2014 Linux Symposium, July 14-16

Peter St. Onge

Through a transition from commercial to FLOSS-based analytical tools during a particularly challenging graduate school experience about fifteen years ago, it's been an amazing experience to watch -- as a user, SA, and sometimes as a dev -- how the FLOSS world has grown and developed.

With time came the realization that programming languages, applications, and operating systems do not exist in isolation of each other; they do tend to complement and often reinforce each other over other options if measures aren't taken to ensure the use of de jure (and not de facto) standards; historically, such "brand creep" has been (and is still very much) used as a means to slowly transform computing infrastructure towards a particular brand. Lacking a clear and effective alternative in particular technological niches (like IdM), the FLOSS community has frequently lost options and ground in organizations as a consequence; my goal is to help focus some attention at existing options and opportunities as well as those needing some love before they too can play a greater role.

The transition to information architecture generally, and enterprise architecture in particular, has been a welcome opportunity to focus on what roles FLOSS can play in different organizational contexts alongside commercial and bespoke tools. As useful as the change in perspective has been for me, my hope is that this paper would help others do the same.

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