Perspective Number 2 : Better Development Practices

Sep 11 2007

Openness, effectiveness, reactivity...

Aren't those some of the qualities you'd like your software provider to show? Aren't those some of the qualities it will not even come close to display, protected by the fact that you cannot do anything about it? This is not the case any longer.

Vibrant Open-Source project have emerged, where those qualities are the rule rather than the exception. This occurs for a simple reason: in the world of Open-Source, you're either living at the edge - or you're dead. There is so many high-quality new projects emerging every day, building on every other to deliver more value to their users, that the day an alternative faster and more effective than yours pops up you're likely to disappear. What is more, people who work on Open-Source project often do so on their free time.

Meaning, they do it because they like it and they feel involved in it. You wouldn't let down a project you care about. Neither do they.

Which is part of the reason why innovative development practices are used and enhanced by Open-Source projects. Working with people contributing part-time from all around the world creates collaboration and coordination challenges that are tackled in innovative ways to get things done in the end. Time-boxed development provides decentralized developers with defined slots of time when they can contribute their code to the software. Every release (sometimes one release comes out as close as every 3 weeks) comes with its batch of new features, keeping the development rhythm on a fast pace. Even more important, you cannot hide flaws in your code under the pretext of closed-source. Says TechCrunch

In closed source applications it is common that developers rely on the closed nature of the application to obfuscate poor design elements and the structure of the application. An attacker getting access to the source code more often than not leads to further security holes being discovered.

As was stated in my previous post, this could not happen with Open-Source software since every security issue known about gets reported and fixed in a few days' time.

What closed-source software can claim such an achievements' record?