Why we use open source

The basic idea behind open source is very simple. When programmers on the Internet can read, redistribute, and modify the source of a piece of software, it evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs.

The main benefit for us, the customer, is best described by opensource.org: "Because you can get access to source, you can survive the collapse of your vendor. You’re no longer totally at the mercy of unfixed bugs. You’re not shackled to every strategic decision your vendor makes. And if your vendor’s support fees become exorbitant, you can buy support from elsewhere.

For this reason alone, every software customer should absolutely demand open source and refuse to deal with software vendors who close and shroud their code. It’s a matter of controlling your own destiny".

For our web site

SPIP is a Content Management System ideal for news oriented web sites. It is easy to use, offers a lot of advanced functions (publication workflow, internal messaging system, a good editing tool...). It works well with the collaborative editorial process we use at EPHA.

SPIP is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database for storing the information. It runs on an Apache web server and the operating system is Linux.

For our newsletter and contact database

PHPlist is a web application that implements a personalised mailing list manager or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

PHPlist is designed to assist us to stay in touch with our audiences, without flooding them with information they don’t want. PHPlist is an essential tool for anyone who is serious about creating, capturing and maintaining an offline audience, and helps increase traffic to the website.

PHPlist also uses PHP and MySQL. It runs on the same server as SPIP.

For our IT infrastructure

EPHA just completed a full transition to Linux as operating system for all of the network clients, plus a file server and a firewall machine. The clients run Mandrake Linux 10+, the servers run Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

Feel free to contact Francesco Longu should you need more information on this subject.

Last modified on October 27 2004.