Thanks in large part to the popularity of the open-source model, companies of all shapes and sizes have access to technologies that would have cost six and seven figures to develop in-house a half a decade ago.
From high-performance data stores to countless software libraries, there are plenty of open-source technologies that make building a sophisticated web-based service far less costly and time-consuming than it would have been.
The relational database may not be dead, and so-called NoSQL solutions may have been slightly overhyped, but that isn't stopping investors from betting that the market for new types of data stores is going to be very, very big.
The latest example of that: 10gen, which is behind one of the more prominent NoSQL databases, MongoDB, has just raised a new $42m round of funding.
While Facebook's $1bn acquisition of Instagram may be the biggest red flag yet that we're in a bubble once again, one thing is certain: when the bubble deflates or bursts, countless companies and start-ups yet to be born will come away with more than they came to the party with.
That's because the latest internet boom has brought us a new generation of companies that open source many of the tools and technologies they build to solve their biggest challenges.
Last week, Adobe announced that it is abandoning Flash for mobiles and Flash for televisions.
It was a significant announcement that raised a lot of eyebrows, and led
some to question whether the end of Flash is near. One of Apple's
biggest fanboys even went so far as to declare the company's retreat
from mobile Steve Jobs' last triumph.
Google may be one of the world's most respected tech companies, but it could learn a thing or two from Apple. One lesson: surprises are supposed to be good.
Yesterday, Google surprised the world with an announcement that it is dropping support for the popular H.264 video codec. Not surprisingly, this sparked an outcry from many publishers and users who now know: the codec wars are on.
Facebook's rise has been incredible, but it hasn't exactly been smooth.
It's easy to forget that on its way to the top of the social networking
world, it has faced a fair share of challenges.
One of the biggest challenges: numerous privacy flubs. Flubs which in
part inspired Diaspora, the high-profile open source project to create
an 'open' Facebook alternative.
Even if you're one of the brave few who tries to make it through the world without a copy of Microsoft Office, chances are you can't live without a decent word processor and spreadsheet program. For those who want something free and are wary of cloud-based solutions like Google Apps, one free, there's a decent chance you've considered OpenOffice.org, a popular open source productivity suite that offers a lot for very little ($0).
But OpenOffice.org's future is being called into question. That's because OpenOffice.org in its current form had much of its development funded by Sun Microsystems, which agreed to be acquired by Oracle in 2009.
WordPress is one of the most popular open-source content management
systems in use on the internet. But despite WordPress' popularity, one
knock against it has been the fact that it's always been more a
'blogging engine' than 'true' CMS.
Yesterday, WordPress took a big step toward achieving 'true' CMS status
with the release of WordPress 3.0. That's thanks to several of the new features it contains.
Oracle's pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems apparently has some
users of MySQL worried. MySQL, of course, is the open source database
owned by Sun and offered freely under a GNU General Public License.
It's the most popular open source RDBMS in the world, and is used with popular
products like WordPress and on major websites like Facebook and
If your website gets massive traffic, or you are building a new website and can't sleep at night because you're worried that you will, Yahoo wants to help. And it doesn't want anything in return, except maybe your love.
On Tuesday, Yahoo will announce that it has open sourced Traffic Server, the HTTP web proxy cache it uses internally to serve up millions upon millions of requests to its users on a daily basis in an efficient manner.