Monday, May 07, 2007

What drives OSS?

It was recently posted to slashdot that boredom is what is driving open source developers. This may be true, but isn't it just one of the things that drives OSS development?

How many of us have researched for a production that does what we want, only to find that the software that does EXACTLY what we want is so far out of our price range that you would have to take out a loan to afford it? So, that said, isn't cost another thing that drives OSS? Most of the software out there is free, but if you want support, that is where you pay $$$, or find an online community. That is the advantage that OSS has over commercial software is even though you could pay for support if you wanted to, the community is large enough that you can normally find the support you need in a forum.

So it is boredom AND cost in my opinion, that drives OSS software developers. Granted, I have searched for a product and not found the features I would want. If I were a full fledged OSS developer, I would take to developing my own software in that case, leading to a third, albeit a little less immediate source of drive, but still another source that needs mentioning.

All in all, it is not just one thing, but many things that drives OSS developers, just like innovation.

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