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Re: General questions about chosing OSS

From: Stephan Kuhagen
Subject: Re: General questions about chosing OSS
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2006 12:22:01 +0200
User-agent: KNode/0.10.2

> * How is popularity relevant to choice of an Open Source-software?

More important is how good the software works for you. In OSS you have the
choice between many alternatives or to customize one solution for you
problem. So normally you choose, what fits best, not what is most popular.
On the other hand, choosing a popular package over a not so popular raises
the chance, that the problems you will encounter are already solved by
someone. So it is a balance between popularity and good support (by the
author or a community around the package).

> * How is documentation relevant to choice of an Open Source-software?

Depends on the software. A simple program may be self-explanatory enough to
figure all out on your own. But sometimes missing, wrong or half written
docs make more complex software simply unusable. But since this is often a
problem with closed-source too, this is not a show-stopper (and you have
the advantage to look into the code, so you can at least try to understand,
what happens).

Localized docs are not so important for me, as long the docs available in
englisch (I'm german). But I agree, that it may be a problem for many

> * What 10-top factors do you think is of most importance when chosing OSS,
> and why?

For who? - I think, there are most times less than 10 factors... Most times,
I think it is a combination of: Fits my problem, it doesn't cost anything,
the Admin or whoever likes OSS or recoomends it, personal sympathy for the
OSS-idea and you can modify or improve it. This is the least important
thing for most users, I think, because they just want to use it, not hack
it. I personally like to learn how it works, but this is not and should not
be a motivation for a normal user. 


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