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Sunday, January 8th, 2006, 5:29 am

Open Source Abundance

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Linux desktop – picture from kde-look.org; click to browse the source

OPEN Source is renowned for many reasons, but (monetary) abundance is barely one of them. Abundance, however, due to the factor of cost, can often be perceived in a different way. Many software options are available , even all at once, because licences have a different meaning under ideologies like the GPL.

Practical example: I have about 9 installations on this domain which involve a database and are absolutely free. Also, there are at least 3 statistics packages that cater for monitoring. All of these are free. That freedom gives a sense of eternal ownership — the everlasting affordability and the freedom to modify at will.

The World Wide Web offers many other free applications, either as Web-based services or downloads without restrictions. To take an opposite example, Photoshop requires licences for a desktop installation. Being a desktop-side example, the deficiencies that cross one’s mind is the need to perpetually renew licences and, the lack of portability, and growth that indeed entails a considerable cost.

I was somewhat amused when a fellow Webmaster, who had opted for Windows hosting, came to discovers that statistics must be paid for as a separate commercial package. This come to demonstrate what a role cost truly plays. One has to pay extra just to be able to understand what happens on his/her own Web site.

Often you may find yourself confessing: “Yes, shared hosting on a Linux or Windows server might seem equal in terms of initial cost”. However, When basic extensions and growth come to mind, as well as the possibility of large operating licences and dedicated servers, it become apparent why Windows will struggle to compete. Only the false perception that brands and costly products are best bar none can perpetuate a myth. Heavily-invested-in lies support this myth.

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