The debate of superiority between open source and proprietary software is a never-ending battle. The bottom line is, while it is right for some, it is simply not right for others. Open source can open doors and provide you with a foundation to build greatness. You can sway the original project into a new direction and make something your own.
But open source can also send developers down a path of awful experiences and frustrating errors. Alex Handy discusses five specific drawbacks of open source software in his article in the SDTimes.com entitled, “Top Five Drawbacks of Open Source.” The categories he discusses these flaws in are:
- The cutting edge cuts both ways – Open source can allow innovative success, but it can also be a medium of pre-mature leaps and failed attempts
- Mindshare monopoly – A smaller open source project usually means a smaller team and if team members are unavailable or overly perplexed it could mean a halt in productivity
- No service and support – If your open source project is too small to hire a support service, it may be tough to sell your software
- No long-term service and support – Developers frequently have trouble with maintenance and back-porting for older releases
- Project rot – Open source programs are often left abandoned and using one could mean valuable time spent “slapping duct tape on an ailing project.
If you can get past the weaknesses Handy details in his article, open source software can still be a valuable tool for you. We suggest to our developers that you take a step back, look at your purposes, read more information, and make an informed choice. For more information regarding open source vs. proprietary software please see the following links that we found interesting and helpful.
Think you’ve made up your mind? Tell us, what did you decide?