The List: Greatest Open Source Developments

10 Sep

The List: Greatest Open Source Developments

The List: Greatest Open Source Developments

Open-source products tend to be driven by what features the user base is actually asking for vs. those being determined by a commercial software company’s profit motives. Another open-source advantage is freedom from vendor dependency, the seemingly continuous treadmill of upgrades and uncertainties that can be expensive and potentially disruptive to an agency’s daily operations.

Of course, nothing guarantees open-source success. The universe of products is large and code quality varies from impressive to unreliable.

The top open-source programs in the public sector mirror those favored by commercial companies, said Michael Goulde, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. Many of them fall within the ubiquitous “LAMP” product set: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, an operating system, Web server, database and scripting language, respectively.

The List:



Almost 50 million Web sites worldwide use the Apache Web server as their foundation, which gives the technology a market share of nearly 70 percent, according to Netcraft, an Internet services company based in Bath, England, in its latest Web Server Survey. Apache’s closest competitor is Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) with about 20 percent of the market. Government IT Firms, Companies, and Everyday users are drawn to Apache because it is fast, customizable, reliable, and most importantly stable.



This open-source database management program, created by two Swedish developers in the 1990s, has more than 7 million users worldwide. Morrow said MySQL offers a speed benefit compared with commercial database programs for some applications.”Out of the box, MySQL tends to run faster than Oracle for the most common types of queries that we do on the Web, which are ’selects,’ where you are pulling information out of the database not putting data in,” he said.Morrow also gives MySQL high marks for its flexibility. “You can easily customize everything” to fit individual requirements, he said. With a commercial package, customization may not be possible if it affects the core operation of the program, he added. “If something doesn’t work on the commercial side, you have to wait for the next release,” he said. “That’s just unacceptable.”


Open Office

The OpenOffice suite, backed by a community organized by Sun in 2000, provides a set of office productivity programs, including a word processor, spreadsheet generator and presentation program, that brings open-source advantages to a software market dominated by Microsoft. OpenOffice’s strengths include support for multiple computing platforms and spoken languages, and most importantly its completely free.



Public-sector technology experts say simplicity and efficiency are two of the top benefits of PHP, a general-purpose scripting language that moves data from databases to Web servers, among other tasks such as blogging.

Arsenal of more recent developments:

– Firefox Web Browser

– Wiki collaboration software. This server-based tool lets people use their Web browsers to quickly create and edit Web pages. This lightweight authoring and collaboration system lets people use shared versions of documents

The universe of effective open-source products is a growing field that will soon challenge Software giants with its “just as effective but cheaper” solutions that will either overcome the established competition or force them to reconsider their strategy by putting innovation and accessibility before profits.

Please share your opinions on open-source and its developments. Pinged and Referenced by DigBack

2 Responses to “The List: Greatest Open Source Developments”

  1. GoBloggit The List: Greatest Open Source Developments… Open-source products tend to be driven by what features the user base is actually asking for vs. those being determined by a commercial software company’s profit motives. Another open-source advantage is freedom from vendor dependency.
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ByNadia Goodman

I’m a 32 year old entrepreneur working as freelance writer covering the psychology of entrepreneurship. I can tell you how to be more creative, solve tough problems, increase your productivity, and generally hack your mind.

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