Rick Yazwinski is Principal Engineer at OpenSRS. In this role, he is in charge of all technology decisions and strategy for the company.
Here at Tucows we’re strong supporters of the open source movement and community. We have been standardized on Debian Linux for years. We develop in the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySql, Perl), with some Ruby, Python, and Java thrown in for color. We use open source components in our email platform along with homegrown components.
Experience has brought us here. Let me explain.
We’ve been down the proprietary software path. Our experience, like many others, has been mixed: nothing hurts more than having a vendor shrug off a critical problem saying they can’t reproduce it, point a finger at “the network” or some other component, or tell you that before they’ll help you you have to upgrade your server farm to the newest minor release because “it may fix the problem”.
Open source projects that have been around for a while just plain work, and work well. Further, when they don’t work well, the depth of understanding “out there” is huge AND when required you can get into the code and find any issues and fix or extend the code base. Unlike proprietary software packages, there are many courses of action you can take when you have a problem.
We aren’t alone in our belief in open source. So much of the Internet is built on open source software, it’s hard to contemplate running an Internet property or service without relying on it. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Flickr, to name just a few; all of them support open source communities and believe in open source products.
In light of our recent issue, we remain committed to open source. It has served us well for many years and will continue to do so. We are now actually closer to many of the best sources for some parts of the stack, putting us in a better position for the future in terms of getting information and recommendations from some of the most knowledgeable people in the world.