Lately I’ve heard a number of people speak about open source and more or less say that there is just one reason why customers and users like free and open source. What makes this all the more interesting is that different people will have different single reasons. Like most choices in life, several factors play into how we decide to pick any particular option, though we may weight the factors differently.
Here are some of the ONE reasons why customers and users like free and open source:
- “I get a good feeling when I know I can look at the source code, though I might not.”
- “I can modify the source code, and I probably will.”
- “I like/demand the freedom.”
- “Collaborative innovation across boundaries and borders is the only way to develop software today.”
- “Free and open source software is more secure since more people can look at it and fix bugs.
- “Free and open source software is not bound by traditional corporate interests and development schedules.”
- “Free (as in price) is good.”
- “Anything that sticks it to [Company of your choice] has got to be good.”
- “Governments have a responsibility to promote and use software widely available to all at no cost.”
- “I don’t want to pay a lot up front, but I might be wiling to pay support and maintenance over time.”
- “It’s a fad, and I want to be in with the cool people.”
- “It’s the future of all software development.”
I’m not saying that all of these are valid for all people and all free and open source projects, but some of them are for some of them (you know what I mean). What’s your main reason or what reasons have you heard?