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 .:: Advocacy Index ::.

*List of Recommended Reading

*The Case for Open Source: For Business

*The Case for Open Source: For Customers

*The Case for Open Source: For Hackers

*Case Studies and Press Coverage

*Frequently Asked Questions

*Jobs for Hackers: Yes, You Can Eat Open Source

*Software Secrets: Do They Help or Hurt?

*Why "Free Software" Is Too Ambiguous

*Shared Source: A Dangerous Virus

*Get Open Source Logos


The basic idea behind open source is very simple. When programmers on the Internet can read, redistribute, and modify the source for a piece of software, it evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing.

We in the open-source community have learned that this rapid evolutionary process produces better software than the traditional closed model, in which only a very few programmers can see source and everybody else must blindly use an opaque block of bits.

The Open Source pages exist to make this case to the commercial world.

Open Source for You

Whether a techie/hacker, a businessperson, or a customer, you'll win with open source software. Read the case histories to find out how.

Frequently Asked Questions

We maintain a page answering Frequently Asked Questions.

Case Studies and Press Coverage

Here you can learn what third parties have to say about the power of the open-source model. Much of this material discusses Linux, but the lessons are not specific to Linux; they apply to open source in general.

Jobs for Hackers

We don't think the triumph of open-source will doom anyone to starvation. But to understand why not, we need to take a fresh look at the economics of software and the work that programmers actually do.

What Does Free Software Mean, Anyway?

We discuss the ambiguity of "Free" in the phrase "Free Software."

The Other Side of the Coin

Businesspeople tend to assume that secrets are assets. But the value of holding a secret has to be traded off against the cost of doing so. Are there circumstances under which going closed makes sense? The answers may surprise you.

Copyright © 2003 by the Open Source Initiative
Technical questions about the website go to Steve M.: steve at fooworks.com / Policy questions about open source go to the Board of Directors.

The contents of this website are licensed under the Open Software License version 1.1.

OSI is a registered non-profit with 501(c)(3) status. Contact our Board for further donation information.