Open Source News

Open Source: Making Sense for the World and Libraries in 2015

As someone who has recently joined the staff of ByWater Solutions you probably can guess about me that I am a supporter of open source software. And, coming from the library world, I believe that the open source approach and libraries go together well, like peanut butter and jelly. Or, if you prefer, peanut butter and chocolate! I mean, what makes more sense for libraries than the values of transparency and open sharing? And, more and more, the rest of the world seems to be jumping on the open source bandwagon. According to Yoav Vilner, a contributor at forbes.com, open source now refers to more than just software and “‚Ķ(describes) the free exchange of ideas in any atmosphere. It brings people together to share creative ideas and collaborate, experiment with your practical ideas, and create a global community for everyone to work together.‚Äù Remind you of anything? Makes me think of the best of what a library could and should be!

But why open source, and why now? As we look into 2015 Vilner sees the world trending toward open source for a few reasons. According to the article, “‚Ķopen source software has matured to such an extent that it now influences everything from innovation to collaboration among competitors to hiring practices.‚Äù Open source is not only free, and provides users freedom and flexibility, but it is the QUALITY that is drawing users to open source. Anyone familiar with the process of reporting a bug to the community will be able to relate to this quote from the article:

Users of open source argue that when a bug in the system or a problem arises, users are able to confront the program and combat the issue as a community. Putting all of the brain power together to solve the issue is a lot more efficient than one lone programmer trying to come up with a solution on his own.

Even though I have only been working with the team at ByWater for a short time I can see that this is definitely true! And I love the way that open source just makes sense for libraries. This brief article is worth a quick read over at forbes.com and I love the quote that it ends with, “You can use the open source way not just when it comes to programming, but also using the people in your community and resources around you to benefit one another. The world is clearly heading in this direction with the sharing economy‚Ķ. It seems the world is finally learning the power of community and working together.‚Äù Now, isn’t that a nice wish for the New Year?

Read more by Amy Kearns

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