The Opportunities of Open Source

Introduction

When I consider the years 2000 and 2019, I can definitely see that a good many things have changed. But yet at the same time I’m constantly amazed that certain things haven’t changed at all. One of the changes that I have yet to see is the domination of Open Source in the world. In a sense it does dominate (a tale for another time), but for regular folks this doesn’t seem to be the case. And it’s a pity, because Opensource is one of those things that could benefit people tremendously. 

Open Source mainly refers to software. It’s this idea that code for software is freely available and open for modification. Hence the name Open Source. Ergo, it also means that the software itself is freely available too. Yet Open Source software still hasn’t reached mass adoption; and I honestly wonder Why.

Photoshop vs Gimp

I recently went to a print shop to print out some design work I was doing, and the graphic person there asked if I used Photoshop to design the work. Photoshop is a graphics editing software that’s quite commonplace. I said I used GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) instead, to which she replied “What’s that?” I wasn’t really surprised that she wasn’t aware of GIMP, but I was really disappointed. I was disappointed because Photoshop is still so popular that it overshadows everything else, even though it hasn’t fundamentally changed for a few decades. It’s still the same now as it was back then. So why do people pay for it, and why do people still use it? And especially, why do people not use opensource software like GIMP which is a viable contender? Why do people not support Open Source software more? 

I believe it has to do with indoctrination, culture and habit. As a Vegan I recognize the signs. People will continue to do whats familiar irrespective of there being a better way. I am guilty of this myself. 

Why should we use Opensource, Why should we use GIMP?

I am so familiar with Photoshop that I find it hard to break away. So for my current piece of design work I decided not to use Photoshop and work with GIMP instead completely. And you know what, it works Excellently! It works just as good, its got some brilliant ideas in there (some weirdness too), it’s light and fast. But there’s other reasons as to why Open Source rocks for regular user.

Free

Anyone can download and use it for any platform. That’s a whole lot better than some of the ridiculous payment schemes proprietary software utilizes. Of course, please donate to these developers and organisations because they’re providing society a massive service. Free software removes a massive barrier to entry for newbies and this is critical to the development of broad based skills and talent.

Lock-in

Companies and their proprietary software always have got some ridiculous; lock-in mechanism that prevents you from working with it freely. You need to buy into a specific way of doing things, you can’t do certain things with the software, and you need some specific credentials to make full use of it. Companies try to keep you locked into their ecosystem to their benefit and not the users.

Interoperatbility

The file formats never work with other applications or older version of the same application. Sometimes you can’t use an app on another operating system. These things can really hamper flexibility and your ability to engage with other creators.

Negatives of Open Source Software

As it currently stands today, there is very little that Open Source cannot do. Even the 3D applications like Open Source Blender produce jaw dropping material. Check out Next Gen to see what I mean.

Super Amazing Animation Movie built with Open Source Blender

However, I will go ahead and say that I haven’t seen any opensource software comparable to After Effects, an application that produces motion graphics like the stuff you see on television. If I am wrong about this please correct me, as I would love to work with an Open Source motion graphic alternative.

One of the biggest problems with the Open Source software is lack of adoption. I suppose this is because the developers lack a marketing budget and proprietary companies have got massive marketing budgets.

Freedom

Opensource gives us that ability to work more freely, collaborate with who we want, learn whatever we want, and pay what ever we think is fair. Most proprietary software have so many barriers that it really keeps most of us from learning these tools and hence gaining opportunities. So if we want broader opportunities, we must use Open Source and support these amazing creators that build these beautiful tools for the love of it and the challenge of it. Supporting opensource is supporting Freedom, because it adapts to our needs.

Conclusion

I would encourage everyone to try Open Source software whether you’re a designer, a writer, a coder, an accountant or gamer. Your time spent on Open Source opens you up to many opportunities and shows you a world of possibility. Give it a try; you’ve got nothing to lose and a world to gain.

List of Opensource software

Graphics Editinghttps://www.gimp.org
https://krita.org
Windows like Linux Operating Systemhttps://zorinos.com/
Online video meetinghttps://meet.jit.si/
Vector Graphics Editing https://inkscape.org
VPNhttps://openvpn.net/
Password Managerhttps://bitwarden.com/
Virtual Machine https://virtualbox.org
Anonymous Private Browsinghttps://www.torproject.org
3D Animationhttps://www.blender.org
Desktop Publisher and Editinghttps://www.scribus.net
Photo Editinghttps://rawtherapee.com
Video Editinghttps://www.shotcut.org
https://www.olivevideoeditor.org
Resolve
Sound Editing https://www.audacityteam.org/
2D Animation ttps://www.synfig.org/

Photo by Eftakher Alam on Unsplash


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One response to “The Opportunities of Open Source”

  1. Seriously…One Password!! – Jae Subramoney Avatar

    […] Password managers are available for all your devices so that’s a huge win. My personal favorite is a password manager called Bitwarden which is fully open source. […]

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