Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beauty of open source

This article presents an analogy between software projects and beauty: open source projects have natural beauty, whereas commercial projects acquire beauty through cosmetics and makeup. [see previous article].



Beauty

Software project


Natural beauty is, well, natural, whereas cosmetics give artificial sense of beauty.

Open source software are built when some motivated developer feels like building something, where as commercial software are mostly built by engineers who are paid and forced to build.


Natural beauty is long lasting, whereas makeup wear down after few hours or days.

Open source software lives longer, whereas commercial projects tend to get out beaten by competition sooner or later.


You are born beautiful and don't have to pay for natural beauty, whereas cosmetics cost money, big money.

Open source software are mostly free, whereas you have to pay for commercial software.


It is hard for salesman to sell fruits and water to enhance your beauty, whereas it is easy for salesman to sell cream and nail-polish. Sometimes these advertisements are deceptive.

Usually you don't find people advertising their open source work much, whereas companies have dedicated sales team to sell the commercial product. Sometimes these sales pitch are deceptive.


Natural beauty is usually open and does not hide scars, whereas cosmetics are meant to hide scars, marks, etc., to give a (false) sense of beauty.

Open source software are open source code, where developers can jump right in the code and see things. Commercial software hides the source code, and instead presents documentation, power points, sales pitch, etc., to give a (false) sense of what is inside and actually hiding what is inside (source code).


Natural beauty does not require support. On the other hand if you are putting a nail polish, you will need a remover; if you are putting on make up, you will need to remove it before bed.

Open source software usually comes with no support. If you have it, you own it, and you put up with it. Commercial software usually comes with (expensive) support system. If you have it, you need to keep paying for bug fixes and upgrades. Otherwise it will harm you sooner or later.