Why I am not an Open Source Champion?

This is more an introspection, so bear with me please.

I realize I do not have the religious zeal for open source that many I deeply admire possess.

What I do have is a passion for doing all I can to further those of my ideas that can have a beneficial impact in the real world. In this case they happen to be those that can benefit doctors and patients. I do believe this (furthering of one’s ideas and ideals)  is a fundamental imperative, even a moral one, for all of us.

I am not as much concerned about how my ideas bring about the change. In that regard, I am like most modern physicians, who are not wedded to theories of medicine but only to the patients’ wellbeing, even by violating some known tenets or principles if needed. A modern physician is much like a mercenary, who has no ‘morals’ except to bring about or preserve the well-being of his or her patients. They do it by words, drugs, surgery or hypnosis etc. Heck! I have even included witch doctors and homeopathy in the mix when I thought it might help a patient. You see, even how the field of medicine establishes validity of any treatment is not by the school of thought or religion it comes from, but by how efficacious it is. Clinical trials are conducted precisely for that reason. Many ‘irrational’ treatments have been used simply because they worked.

This is why I am not averse to using commercial tools or libraries in the development efforts I am involved in. This is why I cannot understand the zealots’ cry to eschew all things commercial and it makes it difficult for me to understand Stallman’s opposition to ‘cloud’.

So pardon me when I say open source route is just a pragmatic option for me. I would just as easily pursue the commercial closed source route if that seemed more promising to me.

FOSS is not my religion. It is just a tool. As it happens, I think it is a marvelous tool for what I want to achieve right now.

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One thought on “Why I am not an Open Source Champion?

  1. Roberto Novoa

    I could not agree with you more. Both extremes are impractical. We need both commercial as well as open tools to take care of our patients.

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