Open source technology is very useful. It gives people access to so much more material and widens the possibilities of any project. Its first benefit is that it’s free. That encourages people to test software or scripts out. If it turns out it’s something they don’t like or not what they really need, it’s easy to delete it and move on to someone else. No money has been invested, nothing lost – except a little bit of time. Another encouraging thing is that often many great people try and improve the open source scripts and software, which is better for the end user. The public’s collective knowledge is really immense.
People like not being limited in what they can do. A recent article notes that open source developers prefer working for the Android and not the iPhone and that more projects are built for the Android than its competitor. The article states: “Android likely gained in popularity in 2009 thanks in part to its open source nature and the fact it has the support of a large handset vendors and operators.”
There are great programs that use open source technology for Mac and Windows computers. They are alternatives to paid programs and sometimes they are even better. Thunderbird, for example, is a viable substitute for Microsoft Outlook. VLC is an open-source media player. I’ve had the experience on trying to view a video with Quicktime and it wouldn’t play right, but it would work just fine on VLC, without prompting me to install a bunch of supplements or codecs.
Personally, using open source things gives me confidence in the product. I like free things. It’s great knowing that so many resources are made available by talented programmers to help make our lives easier. While it is rewarding and impressive to come up with your own script to use in a project, for example, sometimes the cost may outweigh the benefit. It may result in many hours being lost trying to figure out how to do something. If someone else already did the work, why not save time and use their knowledge instead? There’s nothing wrong with saving time.