What is open source?
Simple: you can read the code.
You can see how it’s made.
Two main characteristics....ﬁrst, it’s free as in beer
Second (much more important and interesting), it’s free as in freedom.
Richard M.Stallman is the founder of the free software movement
Four basic freedoms
• The freedom to run the program for any
• The freedom to study how the program
works, and adapt it to your needs
• The freedom to redistribute copies
• The freedom to improve the program
One of these is full of potential
One of these is sterile
Anyone can do whatever they like with it.
NEA: Nobody owns it, Everyone can use it, Anyone can improve it
Improved in terms of quality
“With enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”
Improved in terms of quantity of code (functionality)
People add layers on top of other people’s code
As the code base grows, the potential grows
Improves chances of it being used for something not intended by the originator
All ﬁne in theory, what about in practice
Reputation for being ugly...maybe beautiful on the inside
Lots of companies quietly making a fortune
Valued at $23 billion
Firefox, Thunderbird, smaller ones such as Fennec
$60m a year
FreeBSD 5. Bundles over a hundred of the most popular Open Source products.
Safari. Based on Webkit. Open source.
BT make money from their hardware, which uses Linux.
A cool, calm, totally unbiased
comparison of the merits of both open
source and proprietary software
Open source Proprietary
Cost of licence £0.00 $$$!
Cost of upgrade £0.00 $$$!
Cost of change £0.00 / Time $$$ / Time / Impossible
Ability to reconﬁgure Unlimited Variable
Ability to innovate High Low
Ability to extend High Low
Ability to develop Varied Varied
Look and Feel Poor Poor
Why? Let’s look at beneﬁts. NOT from agency view, but from business owners view.
Ability to innovate - your business may depend on this. Software companies daren’t read feedback from customers
Look and Feel - our Open Source Show And Tell event shows us they are investing in this.
Vendors ask customers what they want
Ford: If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would’ve asked for faster horses
Open source is the demand side supplying itself
Two types of licence:
Permissive licences = you can do whatever you want (example: BSD)
Copyleft = Opposite of copyright, rather than adding restrictions you’re removing them
(example: GPL). “Join the Family”. Derived works must keep this licence. Freedoms are
preserved. IF you distribute improvements, you must re-publish on these terms.
Community is as important as the code
Credibility in peer group, altruism, real passion for the product, fun, creativity
....and maybe even money
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they ﬁght you, then you win.”
Evolution of open source:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they ﬁght you, then you win.
Proprietary vendors have fought against open source (SCO case), now claiming their products
work well with open source.
9 Examples (many of these are arguably best of breed, and improving all the time):
Firefox - 200 million users
2003: Internet Explorer had ~99% of the browser market
Q4 2008 Browser Share; Internet Explorer 68.12%, Firefox 21.34%, Safari 7.93%
In the spirit of giving credit where it’s due...
• mag3737 for “Open” • lombo311 for “Old School Smoker!”
• Orin Optiglot for “Choices” • ~Dezz~ for “Father of the Eye -
• ruSSeLL hiGGs for
• Skip The Budgie for “lego_relativity”
“FREEDOM IS A TOILET
TISSUE” • BluFlowr for “Triﬂe”
• Tambako the Jaguar for “Beer • phoenixdailyphoto for “Boring”
• Adactio for “Hackers”
• eecue for “RMS: Richard • David Laribee for “Geek Credibility
• scragz for “Bored” • World of Oddy for “Happy Hippie,