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Trends to use – Open Source Software

Open source software is a great resource. If you’re going to use and modify open source code in your machine, then you have to look at licensing issues very carefully. But there is another way to take advantage of open source software – by using open source projects such as Subversion to enhance your development process with no licensing worries.

Even if the majority of open source software can safely be ignored, there are many rock solid, high quality, well documented, Windows-friendly projects. Examples include:

  • Subversion for version control with TortoiseSVN client for Windows
  • Trac for project management and bug tracking
  • Apache web server
  • xUnit for unit testing
  • Wix for MSI installers (OK, its documentation is a little weak, but it’s still what I use to create Windows installers)
  • Programming languages such as Python, IronPython on .NET, and Lua.

What are some of the advantages of these top notch projects?

  • High quality. For example, Subversion has a better reputation than Microsoft’s SourceSafe.
  • Low cost, both in money (nothing) and time (due to good documentation).
  • Ease of deployment – with Subversion, I don’t have to worry about how many users there are. Adding another user costs exactly $0.00, unlike adding a user on a commercial version control system
  • No licensing hassles; there are no hardware keys, no software keys, and no chance of any software license audits.
  • More stable path – no forced upgrades (upgrade when you’re ready), no worries about the vendor going out of business, no vendor agendas to worry about.
  • Often commercial help is available if desired – so far I’ve done fine with the documentation and Google.

Tony

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