Non-Developers to Open Source Acolytes: Tell Me Why I Care

Sunday, 11 March 2007 @ 1130

Elisa Camahort, Pres of Events & Mktg, BlogHer
Dawn Foster, Dir of Community & Partner Programs, Compiere
Annalee Newitz, Freelance Writer
Erica Rios, Internet Project Mgr, Anita Borg Institute For Women and Technology

[After leaving the previous panel, I came to this one in progress…]

Lack of support:

  • A major part of choosing an OS solution is the quality of the online community: documentation and peer support.
  • You can actually see a contributors code work before hiring them.
  • Many times you might be able to purchase support piecemeal for OS.

Code inclusion violations:

  • Just know the license under which the code is released.

Lack of security:

  • [insert standard arguments here]

Cost of making it usable/customer service is a hidden cost:

  • This sticks. Free software is free as in freedom and not free beer to paraphrase Richard Stallman.
  • There need to be financial resources dedicated to OS solutions.

OS is anti-capitalist:

  • On the contrary, there is a VERY healthy dose of capitalism fueling OS.

OS as an ethical choice:
“Microsoft is in the Dark Ages of their evil…Google is the new evil, but they use open source so maybe they are a good, new evil” – Newitz

OS is the public library of the software realm. It is all about access to use and contribute. Particularly to groups that have systemic barriers otherwise.