Why Free Software?

Larry Garfield


Larry implements Huggable
  • Director of DX, Platform.sh
  • PHP-FIG Core Committee
  • implements Huggable
Open Source is Awesome!


What is Open Source, anyway?

Free Software, 1984

Crell and Richard Stallman, 2015

Richard Stallman, 2015

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Free Software Definition

  1. The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
  2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
Use, Learn, Improve, Share

Free Software Foundation, 1985

GNU's Not Unix

"Open Source", late 90s

Open Source Initiative

TYPO3 Group Photo

So what is Free Software?

  • Use is unrestricted
  • Respects your sovereignty and independence
  • Collaboration is encouraged

Benefits of Free Software

  • Ethical
  • Economic
  • Security

Ethical benefits

How to protect the future web

Economic benefits

What is your business?

Tip: It's probably not software

Author, The Mythical Man-Month

The way to be more productive is to write less code

The way to be more productive is to share more code

Coverd is a donation goods distribution management tool

Per-item licensing restricts
development options

What motivates developers?

Open Source Syndrome

Commercial Software Syndrome

"Take your business elsewhere"

And your dog, too




LibreOffice X.org Backdrop CMS

But who will I sue?

Hello, I'm suing you

You didn't read your EULA...

But who will I call at 2 am?

Whoever you're paying to be awake at 2 am.

Security benefits

There is a Doom clone in Excel 95

The Hall of Tortured Souls

Source: Sean Gallagher, "NSA Gets Early Access to Zero-Day Data from Microsoft, Others," 14 June 2013

Linus' Law

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow

Only true for malicious code

Anyone can audit the code;
not everyone does.

Diffusion of Responsibility

Fix your own bugs malicious code

Security is a process, not a product

Case study: Kaltura module (c. 2010)

Fight Diffusion of Responsibility

If you're not paying for it, you are the product.

If you're not paying for it, you don't matter.

("Pay" doesn't always mean money)

Free Software is a Gift Economy

Developer time

Time is the currency of Free Software

  1. Review more code than you write!
  2. Fix more bugs than you add features!

Help with more than just code



Graphic design

Web site


Engage the developer

Many maintainers are freelancers

Use XDebug?

Derick Rethans


Hire the/a developer

This does not give you absolute control!

If it's business critical, you need full time staff.

Pay for an audit

Be invested

Free Software is not about getting cheap stuff

Free Software isn't a license, it's a culture

Participation culture, not Permission culture

Free Software is interactive

If you don't interact, you don't matter

Pay It Forward

Free Software is only as awesome as the people in it

Free Software is only as
awesome as you are

Keep Calm and Be Awesome

Larry Garfield

Director of Developer Experience, Platform.sh

Continuous Deployment Cloud Hosting

Stalk us at @PlatformSH