Security in numbers


During my career I worked most of the time for companies that sold proprietary software and it’s only now, while currently working for SUSE, that I finally see how rich with ample projects the open source world is and how filled it is with software vendors that carry the most surprising names such as Gimp, OpenNN, Jaspersoft, Apache, Drupal and Hiawatha.
One thing they all have in common is that the software is free to use, and that adjustments have to be shared with the community as much as possible to make sure that everyone profits. It is a matter of enrichment; making the program better, more manifold or more robust. I wrote about this in my previous blog.

The development of open source software is consequently a project: many companies and individuals contribute to building an operating system, for example, or an application. It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm of the people who work on those projects and to see how proud they are about the common results.

Some people have second thoughts about the security of open source since anyone could tinker with the code. However, the opposite is true because all adjustments have to be screened by the project group before the software becomes available to everyone. It‘s all about the power of numbers; thousands, if not tens of thousands of community members review the code and ring the bell immediately when something is not right or implies a risk. Proprietary software companies can only wish to have that many eyes checking their products.

Open source, as a movement, has my interest and I like sharing my thoughts on this. You can also read one of my other blogs that I wrote on this matter. I’m also open to discussions, so feel free to get in contact with me if you have any questions, doubts or thoughts you’d like to share.

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