Open Source Festival

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Everybody knows that free is good; but is it quality? What are advantages of using a free tool over a paid one? Specifically it is cost efficient and as Kishor Bayal told us in his presentation on Open Source in New York State Government there is always a greater room for collaboration. As Kishor explains however, there are a number of certain barriers like functionality and compatibility with certain operations. Dan LaManna in his Django presentation takes on issues of Open Source in public. Dan Explains that this Python coded Web Framework is most commonly used in the news industry and WordPress community thrives due to the development of such tools.

What is important to understand from what both presenters were trying to achieve is that Open Source should be used a lot more. Mainly it is the community driven development which is getting a lot more exposure today.

Further on we had a privilege to hear from Luis Ibanez and Tim Fake about something called Raspberry Pi in a Hackspace. This presentation gave a perspective that destruction is mother of all creation. Specifically it is a 35 dollar piece of computing hardware which can act as a media center and storage space. Luis Ibanez went to great depths exploring reasons behind why Open Source products are great and it is simply because they can always be modified in certain ways to fit any need. Other presenters had interesting projects as well. Another one worth mentioning was an experimental teaching of INF 202 and INF 362 entirely using Open Source software. Such tools included Web2py, EWD and SPARQL among others. This project gave students an opportunity to appreciate and learn how to use freely available resources created by communities of people who release their work solely for benefit of their users.

Perhaps one day Open Source will dominate the industry while opening new ways for profit and development of software as well as hardware. This event has definitively had a positive effect on my personal outlook of Open Source and hopefully more people will be making a switch in the near future.

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