The Madfish Group
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Why Open Source

The Madfish Group is dedicated to Open Source development. Open Source means just that - as opposed to most commercial closed source software development, all uncompiled source code for Open Source tools is freely developed, distributed, and modified by anyone who wishes to do so, with the agreement that any new source code be made freely available to all. Using these tools gives our clients their own proprietary site, but protects them from unwilling reliance on expensive third party vendors, and gives all involved the benefit of a large and active community of experienced software engineers synergistically improving the tools in tandem. Having us use Open Source tools provides our clients with the following benefits:

  • Much reduced cost, up-front and over the long term. The average large scale site built on closed source solutions typically requires that a sum in excess of $200,000 be spent on software licensing fees, before the development cycle even starts. The associated fees with equivalent Open Source solutions (you guessed it): $0. And, in the Open Source world, upgrade fees simply don't exist for the valuable new features that are added all the time.

  • Technology custom-built for the web. Untold thousands of expert man-hours have made PHP and Apache the unparalleled Open Source tools that they are. Think about this: Apache is the web server of choice for the majority of the world's sites, and PHP was custom built to be the best middleware available, and delivers. Untold numbers of developers are improving the tools all the time, and sharing their work to speed the improvement of the tools by others. The results are staggering.

  • Easy site maintenance.
    1. Code Persistence, and why it's a good thing. Since the source code for the Open Source tools we use are forever available to everyone for free, those tools will always be available for you to extend, maintain, or further develop your proprietary site, now or in the future. You are free at any time to have anyone work on your site, and won't be forced to use any other third party vendor indefinitely.

    2. Fix it immediately, use who you choose. Gone are the days of waiting 24/7 at the end of a customer support line because of a bug in the software you just bought, only to be informed at best of a vaporware patch that will be available "real soon now," and at worst that you'll have to pay for an upgrade to fix the problem. With Open Source tools, the uncompiled code is available for all to see and change as they see fit, presto bug fix. Do it yourself, or hire an expert who can look at the source code and correct the problem, as soon as it happens.

    What using Open Source tools forces us to do as a team is nothing more than what we in our technophile hearts love to do best - expert development of large scale data- driven dynamic web sites that make our clients smile. We don't believe our clients should pay for anything else than what we should be hired for: our technical experience and expertise. Open Source tools (such as PHP, PostgreSQL, Apache, FreeBSD) have been developed to the point where they compete effectively with their closed source equivalents (such as ASP, Oracle 8.x, IIS, Windows NT), but with none of the associated costs. With closed source vendors, our clients are locked into expensive licensing fees, support fees, and upgrade paths (often to fix the functionality that they bought the technology for in the first place), and dependence on third parties for support and patches (often slow in coming, lengthening software development cycles in unpredictable ways). Open Source solutions provide nearly the identical group of rich features and benefits for large data-driven dynamic web sites that their closed source equivalents do (including flexibility, scalability, and reliability), with outstanding added benefits that their closed source equivalents canít match.

Copyright 2001-2003, The Madfish Group, a division of LTWD, LLC.