There have been many complaints by computer users regarding products by Microsoft, even more often about the very much used product from Microsoft: Windows. Common criticism includes, “the user is not able to alter his own settings,” and “we are not free to do whatever we want.” The same concept is found in the templates for-sale templates and in the servers which are constructed for a lower user input (like Microsoft Servers, ASP, etc.). All you get from closed-source proprietary sources is the executable binary – .exe.
Don’t you think it is important that the user sees the source files, in order to understand the error messages that keep on turning up? Also, don’t you think it is important the user can learn how to make that widget default to a different directory, or how to add a special and nifty new function? Don’t you think the user should be totally in charge of his or her own product instead of the all-controlling producer of the program? Once you can see the code, you have already started down the path of becoming a programmer for Open Source, and that is its great beauty.
Do you truly believe that LINUX was put together by a big corporation? Or that the server called APACHE was a side tool to newly published software? Or that the PHP language was imagined by a group of scientists and accredited for free? All of them were devised by an intelligent student or professional coder who wished for something more specific that could meet their needs. After the central part was created and released, all involved programmers or those who needed new functions, made a contribution to the program in some way. Later on, they became the fundamentals of the web we know today.
The general motto of Open Source software among other ideas is that many hands and eyes make some good software, which is quite contrary to the idea of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Bugs are more likely to be found, and more importantly, they can get fixed, if everyone has access to that one source. Just as in cryptography, closed systems cannot be proven to be free of mistakes or errors. While there is no guarantee that bugs can exist, open systems can be examined for flaws; closed systems can only be tested against well-known bugs (security through obscurity). It is the true “unknowns” that can get you.
So all in all, it is quite apparent that LAMP (LINUX, APACHE, MySQL, PHP, PERL) rule the Internet. The reason for this is that LAMP gives some added value to the user input and this makes it more easily adaptable for different purposes and a lot more flexible for various different usages. If you are looking for programs to use for the web, which you can easily modify, and which can hopefully turn you into a developer yourself, then keep using LAMP and other open source software.
Martin Redford is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.