# Open source policy
At Agile Collective, we believe in and support open-source software, through our everyday preference towards open-source products and our focus on working with open-source software with our clients.
From using Linux on our desktops to open source web design & development using our preferred open-source content management system Drupal we choose open-source where it works best.
This policy outlines what open source software is and why we use it.
# What is open source?
“Generally, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.”
In essence, open source software is open to inspection, modification, extension, testing, discussion and improvement – by anyone, not just a tiny team of original developers.
# Why is it a good thing?
Open source is great for so many reasons. We’ve summarized what we think are the main ones below:
- Freedom – the freedom to use the software, the freedom to look at the source code (transparency), the freedom to alter the code and the freedom to share the code with others.
- Cost – open source software usually has a lower total cost of ownership than proprietary software.
- Security – more people can inspect the source code to find and fix possible vulnerabilities.
- Openness & Transparency– users of the software are able to test any claims made about that software.
- Community – in an active community the code is developed by a large group of people worldwide.
- Reliability – the community model encourages a large market of early adopters who actively help debug the software.
# How do we support it?
Agile Collective supports open source in three main ways:
- Providing open source solutions to clients. Agile Collective specialises in Drupal, which is an open source technology. There are cases where clients’ requirements suggest other specialised tools such as CRMs or document management technologies, and in these cases we would recommend open source solutions where possible and appropriate (e.g. CiviCRM).
- Using open source solutions internally. While every developer will tend to have an idiosyncratic setup, the team at Agile Collective all use open source technologies to some extent – with most running almost completely open source systems, from the operating systems all the way down to the text editor.
- Giving back to the community. Agile Collective are active in the Drupal community – not just in terms of contributing code but also in setting up user groups and events to support people and share information.