Choices, choices, choices

Why Open Source?

I give a lot of presentations throughout the year and last night I represented Joomla at the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT in a panel debate on Open Source knowledge/skills gaps across HM Government.

Of course I was prepared for a barrage of the usual questions on Why Open Source? and I was expecting to trot out all the usual answers:

  • Freedom
  • Cost
  • No vendor lock in
  • Community
  • etc.

But after myself and the representatives of Drupal and Plone had explained our own strengths and weaknesses and the inevitable question was asked I surprised myself and found myself giving a different answer. It must have been a good one as many of the audience, the panel and myself quickly wrote it down to use again in the future.

What are the benefits of choosing Open Source software?

Of course it is all of the points above but perhaps the most crucial and important one especially for a client faced with making a decision on what software solution to use and whether they should go down an Open or Closed/Proprietary route is this.

Open Source software is the ability for YOU the user to choose the features that YOU want and not the software developer dictating the features YOU can have.