Open Source VS Closed Source

26 03 2010

Hi all, after weeks of working in the open source committee, I have some thoughts that I would like to post it up in my blog.

Ever since I’m young, my parent emphasize that there’s no free lunch in the world. Everything that I want need to pay with money, and if it’s free, they are either not good or inferior product. And slowly they’ve created me thinking that paid stuffs are generally more superior over free stuffs.

When I got myself enrolled into Nanyang Polytechnic pursuing  a Diploma in Business Informatics, it requires me to use many application. For example, we need a Database server, I would always tell my group that please use Microsoft SQL server or IBM DB2 and avoid MySQL. Although many of my friends challenged me that Open Source can be as good as Closed source or even better in some instances, many just can’t change this stubborn mind of mine.

Till I enrolled into NUS, I met this very trusty friend of mine, Chris. We’ve been working together in CS2103 and find it pleasurable to work with. On one occasion, we saw the email for enrolling into CS3108 Mozilla, and both of us agree to take up this module. The first class conducted by Gary indeed scared most of the students, but in fact, it’s the first class that got me interested. He mention about Open Source, immediately he reminds me of my friends who tried to convince me. I took up the challenge and want to see myself and hope I can prove myself right. But obviously I’m wrong. =)

Throughout this module, not only I work with Chris, Daniel and Gary, I have a chance to work with people globally. Whenever I face a problem, they will have someone out there helping me. I took up Mozmill (For more info, please check my previous post), it’s not easy initially and I did faced a lot of problem, but help is everywhere. But I must admit that I did have a hard time struggling and many times I wish to give up. =) All out of a sudden, something came into my mind at that moment.

What happen if every potential Open Source contributor and programmer give up on contributing if they have a hard time to pick up? If I can keep these potential programmer and teach them the basics, lighten their learning curve, maybe they can be develop into great programmer and in the long run, I’m contributing to the Open Source society. =) Which makes me put in so much effort in editing the Introduction to Mozmill. I will be coming out with a Video Tutorial very soon with Step-by-Step guide to Mozmill.

To conclude, after so many weeks in the Open Source society, I feel that some of the Open Source application is better, and some of them have already be a part of my daily life. I’ve been using Ubuntu as my operating system, and stop using Microsoft Vista unless I have to. Firefox for my web browsing, Thunderbird to sort my emails… etc

I guess I’ve learned a lot from this module. It has broader my vision, spark the interest in me in using and contributing to Open Source. I guess my story won’t end even after this module. =) Thanks Gary.




2 responses

30 03 2010
Gary Kwong

Hi Simon – it has been a pleasure sharing experiences at our sessions – I hope it has proved useful for your future. We look forward to the final presentations, and hope you’ll be back again to share your experiences with future batches!

2 04 2010
Jason "moofang"

Wow so you’re a Linux convert now 😀 Awesome!

And glad you’ve had a change of heart with Open Source 🙂

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