As noted here, I have suddenly found myself in a world of Open Source Software. The reason behind this is three-fold: a) I’m cheap b) The software is simply better in most cases c) I don’t need the software badly enough to pay for it.
I’ve been taking more notice of some things happening concerning OSS since that post, to see if theres anything else that might be causing this change in my habits, and there is;
OSS Projects are becoming image concious.
What I mean by this, is that these projects are starting to realise what makes a good impression in the corporate world, and on users and are changing their habits accordingly. Specifically, I’m talking about web precense. Lets take some examples:
- OpenOffice.org, 2000 Vs 2005
- Mozilla 1998 Vs 2000 Vs 2004 Vs 2005
- GAIM, 2001 Vs 2005
- PostgreSQL 1996 Vs 2000 Vs 2004 Vs 2005
- RedHat 1996 Vs 2000 Vs 2005
- KDE 1999 Vs 2005
- PHP 1998 Vs 2005
As you can see, the OSS community is realising (finally) who they need to market to if they want their product to be successful. I think also the fact that a lot more OSS projects are turning into “Products” that is, a commercial entity. People are no longer doing OSS purely for fun or to change the world – its how people are making their living, supporting their families and getting through college.
I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the OSS communities, how about you?