One of the advantages of FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) is that it’s not created and distributed in the vacuum of a heavily EULAed/binary/closed environment and anyone can examine the code. This has the obvious effects that,
- programmers know their code will be visible and take care to produce better code,
- people with more expertise than particular programmers can see how the code works and recommend improvements,
- end users can also examine the code if they wish to help debug it, and
- larger numbers of people can tweak the code and test it in parallel making change more rapid.
Still there are people who scoff at these advantages as in this comment on news that some bugs were found in openSSL, an important encryption package in FLOSS:
Sorry, but this can’t possibly be true. As many here proclaim, Open Source software has been vetted by “many eyes” and thus is always free of bugs and vulnerabilities
“Many eyes” does not mean FLOSS is perfect but that it can be made more perfect more rapidly and with greater certainty than closed software. “Many eyes” permitted the bugs to be found and corrections proposed. Otherwise, those bugs would have been found eventually by evildoers and we would have been victimized. This is one of the main reasons FLOSS is less targeted by malware. Many more bugs exist in closed software and few are motivated or able to fix them. That’s why the world wastes tens of $billions fighting malware in closed source software. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it’s certainly less expensive.
I recommend people use Debian GNU/Linux. It’s FLOSS, the right way to do IT.