December 11, 2012

Four reasons I like developing with open source code

I have been a developer for a number of years (yes, it’s a large-ish number) and I’ve worked on teams that have developed software on commercial platforms, on teams that have used a mixture of open source and commercial components, and on teams that have used primarily open source. Overall, I’ve developed (no pun intended) a preference for using open source tools and components whenever it’s feasible.  Here are some of the reasons why I prefer to develop with open source code:

1. Availability

“Because it’s there” may not sound like a compelling reason; however, when working on a thorny problem, finding that someone already has a viable solution, or a good foundation for my own solution can prove invaluable.

An area where the open side of open source software (OSS) really comes into play is the availability of OSS solutions for just about any general need. Does the project need to build in compression to reduce bandwidth usage? Zlib is an excellent, well-tested possibility. Need SSL to meet your security team’s requirements? The OpenSSL project has got your back. Does your web app do complex analysis that you’d like to show off in interactive graphs? Take a look at the Data-Driven Documents JavaScript suite.

Thanks to the passionate community of open source developers, there are a tremendous number of libraries, tools, scripts etc. covering an extraordinary range...Read more at