Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reasons you should try open source

My reply submitted in Food service forum.
There is a funny story that once a man who moved to a new place asked a Car dealer how to go to nearby grocery. The grocery was infact 3 blocks away but the car dealer explained that he must buy a BMW because it would save time & money for buying fuel (because certain models were hybrid) and he could reach grocery store in only 3 minutes time (if he walk it would take 15 minutes, :()!

Here Le Crossant should not be deterred by XYZ compliance. He told he had been running a small coffee shop with Cash register. He needs a small solution. If he can go walking he may need a bike or small car. Not BMW.  All XYZ compliance were to ensure rip off simple guys walking in front of store with FUD theory.  If I were in his shoe, I would select any Decent system that has lowest installation cost, can be maintained by myself, or I can hire local technician or IT guy with few hours contract to customize to produce daily and weekly sales report.

Cost effective means if a shopping bag can be carried by one hand, spent few bucks for a Cart to make it easier but must say NO to any offer for riding elephants!

Everyone should try Open source before dealing with any closed soruce product. Two main reasons. First of all he does not need to pay single cent to use it as it is.  ( I use Firefox and Apache - they don't charge any thing but their source is there). Well, there are FREE closed source products. Why should you avoid them?  Because you never know if this is Free cheese in mouse trap, ie, if there are daemon under the hood,  some day would change policy and force you to pay a lot , or die suddently, or ask your head for changing some report.  In case of open source you have everything - including source code and your son who knows few lines of programming can fix typos. Or you can go to oDesk or Rent-a-coder or hire someone recompiling code in few bucks. Interestingly if you hang on the forum you can get same thing in almost at zero cost. Second reason its good is even the coders of open source die you still have source code to survive! Open source community also reports all known errors and often community users fix them. So they become less buggy than Polished Brands (I saw most of the Polished commercial software love to hide their bugtrackers)!

Open source is a new business paradigm. It does not lock you and its more secured than Hidden code ( who knows Free or low cost Closed soruce has a malware to track you).  If some say hey your Software is not XYZ compliant, you just request original developer to make it! You may pay the same amount but you have full control in your hand.