Earlier this morning, a contact asked me to provide a list of reasons why I think a Whitehall department should adopt an open-source tool like WordPress. Then at lunchtime, James Higgs (ex Interesource) reflects on the headache caused by ownership of code in the event of company collapse:
For the benefit of people negotiating with people to write you software and provide hosting, I strongly advise you to establish an escrow agreement whereby a copy of the latest source code and data is regularly deposited with a trusted third party in case the company goes bust.
True enough; that’s certainly one approach. But as James points out, ‘open-sourcing’ the Interesource code in the first place would have avoided this: ‘not just because we could potentially harness the power of the community, but also because it would protect our existing clients and make us more attractive to new ones.’
It’s funny. Not so long ago, the question was ‘why should I be using open source?’ Increasingly, I’m left wondering why anyone would use anything other than open source.
James has some interesting thoughts on WordPress itself, incidentally. My own feeling (which won’t come as any surprise) is that I’ve been able to make WordPress do pretty much everything I’ve ever asked of it… everything from blogs to ‘proper CMS’. I absolutely agree with the principle of ‘do the simplest thing that could possibly work’: and increasingly, that’s WordPress, especially if you’re lucky enough to be starting from scratch.
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