Technology Services

What is Open Source?

Strictly speaking, this should be "free and open source" as it is possible to have open source software that is not free (as in "freedom"), but anyway, the gist of it is this.  With open source software comes a bundle of freedoms that are guaranteed by the application of a particular license.  We almost always use the GNU General Public License and what this gives you is the freedom to run, copy and modify the software in any way you want.  You can read the source code, change it, study it and learn from it; nothing is hidden.

One of the effects of using open source is that you are not beholden to us, or anyone else, if you get a problem with the code after we've been run over by the proverbial bus.  Since all the source code is available, you can get anyone with the necessary skills to come in and do the work.  This lowers the risk to you and your business.  If you find a bug in Windows you just have to hope that Microsoft fixes it at some point in the future; but don't hold your breath.  If you find a bug in an open source package you can, if you really need it fixed, either fix it yourself, or pay someone to fix it for you.  The license guarantees your right to do that and the nature of open source gives you all the tools you need to achieve it.

You can read more about free and open source software on Wikipedia.

We always use free and open source software tools whenever possible.

  • No vendor lock-in.
  • No license payments.  Costs are kept to a minimum as you only pay for our time and skills.
  • No license counting.  Your freedom to run, copy and modify the software, free of charge, is guaranteed.  At any time, on any platform, on any number of systems.
  • Nothing is hidden.  You get to see the source code, pull it apart and learn how it works.
  • You even have the right distribute the software to others if you choose, provided you give those to whom you distribute the software the same freedom to run, copy, modify and distribute as we have given you (or which the original developers gave to us).