Open Source Software Popularity
Open Source Becoming Mainstream
“Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process” (Open Source Initiative)
Considering a poll being conducted on eWEEKeurope open source software is gaining penetration with business users.
47% of respondents significantly favour open source applications, and a further 15% are trying it out.
Slightly more tha 63% of responders make use of OpenSource to some extent.
A further 8% state they might use it but are locked into propretory software.
Only 13% said they they do not trust it.
Refering to a Softpedia article, Linux makes up 40.6% of the operating systems in use, while Microsoft Windows still holds a narrowing lead of 57.5%
Open Source in South African Public Sector
As far back as 2003 open source software started gaining support at official levels in South Africa. In 2003 the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Indsustrial Research) Launched an project to assist in the development of open source in the region (SouthAfrica.info).
A number of Government departments today rely on opensource, including The Northern Cape Provincial Government, Department of Land Affairs, and SA Revenue Services (Linux and Oracle). Education also makes extensive use of open source applications for in-school computer learning programs.
Facebook and Twitter Opensource.
I wonder how many of the approximate 800 million Facebook users realise the worlds most used social media network is based on open source technology.
Then there are the more than 600 million users of Twitter, another major open source appplication. How many of the 13% who ‘do not trust’ open source are regular tweeters, and spend hours every week on Facebook?
We cannot ignore wordpress.com, with 407000 bloggers. While for now .Net based web sites are still in the majority, free open source WordPress Content Management System powers more of the most popular and extensivley visited websites and blogs around the world than any other CMS. Add to this Joomla, Drupal and a host of other less known applications, and we can see the impact of open platforms.
The above infographic taken from “2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report, water&stone (2010)” gives an idea just how popular WordPress CMS has become.
“WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet’s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 powers 22% of all new websites” (Wikipedia).
Open Source penetration in my workflow
How do I use open source applications? I was somewhat surprised to find in day to day use these apps are now used extensively; the following get more use than any other application.
- Internet Browser: Firefox is used more than any other
- Web Content Management: Drupal and WordPress
- Web Server: Apache – both live sites and local server.
- Business Admin: OpenERP
- The code, programming languages, and other open source utilities that run in the background, or are part of the greater picture, e.g. OpenGL, PHP, MySQL,PostgreSQL, Python and more.
Time spent using these apps makes up more than 80% of a typical work day. A major change from 12 months ago when open source apps were in use (work and personal computing) less than 1% of the time.
Proprietory software still relied on
- Graphics and DTP: Adobe CS – InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat (industry standard)
- Photo and images: Photoshop (still the best)
- HTML/CSS: Dreamweaver
- MS Windows (oh well!)
- MS Office: (I like Office Outlook e-mail client, Excel and Word)
Most of these apps (open and proprietory) are in use (open windows) right now.
What Open Source Applications do You Use?