Open Source vs. Close Source

Open Source vs. Close Source

I’ve been thinking about open source lately. I’ve always been a big proponent of it, but now with Google, Facebook, Automattic and others releasing their software, hardware, and other stuff into the open source community, it’s got me thinking. Why wouldn’t you want to open source your software and hardware?

First off what is open source:

In production and development, open source as a development model promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.[1][2] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code.[3] Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. (source: Wikipedia)

Now, don’t write me off as naive, I do understand why some companies want to keep their software code and hardware specs a guarded secret. But often keeping stuff away from prying eyes casts questions and doubts about your product (ie. security, access, etc.). Open source allows people to not only vet what you’re putting out there, but also help you fix it and improve upon it.

WordPress is best known for being open source. Being open source has enabled WordPress to grow and in the end power close to 25% of the Websites on the Internet. Developers make plugins for the CMS, designers make themes, hackers find bugs, and users get a great product as a result.

Wikipedia, Drupal, Joomla, and so much more are also open source and because of it they are great platforms to build and grow on.

Google open sourcing its new AMP protocol from its inception will help the Web become faster. Their open sourcing of their building tool Bazel will allow people to build more effective applications and interoperate them with other open source tools to build something completely different and maybe make a product that scratches another need.

Facebook has open sourced its hardware infrastructure, this will allow others to build on top of an already tested and proven set of hardware.

Books have even been open sourced. True to their spirit of open source, the community behind WordPress released a book and released it on Github.

So, to conclude, I understand why some companies keep their software, hardware and other things under lock and key. But do I think that’s a good thing to do? No. Open it up and let the community build upon it and let’s make awesome stuff.

Do you use open source software? What do you like most about using it? Have you tried open source hardware? Thoughts?


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General the other is the other
Picture by Miradeshazer on

With the new and Calypso, I’m noticing something I haven’t before. is really the other There is a vibrant community on the system and with Calypso and the new, it’s easier than ever to dive in and read some great stuff.

Being a Web designer and only using self-hosted WordPress, I’ve never noticed how neat the “Dot Com” actually is.*

When a visitor goes to, either via the desktop or mobile app or the Website, they can use it as a reader to discover great content and also to publish to their various and sites.

One thing I have noticed is that on the mobile app on Android, you can only post to Dot Com blogs, not to the self-hosted version. I’m sure this will be changing (I hope. Hint, hint!).

Have you explored lately? If not, check it out.

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* is owned by Automattic, Matt Mullenweg‘s company (Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress). It takes the blogging software, that is self-hosted, farther and hosts it for the user and makes getting your content online easy. is the self-hosted version that is run by the WordPress Foundation. It, along with Dot Com, run close to 25% of the Internet’s Websites. 


WordPress 4.4 Clifford Looks Amazing

WordPress powers more than 25% of the Internet. That’s not a figure of speech, but a fact. This past weekend was the first Wordcamp US. There was lots of hits dropped about the new release (4.4). Now it’s being deployed and it looks amazing.

Finally it will be easier to do responsive images and the REST API, though I’m not as well versed on APIs looks really neat. I’ve hear lots of people that WordPress was getting a bit long in the tooth. Not anymore. Its in its second renaissance and this time it looks to be even better than the first one.

Have you had a chance to try out WordPress 4.4 Clifford? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


As I Saw It: Wordcamp US 2015 – The Inaugural US Wordcamp

Wordcamp US 2015Wordcamp US 2015 Was A Success

I’m two days out of the Inaugural Wordcamp US 2015 and all I can say is what an amazing experience.

It was a real honor to be one of the official photographers for the event and boy my feet are hurting. This was not my first Wordcamp, nor was it the first for Philadelphia. Philly has hosted quite a few Wordcamps, but they’ve all be under the banner of Wordcamp Philly not Wordcamp US. It’s really awesome that the Wordcamp HQ bestowed the national Wordcamp on our fair city for not only 2015 but 2016 too!

So many people from across the globe made the trip to Philly, many for the first time. I met people from Japan, Russia, Australia, Poland, the UK, and so many other places. #WCUS (the hashtag for the event) was much more than just a Wordcamp for the United States. It was a way for the WordPress community as a whole to come together trans-nationally, network and share cross-culturally. It was truly special.

If you missed any of the talks you can go to WordPress.TV to catch any of the sessions. One of the neatest things for me was being able to watch Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress and founder of Automattic, deliver this year’s State of the Word.

Though a tiring experience, it was  great one. I connected with old friends and met new ones. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a great community. If you can make next year’s Wordcamp US, I highly recommend it (dates TBD).

My Photos (Public Domain):
If you want to see the photos in their entirety (unedited) you can go here.
If you want to see a selection of some of the ones that I thought were good go here.

Another Goody:
I archived the #WCUS hashtag into a Google Sheet. You can view it here.

Of Note:
Did you know there is a book out on the history of WordPress. True to the nature of WordPress, the book is open source and on Github.