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% The Best Tool for the Job % oss % 2006-06-29

This guest post was written by Gregory Barendt and originally appeared on

We pretty much all agree that the best tool for a particular job is probably the one that should be used to complete said job. The FOSS-or-Death! crowd will tell you that openness trumps all else because one day your great little tool will become crippled with DRM and your old work rendered useless. Or the creators will go out of business and you’ll be forced to start from scratch with a new tool. Or any of a half dozen other nightmarish scenarios.

The world, unfortunately, is rarely so black and white. On ideological grounds, I’d love to use FOSS for everything, but it just doesn’t cut it all the time.

Each of these considerations has different weight, of course, based on your situation. In any case, there’s more to life than using open tools and formats. If using closed software that works better gets me out of the office and on to the beach an hour sooner, then I can live with it.