Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source

To many, open source is more than free software or a collaborative effort to continuously improve the computing experience. It is more than a philosophy of diverse ideas and motives coming together in a rapidly changing development marketplace. Open source is so dynamic that it often defies definition and limits. To techies, open source is freedom.

As a mobile development firm, Vensi sees many advantages to open source software. Most notably, the potential for innovation and evolutionary leaps in application development is astounding. There is a critical mass of brilliant programmers working on new technology that is adaptable to the many different needs and motivations of the individuals and businesses involved. This is where a social movement comes together with technology to create the best possible product.

There are certainly potential pitfalls with using open source that Vensi watches for as a premier mobile development firm. For instance, some say that because the code is transparent, it is more prone to bugs and vulnerable to hackers. In some ways, this is true, but we also find that the software and applications can actually be more dependable, because they are tested and effectively co-owned by so many talented people. Bugs are essentially fixed real-time; it is “wisdom of the crowds” at its hi-tech finest.

As a concept, open source seems like it wouldn’t work in America’s capitalistic economy, and indeed, some modifications and constraints may be necessary for it to work in the business paradigm. However, open source can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way for businesses to develop new applications. In addition, the use of open source is viewed as progressive and inclusive, so new software and applications are often quickly embraced by tech-savvy consumers. The most notable drawback for businesses is that supporting a new application can get cumbersome. The modular nature of the code enables rapid (often for the better) changes and version proliferation. Compatibility issues can then arise, especially when a new version of a hardware platform is introduced. As a result, documentation and patches sometimes lag behind, leading to frustration for customers.

Whatever the pros and cons, open source is most certainly a powerful tool that will penetrate deep into the future of mobile application development. We already see that the burgeoning Android market has created many opportunities for ingenuity and advancement in the creation of new applications. The open source future of the mobile world is a place where Vensi’s knowledge and expertise will shine.

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