The future is open (source)

The period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840 marks a turning point in history. The entire world as it was known changed so drastically that today it is seen as the biggest leap forward taken by humanity. Day to day life, communication between individuals and society evolved in a few decades more than it had done in centuries. That leap was called the Industrial Revolution.

Today we are witnessing the dawn of a new revolution that again, rocks the very foundation of our technology. This Industrial Revolution v2.0 is also known as the Open Source revolution. But what is “Open Source”, a term very common today in tech blogs, magazines and forums? What does Linux, Android, Apache and other open source projects have in common? Although it’s a very strong presence in today’s news the concept of open source is not a new one. It started in academic circles during the beginning of the computer age as universities were the first ones to have access to the newest computers and had to write their own software. As one of the main principles of academic research is the sharing of information, programmers would write their applications and make them and their code available to everyone. Then, other programmers would pick the source code, modify it to their needs and share the modifications with everyone who had interest in the applications. This culture of sharing allowed applications to be developed and ported to almost every platform available. Even commercial entities who sold software offered the source code with the product and encouraged users to make modifications and send them back. Then, as it is now, security was an important aspect of software. Even though the notion of networks was still in its infancy programmers would read the source code and look for bugs, security holes or backdoors. This practice has evolved today into one of the strongest reasons to embrace open source software as due to the transparent nature of the development and the code itself any security concern can be found and fixed in a time frame so small that no proprietary software can compete with.

Over the years computers go beyond the academic area and slowly enter into our life. As more and more people gain access to computers and the communication means offered by the Internet the magnitude of open source projects grows exponentially. Today we have communities of tens of thousands of people working together at projects that shape the way we interact with technology. And the beauty of these collaborations is the idea behind them: democracy. Everyone can contribute to an open source project in every way they can and decisions are taken by the community for the community. And in the end if there is a minority of members in that community who don’t agree the decisions taken they can take the existing project and make a new community with a different vision and goals. As we dig deeper into the nature of open source we encounter this flexibility in almost every project. Even if a certain project is abandoned by its community and development ceases to exist in time someone else will pick the dead project or even parts of it to build something better. This way, with every iteration of the project the quality factor increases to a level that fits its users. Nowadays we find open source everywhere. From the Apache Web Server that powers 70% of the Internet to Android phones and tablets that account for 80% of the mobile device market. Even though most people don’t notice it or simply don’t care about the nature of the software in their devices, open source is a silent innovator that changes their life one day after another, version after version, one line of code at a time.

Embracing this current of innovation and willing to participate in this revolution Allevo is preparing the launch of a project that will change the way we look at financial transaction processing. With the launch of FinTP in January 2014 we bring the principles of open source to an area where proprietary software is the undisputed leader. Although there is a saying “If something ain’t broke, don’t fix it” we will try to go beyond it and bring new concepts as quality, security and the most important above all transparency and true democracy. Finkers United is the community built around FinTP and the one responsible for implementing the concepts mentioned above. Every decision regarding the development and direction which the project is taking will be made by the community in a transparent way and made available to everyone. Everyone is welcome to join either they are users of the application, students, developers or they are simply driven by curiosity. No mater the reason for joining every member’ opinion will have an influence on the shape the project. The main goal for this community will be to provide its members with the standards of quality they desire and offer them a direct involvement in the process. Due to the nature of the public availability of the code we will be able to set high standards for security as this is one of the most important aspects for the future users. This will allow not only members of our community but also security researchers and everyone who has interest to discover flaws in our project, to provide assistance in fixing them or even provide the patches directly in the shortest time possible.

This is the way WE plan to shape our future. This is the approach WE take to ensure our continuous innovation.
Who are WE? We are a community.
We are open to members.
We are open to suggestions.
We are Open Source.
Join the Revolution.

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