Simon Dickson muses on the advantages of using open source platforms, as opposed to proprietary ones, in the light of the Interesource debacle.

It’s funny. Not so long ago, the question was ‘why should I be using open source?’ Increasingly, I’m left wondering why anyone would use anything other than open source.

True. As Simon points out, one of the Interesource developers has mentioned the fact that none of their clients had escrow agreements in place to mitigate against this sort of risk. But when you are providing a service like a community based web platform, which people are wanting to access 24/7 escrows don’t supply the solution in an adequate time-frame, in my view. They may make managers feel happier, but don’t really give you the protection you need.

With open source, there’s bound to be someone in the office who knows about the innards of your system. Failing that, there are experts a-plenty out there on the web, easily accessible through blogs, forums and mailing lists. WordPress, the favourite of both Simon and myself, is a great example of the wonderful support communities that exist for open source systems.

So here’s a challenge: why not use open source? Well, recently Telligent - a company providing a great (if proprietary, and (worse) .NET based) community portal system called Community Server - released some information about a blogging/lightweight CMS platform they are developing. WordPress is the clear competition, which they make clear on their landing page:

Finally, a WordPress Alternative

Install and setup is easier…You don’t need to know PHP…Of course Graffiti is built on .NET and truth be told any good developer can make either PHP or ASP.NET code perform. However, we think there are more long-term advantages in Microsoft’s platform…

Hmmm. I, for one, am not convinced!

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3 Responses to “Open source is best”
  1. Simon Dickson says:

    No kidding that they’re targeting WordPress: it’s a bit cheeky to have a page title ‘WordPress Alternative’?! And for the record, WordPress doesn’t ‘require (you) to write code to use a CMS’.

    I suppose WordPress could ship with a built-in database: SQLite would be the obvious candidate, and a few have (reportedly) managed to make it work. That would make it even easier to set up.. although frankly, I have never once found myself looking at WordPress thinking ‘this is too complicated’.

  2. Dave says:

    The only thing I could say to criticise WordPress is that lack of a graphical installer - it would be nice not to have to edit wp-config when setting up a blog. Even Drupal has a nice web form to fill in these days!

  3. Simon Dickson says:

    Even better - find a hosting provider who offers automated installation via Fantastico. That gives you your lovely form, plus (even better!) single-click upgrades. When they get round to it. :)

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