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Friday, July 08, 2005

John Udell & Open Source On Windows

John Udell at his pragmatic best writes about the strange bedfellows can make a perfect team for software development (this in a way shows that it needs a lot more organizational support from opensource peddlers to help opensource evaluation get into mainstream of enterprises.) John writes,while trying out an unfamiliar open source component, even if the software I’m working on will deploy to Linux, I’ll sometimes develop it on Windows first. Because on Windows, an open source component is likely to come with an installer that just works. That’s a huge advantage. The game of software development is dominated by the evaluation of available components and the selection of those that best meet needs. To play well you must be able to evaluate and select as easily and quickly as you can.
On Unix/Linux systems, component tire-kicking often isn’t so easy or so quick. There may be binary installers for individual components, but when you start combining things, you’ll often need to build from source. It’s disheartening to invest such effort in a component that turns out not to be one you’re going to use.The Windows culture of instant gratification offers the fastest route, I’ll take that shortcut. When it comes to instant gratification, the Macintosh generally outshines Windows. But little of that shine reaches the basement where open source developers dwell. If you want to use libxml2 and Python together, OS X may be the most awkward place to do so. Although LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) is often synonymous with open source, Windows can be a solid leg supporting the platform. The rising popularity of PHP on Windows servers is one indication of this trend. This is where the business models of the open source support companies should step in quick and make these support happen - this is a prerequisite before enteprises begin to consider open source more seriously.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"