Wired: ‘Wall Streets Dirty Software Secret’

Wired has an article quoting Morgan Stanley Dean Witter System Administrator Phillip Moore at the O’Reilly Open Source convention: ‘…Open-source software is Wall Street’s dirty little secret, Moore said. For some reason, none of the financial companies like to admit that they use Perl, Linux and Apache, but all the firms are teeming with it because it’s the only way to get software to conform to the varying needs of a big business…’ More quotes within.

Sometimes you call the 800-number and the person on the other end can’t even spell the product you need help for,” he quipped. Or the company goes out of business, and a firm is left holding some software it doesn’t have the legal right to fix.

With open software, I can make small changes to the code without having to go back to the company. We spend frightening sums of money on commercial stuff, and we have been repeatedly burned by the companies,” Moore said.

So what’s gone wrong? Many things, he said. Commercial software firms are slow to fix bugs. They have paltry support…’

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