Not only do the French have a different word for everything, they also have a strong Open Source leadership position. The French have done much to foster the growth and acceptance of Open Source software--especially Linux. The Mandriva Linux distribution was born and raised in France (now in its 10th year), the French government offers tax incentives to encourage more Open Source development, and more 175,000 memory sticks with Open Source software were given to Parisian high school students last year.
More USB sticks will be distributed each year as an ongoing step to alleviate costs associated with the purchase and distribution of notebook computers and costly proprietary software.
Vive la France!
French companies, like Talend, an Open Source Data Integration vendor, use and distribute Open Source software for the following reasons:
It’s open source, and thus commands a much lower “acquisition” price and TCO than competing products.
It’s open source, and thus it’s open. For users, that means essentially extensible. Want to add lookups against an industry repository, or public domain information? Yes you can. Want to customize the solution? Yes you can. Try that with proprietary solution, whose bread and butter consists of selling you add-ons to connect to this or that.
It was grown from the same code base as our DI platform. That means that DQ can actually be embedded into DI (by design and not as an afterthought). And since it’s the responsibility of the DI guys to make sure that they don’t propagate bad data, putting DQ features at their fingertips brings tremendous value.
So what puts France in this Open Source limelight? What do we have to do to make Open Source software and technology a priority in other countries?
Altic CEO, Marc Sallieres, states that company executives need to "Change your vision." This vision change won't be so easy for countries like the United States who hold the belief that something is only good if you have to pay a high price for it.
Linux and Open Source software are embraced at a higher rate in countries that are less affluent and in those where innovation and creativity are highly valued. A change in thinking that has persisted for dozens of years isn't easy to break away from. Younger developers are also more apt to use Open Source software than their older counterparts.
Where to begin? Education. We have to introduce the concepts of Open Source software to our high schools and colleges. Knowledge is power.