Jan 28, 2010

Open source software

Last week i filled a survey about open source software (OSS). The questions were about advantages/disadvantages of OSS.  I realize that in spite of its advantages we don't prefer OSS. There are many software like operating systems, office packages, vpn, e-mail client etc. You can see a list of OSS here.

Usage of OSS is increasing but there are some concerns. Licensing and long term support may be problems. Too much developers may decrease quality of code. Too much development need to be tested very well. Installation costs may be high. Also there is no guarantee for updates.

Some advantages of open source software:
• High quality: By its very nature, open-source software has nothing hidden. This means that bugs or security holes can be observed, found, and fixed by all. Through peer review and use, the resulting product is more secure, tested, and stable than many closed-source products.

• Fast innovation: With a large community of developers and third-party add-ons, new features and capabilities can be added to open-source software in shorter cycle times, without waiting for a calendar-driven “release train” schedule. Freely available access to source and binary code not only allows developers and customers to try it out, but also enables users to provide feedback during development. This provides a much tighter feedback loop than closed-source software, improving overall quality and functionality.

• Transparency and extensibility: Open-source software enables everyone to see what is being built and what features will be included, as soon as possible, so enterprise users can plan well in advance of the actual release. Developers and customers do not need to wait for a vendor to publish a roadmap or hold a product launch to know what is being developed. Companies can make better, faster, and more informed decisions relating to their software infrastructure.

• Pay at the point of value: Open-source project code is freely available for any use, and if a company is proficient with its use they are generally free to do so in any way, from evaluation to production. Only when open-source customers see value —in support, integration, or additional functionality or expertise—do they need to spend money. Unlike proprietary software, where customers must purchase a license or deploy a restrictive “trial-only” version for evaluation purposes, opensource software allows evaluation, proof of concept development, and more.
There are no restrictions on when open-source software can be used.

I copied advantages list from internet which i don't remember website name. So i can't give a source.
If you want to read open source articles i recommend to follow Open Source Technology blog.

Jan 27, 2010

Change Excel color palette

I am using Office 2003 at work. I don't like fill colors in Excel. In Office 2007 there are nice, smooth colors. Today i learned that i can change color palette in Excel.

You can use Tools / Options / Color tab to modify colors. Also you can import color palette from an excel file. On Rae's Blog there are some instructions to do that. Also you can download a nice color palette to import your workbook. Click here to download palette file. Then you get nice colors for Excel 2003.