Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Beauty of Open Source

I am just super excited with my awn dock at the moment because if you read some of my other blog post you already know that someone made a patch to get the 3d look that the new mac dock is going to have in October. So pretty much this got me celebrating Open Source. Open Source is the best part about Linux, yes I know you can run some open source programs on windows and even mac. But Linux to me seems to cherish Open Source the most.

So whats the big deal about Open Source? Open Source drives programs and applications froward faster and better. Open Source creates a community and brings people together. With out Open Source things wouldn't be as great on Linux as they are.....well thats was kind of obvious. As you probably already know I really like the AWN dock, so of course I am going to use it as an example to show why Open Source is great!

So pretty much in a nut shell this guy Neil started to developed this little dock application for the gnome desktop. It was a pretty snazzy application and word spread on the great internet about it and more and more people started to use it. As a results communities started to build around it, and a wiki and forum were started. These communities didn't form for the reason a forum woudl be created for a new game Microsoft made. These communities that form around an Open Source Application form because they know there input counts, and will be considered. Yes in a forum for a non open source game or program people leave suggestion that after a long long time might be considered or even implemented but its different with open Source. With Open Source people act. What I mean by act, is even if the main developer of a program is to busy working on other things a user in the community might see an idea and take initiative and implement it himself via a patch. Once a patch is created the developer might take more interest and implement that patch into the source code of the program. So what may have been a small application with only one developer suddenly has a lot more help.

Because if this things in Open Source seem to get put into action quicker. So back to AWN dock, it was most likely created because people saw the mac dock and were like that would be great to have on Linux; yippy and it was done. SO now there are two docks one not open source which is the one on a mac, and one which is and that one is on Linux. So mac is coming out with a new os in October and shows off there new dock, and it looks snazzy, but the mac users will have to wait until October to use it. But the Linux users saw this chatted about it and someone took initiative and re-designed the Linux dock and the Linux users are already using it. SO now maybe in the next stage of these two docks things will change, since the Linux one is already on par with the mac dock which isn't even out to the public yet. Now for example Open Source may be setting the standard and Apple and Microsoft may look to them for ideas instead of the other way around. Wait, I think we already see this with Apple and Linux, Apple will have "spaces" in there next os release....