Put another way, French open source developers have played a major role in laying the groundwork on how to aggregate six, seven, or more open source projects into a comprehensive platform, says Massimo Pezzini, a Gartner analyst.
Benefit 3: Liberation leads to creativity
It's not surprising that open source aggregation and integration skills have developed rapidly in France and spread elsewhere in Europe. "In the U.S., open source projects tend to be narrow and only for leading-edge organizations, whereas in Europe they're mainstream," Pezzini says, adding that France leads the way, followed by the Nordic countries. "European organizations have a business opportunity to combine multiple [open source] point projects into solutions for virtual private networks, SOA enablement, business intelligence," and so on, he says.
Consider the French word for open source, logiciel libre, meaning "free software" in the sense of "free as in speech, not free as in beer." Logiciel libre could easily be the rallying cry of the global open source community. Freed from the shackles of narrow point products, secretive software components and forced workarounds, French open source developers are encouraged to experiment creatively and liberally.
Recognizing the advantage of such effective creativity when applied across the entire IT spectrum, French universities are in the forefront of teaching open source to the new generation of developers and IT managers. "The key [for the U.S.] is to introduce more support for open source in universities and colleges," Pezzini says.