To be open or not?

With the development of my PHP Time Tracker tool I’ve come across a question that I’m sure many other software developers have had to answer.

"How do you decide if your software will be open source or closed source?"

At this point I’m not sure what the answer to that question is but I’m going to try to work it out here. I’m really hoping that somebody out there that has some experience with these sorts of things will be able to weigh in with some of their thoughts as well.

The advantages I see for the open source perspective are:

  • Potentially wider breadth of knowledge can be used to solve problems
  • Faster development through multiple people working at the same time
  • Better cross-platform support due to developers with different backgrounds
  • Better quality and security due to peer reviewing of code before deployment
  • Here’s the advantages I see for keeping things to myself:
  • I get to keep things to myself, maintain full control over the project<
  • My work and my code stays private, can’t be taken and used in other projects
  • If a business opportunity presents itself as a result of the project, I don’t have to take the open source implications into consideration.To me it seems that the pros of each end up being the cons of the other. I’m still quite confused about the whole thing. For now though I think I’m going to keep the PHP Time Tracker project to myself.

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