The True Spirit of Open Source

January 31, 2011 No Comments

When people talk about the merits of Open Source software vs closed source/proprietary software, one of the most common advantages listed for open source is “you have the source, you can modify it, you can change it”. This is my worst favorite argument, and I even catch our own sales guys saying it now and then when they’re prepping for a presentation they’re giving. This is a great argument in some instances. But I hear it being used in a lot of situations where it doesn’t apply. For example, without a lot of coding experience and time, a network administrator can’t modify or change something like Snort. So why market Snort to them that way? It doesn’t apply. I’ve got a different opinion of what being “open source” does for the network admin (or security admin, if the company in question makes that distinction), and I recently got a chance to experience exactly this in real life.

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