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Open Mind Open Source

On 12th April I attended the seminar ‘Is Open Source Ready for the Mainstream?’ arranged by the SDForum (http://www.sdforum.org/SDForum/). It gave me a good exposure about the current state and development of Open Source technology in financial organizations, various license issues, Open Source Analytics and integration and management of open source solutions. Here are some interesting points noted by Scott Collison (Founder & CEO Ohloh Corporation) and my comments:

* Open source development is a global with Europe being the largest contributor

This is a bit surprising as North America is not the leading center for Open Source. Even with the presence of the Silicon Valley and all the big IT giants what makes Europe be the largest contributor for open software? (Please let me know if anyone has any explanation or answer to this question)

* Organizations type using OSS
1. Medium & Large : 41%
2. Government and Education : 6%
3. Small : 53%


It’s interesting to see that the small firms have the maximum use of open source software. This is natural as a start-up or small firm will like to minimize the total cost bypassing the software licensing cost. It’s very sad see that the education and government sector accounts for only 6% usage. Especially the education field where there is a scarcity of funds the usage of open software’s should be high. Also the education field which is not concerned with a high amount of security and commercial usage must use the open source to the fullest extend. The academia in the developing countries like India where the software licensing cost can go very high should be highly benefited. The simplest example is of the statistical software ‘R’ which may be used instead of SAS and SPSS, MySQL, PostGreSql instead of Oracle etc… I guess Open source software has a tremendous potential in the government and academic field.

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