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July 15, 2013

Open Source is a Reliable Sustainable Computing Solution

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

When people talk about sustainable computing, there can be quite a bit of confusion as to what actually makes up that category. Solar powered Web hosting and energy efficient machines are just a couple of different ways to address sustainable computing, in a world that is pushing more and more for recyclables and other ways to save money and materials. That is why government agencies are looking to commit even more resources than usual.

When “sustainable” is mentioned, most people think about resources or power, but what people often don’t consider when discussing sustainable computing is something as simple as open source programming. The reality is that quite a bit of what makes up sustainable energy and sustainable resources is that those resources can actually replenish themselves given the right environment.

Sometimes, even a programming language can be considered sustainable computing, explicitly because, given the right environments, open source programming can grow. Obviously, open source isn’t going to be able to grow on its own, but people who find the a program that they can build on from one programmer to another. Drupal is one kind of open source ecosystem that can actually be called sustainable computing. Programmers are expected to be improving and adding back to the Drupal programming world and the open source programming world in general.

Even better when talking about open source programming is that sustainable computing can also apply to recycling in some regards. Some open source programming is so adaptable that people can use older computers to do relatively new tasks. While private programs tend to have the need for the newest computers or compatible programs to run them, open source can be geared to run on more basic systems. This allows someone’s five-year-old computer to sustain its use.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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