3/21 | Open Source Software & Omeka

3/21: What do you think are the most important advantages and disadvantages of open source software? Do you use any open source software?

I believe that the beauty of open source software is that it can always be edited later. If the open source software is made available for anyone to view, share, or edit it, there is always room for new information to be implemented into it. This is especially important for historical information and timelines, because as time passes and changes are made to major laws, policies, etc., the information is not completely set in stone like other software may be. I believe that open source software doesn’t necessarily have a disadvantage, but I would say one of the potential drawbacks is the fact that the open source software is available to any and everyone. Because of that, you can release software to people and they are able to edit and tweak the software to their specific needs. Although that is an advantage for the person who is accessing the software because they can take out parts they don’t like and add parts they do, it leaves room for someone to completely alter the software that you made available to them and then they can even go as far as to resell the software that you created. They may believe that they have done nothing wrong because they tweaked your software and changed so much of it, but if they used you open source software as a base to create on top of that, they might be using your hard work for a lucrative means without crediting you at all. If you are not into the idea of open source software for the money though, then this is not much of a big deal to you. I don’t personally use any open source software, as I am not well-versed on technology and programming and would probably do more harm than good to the software if I got my hands on it. Although I wish I was good at tweaking certain software because I feel as though some software does not fit my needs as well or it requires more work to use it for the purpose that i want to use it for, and being able to tweak it to my needs would be a lifesaver. Maybe one day i’ll figure out how to be like that.

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