apache Runs the Web Source: Netcraft (http: //
  • 13. MySQL
    • Small and fast database server
    • Compromises RDBMS functionality for speed
    • Alternatives
      • SQLite (even smaller, even faster)
      • PostgreSQL (slightly slower, fully featured)
    • Most commercial DBs run on Linux
      • One major exception
  • 14. Programming
    • Perl
      • Long history of being used for the web
      • Very high level language
      • Very fast when used with Apache (mod_perl)
    • PHP
      • More like ASP
      • Code embedded in HTML
  • 15. Programming
    • Python
      • Similar to Perl
      • More OO-based
    • Other Alternatives
      • Java (not Open Source)
      • Mono (Open Source version of .Net)
  • 16. Open Source Advantages
    • Cost
    • Security
    • Support
    • Quality
    • Control
  • 17. Cost
    • No license costs
    • Still pay for support and training
  • 18. Security
    • Source code is available to everyone
    • Security becomes very important
    • “ Security by obscurity” is not an option
    • Holes get fixed quickly
  • 19. Support
    • Most Open Source projects have very active support communities
    • Most bugs get fixed within a day
    • Fixes available immediately
  • 20. Quality
    • Programmer pride
    • Constant peer review
    • Meritocracy
  • 21. Control
    • You can see exactly what the program does
    • You can change what the program does
    • Documented interfaces and data formats
    • Not tied to one company's view of the world
  • 22. Conclusions
    • Everyone uses Open Source software every day
    • Some large businesses have already chosen to move to Open Source software
    • Many of these businesses are very successful
    • There are good business reasons for using Open Source software
  • 23. Questions