an essay

Why Berylium Is Open Source

Berylium is free software, and the source code is available for free as well. Here are my reasons why.

I've been using free and open-source software for a couple years now, and it has literally changed my life. I went from being the clueless webmaster for a television show to the CTO of an internet-boom portal in just a few months, because I discovered that I could put together amazing information systems on a miniscule budget using freely available tools.

Now that the bubble has burst and most of the high-flying startups (including the one I worked for) have come and gone, I think there is even more reason to share code. There are no million dollar investments at stake, no NDAs, and no guaruntee that the proprietary code you use is any better (or better supported!) than what you can get for free-- the best free software has such a large user base that it is bound NOT to fail.

You can't make money by hiding your intellectual property away in a vault, the world changes too quickly. Better to share your best ideas now before they become dated, and make room for new, better ones in the future.

Systematic cooperation, I'm betting, is better than either isolation or blind compromise-- in evolution, society, and even software development.

If you have the money to buy a commercial distribution of berylium on CD or donate for download when it becomes available, please do! I've put a lot of time and effort into this project, and I hope to continue working on it full-time.

By Chris Snyder on June 30, 2002 at 12:17am

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