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Who develops open source, and why?

IVAN Hanzlík, strategy director of EEA communications solutions, says open source developers are motivated by a variety of things.

IVAN Hanzlík, strategy director of EEA communications solutions, says open source developers are motivated by a variety of things.

Sometimes it is a community issue, the desire to create some-thing meaningful. Or it is the effort of the state or a local initiative. Very often, it is a foundation that supports open source development.

Hanzlík emphasizes that open source software can be used by individuals or by companies. Alternatively, both individuals and companies can develop open source programmes.

Both must invest some energy and work in creating a basic functioning system before going public. If the programme is interesting enough, it will eventually find users and other "creators". The core of the system, however, stays under the "control" of an initiator.

After some time, users have their own specific needs they want to address, for which they are willing to pay for consulting. A separate firm can start financing further development of the open source software, or it can include the software in its portfolio.

"Open source software is like any other software. It has its specific characteristics, its strengths and weaknesses. It is suitable for any company if it meets that company's criteria. Open source software is not the end but the means.

"It is good to seek advice before implementing open source programmes effectively. Consultancies are suitable for small and medium businesses in the area of server applications and in case of quality technical support," Hanzlík said.

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