What’s the Difference Between Open Source vs. Closed Source?

Choosing for software for their sites, business owners often face a difficult choice between open source vs closed source software. But what’s the difference?


Closed source is more secure because hackers can’t see the code? Disagree. Open source is more secure because hackers CAN see the code and submit fixes when they find bugs.


For example, open source software is freely available for use on the net. Everyone can see, use, or change it as they wish. Above all, a user can delete it from the public access.

This doesn’t even make sense. Public code is less able to be removed from public access because someone might keep a copy. There’s a lot of crap in this article.


This article bothers me more the more I go back and look at it. This for example:

What’s the difference between them? The main difference is that you need to buy add-ons for open source software and to make payments to use closed source software.

Some closed source software is free as in beer. Not all open source software is open core. Most is just open.


Yeah. My eyebrows became tildes at reading that line.


Yeah, security through obscurity has been demonstrated to be a very weak argument.


I’ve come to realize that open source is the only type of software worth investing into. No matter how great a commercial piece of software might be, sooner or later it’s going to either disappear or change in a way that doesn’t suit you. Commercial software has to constantly chase profit for the company to stick around. This necessarily means that the product has to continue evolving to chase what’s currently in vogue. And if a company fails to do that, then it will die and the software will stopped being developed.

This is a bad situation to be in as a user since you have little control over the evolution of a product that you rely on. Instead of the product being adapted to your needs, it’s you who has to adapt to the way the product evolves, or spend the time investing in a different product.

On the other hand, open source has a very different dynamic. Projects can survive with little or no commercial incentive because they’re often developed by the users who themselves benefit from these projects. Projects can also be easily forked and taken in different directions by different groups of users. Even when projects become abandoned, they can be picked up again by new teams.

Evolution of GNOME is a great example of this. There are now many flavors of GNOME all catering to different workflows, and users don’t have to compromise their preferred way of doing things to chase how GNOME is evolving. Meanwhile, users of Windows or MacOS have very little choice but to continue adjusting to the ways Apple and Microsoft choose to evolve the desktop. Microsoft even uses DMCA to prevent users from doing customization.


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