open directory project
As many of my readers know, I support many different variants on copyrights and licensing of creative works. These include
- The Creative Commons (cc),
- The GNU General Public License (GPL), and
- Open source projects (SourceForge, WordPress, dadaMail and more).
The open directory provides the means for the internet to organize itself. As the internet grows, so do the number of net-citizens. These citizens can each organize a small portion of the web and present it back to the rest of the population, keeping only the best content. The open directory was founded in the spirit of the open source movement, and is the only major directory that is 100% free. There is no cost to submit a site to the directory, and/or to use the directory's data. The open directory data is made available for free to anyone who agrees to comply with their free use license.
One topic of discussion in Search Engine Optimization circles centres around Google's use of <meta> tags and DMOZ. Some argue against, some for, but Google itself states that they "will use a number of different sources for search result titles and descriptions (or "snippets"), including descriptive information in the <meta> tag for each page. Where this information isn't available, Google may use publicly available information from the DMOZ." Kinda hard to argue with that! And the way I look at it, anything that helps bring people to my website is well worth taking advantage of.
There is much evidence today supporting open source including some of todays more successful web sites and software
- Wikipedia is an open license, free encyclopedia written collaboratively by an international group of volunteers,
- Mozilla Firefox is an open source browser, one that is particularly well suited as website developers tool,
- Linux, an open source, free version of Unix, often used to host web sites (including my host bluehost.com),
- Apache HTTP Server, the most popular seb server software since 1996, is a secure, efficient and extensible http server that provides services in sync with the current http standards,
- PHP, which originally stood for personal home page, is a widely used, general-purpose scripting language used to produce dynamic web pages, and last but not least,
- MySQL, the world's most popular open source database software, is a key part of the fast-growing open source enterprise software stack.
A significant portion of the software I use to develop and run my website comes from open source projects. Take a look around! There is a lot of very well written, high function software that successfully competes directly with commercial grade software. I find that open source software is often more reliable, more stable, and updated on a more consistent basis than some commercial software.