October 18, 2004

My problem with open source

Yeah its been a while since a post but hey I'm boring.

Today I went looking for open source solutions for two needs I have. Now first I understand beggars can't be choosers. At the same time though alot of people think open source software is the hammer to fix every problem. The problem is theres alot of really shitty hammers on the rack. Sometimes I find it impossible to find the right open source software short of going to "Ask Slashdot."

Sometimes of course there is no challenge in finding the right software. Web server? I think everyone knows that answer. A few database choices are obvious ones for those needs. The same applies for web browsers. Not knowing any software that did what I wanted I turned to Sourceforge and Freshmeat, which are fantastic tools.

Once again though theres a problem. If you want a search feature that doesn't suck, you need to pay sourceforge. A large number of my search results were projects that had fantastic descriptions...but no files uploaded yet. Or just a half complete project that hasn't been updated since 2001...works with PHP 2.0 though. Out of the nearly 90K projects listed, I'd love to know how many are actual projects, that are either complete and functional, or been updated at least a few times a year, with files uploaded, and users.

I really love the open source community and their software but there is truly a market here for some directory that is going unfilled. Perhaps a Yahoo like directory where projects are submitted and listed if someone approves them. A project wouldn't have to be complete, but at least have some progress made to be listed, and continue to be updated until completion to avoid delisting. I imagine there are some really good projects out there that could gain users and contributors if they were more easily found.

Until then though I shall continue my search for a php/mysql based dual entry accounting system. Oddly enough I can't find that, but I can find lots of CRM packages that all but run a business for you. opensource.google.com please!

Aside from my software frustrations, not alot notable has happened. I'll be playing with a Packet8 VOIP DTA soon and am anxious to see how that performs. I've also been buying and selling alot on ebay, I need to quit.

Posted by johnm at October 18, 2004 10:48 PM
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