Sunday, October 14, 2007

Open Source sucks... (sort of)

I have been struggling with ambivalent feelings about Open Source for years. On one side I applaud the noble approach of millions of volunteers who are doing their best in a huge collaborative environment to develop working code and help the rest of us with free software that does (almost) the same as many commercial products of some of the big sharks in the industry (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, ...). On the other side, I have difficulty believing that, other than some basic software functionality, the OS community will never be able to produce the kind of robust software a project team working for money to pay the bills and support a family can do.

I came across this article that dots the i's and crosses the t's on the Open Source free merchandise. One paragraph I believe says the entire story:

"...this is yet another example of why open source will never fully replace paid for software. If you have a commercial product people can call up the vendor and scream at them to fix bugs. When I sold commercial software and someone called me needing something fixed or added I usually had it the same day. However in the open source world you have a lot of people who have a highly inflated sense of importance who think their software is the greatest thing that was ever written and it’s crap!..."

Something tells me this guy speaks from his heart and very much represents the thinking process of many IT directors in the Industry. Would you dare hang your heavy duty transactional systems that need to be online 24x7 on a freebie? Who do you call when things break down? Uncle Sam? I doubt it. Even if you bring me an IT director boasting about his mainstream systems reliance on Open Source, I'd have serious doubts about his capabilities and managerial skill. Anyways, exceptions justify the rules.

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