Last week, I sent some tweets out about Scholastica to academics who focus on technology in academia. One professor, tweeted back to me to ask whether or not Scholastica was commercial or open source.

When I replied that we’re a commercial application, he replied with what you see below.

See the message Chain: http://bit.ly/evdUTa

I’d like to say a couple of things about open source vs closed source software.

The members of Scholastica are very active in the open source community. We frequently contribute plugins, tutorials, and graphics completely free of charge online. Scholastica is even built with open source tools like Ruby on Rails.

So why isn’t Scholastica an open source project?

Simply put, Scholastica is a product. We’re working really hard to come up with something that is unparalleled within academic publishing - and we think that people are willing to pay for something that increases their quality of life. And because people pay to use it, we’re under pressure to keep this service being the best thing out there, because if it’s not, our users will no longer pay us.

Keep in mind that there are open source tools out there to help with academic publishing. Alas, they all work poorly. There isn’t really an impetus for those who run those projects to make them the best that they could be. There’s not really ownership of the project, which with products, stifles innovation.

Plenty of products are built with open source tools. Here are some examples:

The tool of Ruby on Rails has powered products like Basecamp, Highrise, and Campfire.

Open source tools from the members of Team Scholastica:

jQuery Quote Rotator Plugin: http://bit.ly/fFb24T

jQuery Value Swap: http://bit.ly/hkT8ak

jQuery Random Image on Page Load Plugin: http://bit.ly/eVIFfy

Why the Lucky Stiff Poster and Desktop: http://bit.ly/h0UJsD

Apple Juice Day - An Open Source Anti-Tobacco Industry Campaign: http://www.applejuiceday.com/

– Rob

Team Scholastica