What are the Challenges with Open Source?

Challenges with Open Source

Until now we have seen the importance and how Open Source play a vital role in today’s world, if you haven’t read our article about the Open Source then you can find the details here. Today we will see what some of the common issues we face while working with the Open Source Ecosystem.

It could be in terms of Licensing, security concerns or lack of support etc., in this article we will see all these factors and many more in brief and how to handle them.

Licensing

Even today most of us do not understand the licensing obligations that goes along with it, on top of that there are many projects which lack licenses. This makes it exceedingly difficult for business to comply. I think we need best practices in place to make the Open Source easier.

If you’re publishing a piece of code that you want to distribute as much as possible, maybe having other people helping you with the code, making sure you’re not going to be sued as well as making sure that your name or your company’s name are not going to be used by others without your approval, then the BSD 3 clause license is just the one.

We do have 3 types of Open-Source Licenses

You can read more details about the licensing here

Security

Security as always been an area of concern in order to ensure we do not breach before contributing to the Open Source platforms. Most of the Open Source suffer from irregular security updates or Testing. As per the Open Source Survey result it states that

78% of companies run open source software, but less than half are managing it properly.

Open access means the code is available to all, which creates opportunities for cyber threat actors to manipulate code maliciously.

we must ensure proper testing is performed and quality assurance is performed throughout the development process else lack of this check can make the IT infrastructure vulnerable.

It is important to have a dedicated Support team if you are using the Open source project within your organization to perform regular security patches and generate report on regular basis.

Coding Standards

Code standards are set of guidelines to be followed by every individual contributing to an Open Source project. It is a simple procedure to ensure all the submitted code looks similar when merged and gives us a feel that it is committed from a single source.

what are the benefits of using coding standards?

  1. Compliance with industry standards.
  2. Consistent code quality.
  3. Software security from the start.
  4. Reduced development cost.

Complexity

Complexity of Open-Source projects slowdown the projects as the ecosystem is geared to innovation than usability.

The diversity of projects is also another contributing factor for complexity,

Open-source way manages complexity is by embracing open standards. The use of open standards allows for better collaboration between different organizations with different interests.

Some more minor factors like Code without Owner, Lack of contributors, too many views on the projects which diverts the vision of the project.

So, by now you must have seen the factors or challenges in Open source and there is always pros and cons of Open Source, you need to identify and address the factors to keep the project running and build a community.

There could be enormous reason why open source may not be perfect, but there are millions of reasons why it is better option than the alternative.

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