While this article cites some valid, and rather well known and understood reasons for one to prefer open source products over closed-source ones, for me the value in source code is in far simpler reasoning:
Given the following facts:
- All software today is released with bugs, even ones that have been discovered during the development process and are well known to the developers.
- Software vendors are unwilling to commit to the applicability of their software products to any task, indeed they are usually not even willing to commit that no harm will come to the software`s user from using it to the purpose for which it was made.
It is clear to me that the only means left for a consumer of software to guarantee some kind of long-term value in the software for oneself is to have the source code, and therefore be able to adapt or have it adapted to one’s purpose without being dependent upon the whims of the original vendor.