The Problem with Open Source Software

Open source software is great . . . to a point. There are free versions and paid versions, and everything in-between. A significant population of IT professionals swears by it. To a large extent, the software works great. However, when a problem arises, that's where things can begin to fall apart. To me, that is a significant problem.

The problem begins with various "flavors" that may be available, each one with an audience it aims to target and please. Backers of each flavor say theirs is better than the others'. But, things begin to fall apart when one seeks solutions to problems one may encounter in the operation of the software.

One of the things open-source proponents are proud of is the "community support" that open-source software has. I agree! But, when I have had problems with the software, there seem to be as many "solutions" to the problem as there are people in the community! Some solutions contradict those of others, some work for a few people but not for others, some work, and some don't. To me, that is a deal breaker and very frustrating.

I am not sure what the solution to such problems is. Until then, I will only use open-source software in non-production environments and not in situations where organized support is a necessity.


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