Thursday, July 21, 2016

Free Source As Public Library?

In 60 years IT evolved from a subject matter for scientific research into manufacture and then industry with its own design, management and quality standards. 

Now there are practically three generations of specialists activating in different organizations, who have assisted these major shifts and have had to drop the “previous” technology and business model for finding their way with the “current” one. 

20-25 years ago the software development was still manufacturing-based, and the market was so hungry of new products, that the users have accepted testing alpha-stage free software packages in their own time.

Then in a decade the global spread of the Internet has put pressure on developers to invest effort in architecting loosely coupled solutions rather than growing monolithic desktop applications.

The investments coming from commercial companies have helped the software business to evolve from manufacture into industry, and the interoperability needs have been beneficial for standardization.

10-15 years ago the software market saturation and the economic slowdown have affected numerous software companies.

Most companies have adopted free software usage and outsourcing as collaboration models in order to consolidate their businesses and partnerships. During this adaptation process the limitations of the GPL license became evident, and other licensing models (MIT, Apache) became more popular.

As the life-cycle of a software product is of 3-5 years, the current market offer includes a considerable number of applications employing many modules designed with earlier hardware architectures in mind.

On the other hand a server-side interpreter or a database engine with threading problems don’t play well in the cloud, and JavaScript is not suitable for everything needed at client-side.

Short-time investors might be right when opting for extending the life-cycle of a classic software product, but on the long run selecting carefully new tools and using them correctly will keep the boat floating. 

(2014 - 2016)

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