I have been reading an ebook by Keith Curtis called After the Software Wars and couldn’t help but think about how right he was.
One of his arguments caught my eye. He argues that software algorithms are the same as mathematical theories in that as much as credit can be attributed to individuals or companies, the basic idea is not meant to be tied up in patents. Just because you write a function in words not numbers doesn’t mean it is not a form of mathematics.
I have tried to embrace open source software in my work and study and it is gradually yielding fruit. There is opensource GIS softwares, Office productivity suites and a plethora of others such as a clone of the MATLAB computing language that saved my skin awhile back. Windows wants users to pay,pay,pay. Apple is even worse. And then comes Linux. Everything is free, and will remain that way. It’s a modern marvel why it hasn’t become the most popular OS on the desktop/laptop.
There are many “Flavours” of the Linux OS out there and I advocate for only one. Ubuntu. It is by far the simplest to install, work with and to my knowledge the most widely supported. The beauty with free and open software is that any innovation on one distribution diffuses to most of the others since no-one is restricted anyway. Awesomeness right there.
Fedora, Debian (The Mother of Ubuntu) SUSE, etc are also rock solid but they don’t approach the consumer the way Ubuntu does.
I think Ubuntu will win this war . . . Eventually.