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Support better for open source, says Comparex

By   |  August 26, 2003

Corporate South Africa could save millions of rands by using open source software (OSS), says Dave Gilbert of Comparex Africa. Gilbert also says that the perception that OSS is not scaleable enough or adequately supported locally are equally untrue.

\”Because many heads globally are brought to bear on glitches in OSS there are more frequent releases of open source software than proprietary software, which is usually released only once or twice a year.

\”As a result of more people having access to the OS source code globally and working with it regularly, any bugs are often fixed faster than with proprietary software.\”

Gilbert says there is a noticeable trend in South African industry toward open source software such as Linux because it is seen as robust and scaleable.

Open source software is underwritten by both the SA government and large IT players like IBM and \”old arguments that Linux cannot scale don\’t fly any more as it will soon be scaleable to 16 processors and beyond, further exploding old myths about OSS.\”


2 Responses to “Support better for open source, says Comparex”

  1. Katherine Morrow
    August 29th, 2003 @ 12:00 am

    Can you clarify? It sounds like you are saying that technical support for Open Source is better, but having more releases in a year and quick bug fixes is not the same as ongoing technical support. One of the obstacles to OSS adoption is said to be the lack of OSS trained professional staff. How true is this?

  2. ian gilfillan
    October 2nd, 2003 @ 12:00 am

    Support is a broad term, but in my experience OSS support is better in the following ways:
    – Better documentation. There are numerous online communities, sites with tips and hints, much more so than for proprietary software. So it\’s rare to need to go beyond searching the net for a solution.
    – Better traditional company support. Since OSS software does not usually cost anything, revenue is mostly made from support. There are no vested interests in trying to get you to buy the next version. Companies that make their living from support usually do it well.
    – I agree that bug fixes being quicker is not really support, but its comforting nonetheless, and tells you that the quality of the software is often better, and vulnerabilities are less.
    – The lack of OSS staff is a problem, but they are usually more productive (being able to overcome hurdles more quickly with the available support)

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