Thursday, 26 August 2004

Say no to "vendor lock-in"!

I know it's been a while since I've written anything, but as you know, I've been playing around with my PC and Linux. One thing I would like to point out with software is an awful scenario, where an entity becomes dependant on another entity for a piece of software. This is commonly known as "vendor lock-in". It's not a unique case. Many of you out there may already be "victims" of it without knowing.

Why is this bad you ask? What happens if the vendor you are relying on does something different in their product that you use, that all of a sudden stops working on your PC. What choices do you have left? Not much, I think.

One of the best features with Open Source software is the avoidance of "vendor lock-in". As the source is available, if one person doesn't offer the service you need, you could always fix it yourself, or employ someone to fix it for you.

Why have I brought this point up after many months of silence? Well I've just had some dealings with a large IT company which supports some Open Source Linux distributions. The only problem is they don't support Gentoo Linux (yes I know, more zealotry). Nothing would make me happier if this large IT company would release the application server and their source code management application so it was fully functioning with Gentoo, but alas, they only support Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux. Don't fall into the trap of believing their words, just say NO.