• United States

Open source going strong at the Christian Science Monitor

Apr 05, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxOpen Source

* The benefits of working with open source can be seen at the Monitor

“One of the amazing benefit of working with open source is that you’re interacting with a worldwide network of really, really smart people instead of dealing with your typical corporate software support structure,” says J. Johnson, manager of Web technology for the Christian Science Monitor.

Open source is used widely at the Boston-based newspaper, whose Web site happened to be “taking a pounding” in terms of hits last week, with news of the release of Jill Carroll, a Monitor correspondent who’d been kidnapped and held captive in Iraq since January. The newspaper’s Web site is built on a standard LAMP architecture – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PhP – and weathered the storm of traffic and spikes in utilization that came as a result of last week’s good news.

But beyond its Web infrastructure, the Monitor is looking to go deeper into free code with a commitment to the open source platform Alfresco, which competes with closed source commercial products such as Interwoven and Documentum. The Alfresco platform provides Enterprise Content Management (ECM), collaboration, imaging and Web integration tools in a free package, with paid support services available.

Johnson, who is attending LinuxWorld this week, likes developing with open source “because you’re dealing with people who are in the code all the time. You e-mail them, and they e-mail you back, and you’re allowed to participate in the product that you are using.”

According to the Monitor’s CTO Terry Barbounis, this is already paying off for the company, as several features and modules developed by Johnson and his team have already made their way into the next version of the Alfresco code base.