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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Some Perspective On The Future Of Open Source!!

Danny Bradbury shares his perspective on the future of the opensource. He highlights that like many developments in the IT sector, open source seemed to come out of nowhere. In the next five years, supporters expect the use of open source to grow for the cost advantage that it confers and also because it offers more flexibility. We have covered extensively about the shortcomings of open source in lack of business model for opensource, open source costly & litigatious, Open source - Reality Check, Open Source- Emerging Support Models & Open source - not yet ready for enterprise and several more.
"There's the flexibility that you have to prototype - if you don't like it you can throw it away. It doesn't have to cost anything." Statistics from Netcraft show that 70 per cent of web servers on the internet use the open source Apache compared to a share of roughly 25 per cent for Microsoft's Internet Information Server. Many governments around the world are recommending the use of open source in its performance review, following national governments across Europe who are developing a public sector love affair with open source.
This could have a cumulative effect,argues Brian Hanley, director of agile development consultancy Exoftware.
- First, companies who want to do business with governments will need to embrace open source.
- Second, as governments continue to show support of open source, we should see a knock on effect on the private sector
- Third, government systems are complex, which will force the open source community to innovate in line with more complex needs of government." Developments such as these are bound to leave Microsoft worried in the coming years.
Among the other views expressed include :
- If the open source model does continue to grow as much as its advocates suggest, its underlying development methodologies could change.
- Open source projects will adopt more structured traditional methodologies as its development matures. In the future more OSS [open source software] projects will employ traditional methodologies to code, control and coordinate the software development tree, and this will most likely be at an increasing rate as open source software projects become bigger.
- Supporters expect the number of significant and important OSS projects will have grown significantly in five years' time- this would reflect a maturing of the open source concept as it gains respectability, thanks not only to its adoption within the private sector but also its popularity among governments. I still think that opensource has a long way to go before becoing a mainstream mechanism inside enterprises above the basic stack in the landscape.

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