Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:04 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "From its humble origins in the 'hacker' culture of US computer science laboratories in the 1970s, open source software has grown to become arguably the most influential and talked about phenomenon to hit the computer industry since the invention of the microprocessor. Many of the proponents of OSS seem to have been captivated by the idea of a free lunch and may have failed to consider the longer-term effect of OSS on our fragile software ecosystem. Let us examine some of the issues surrounding OSS that aren't normally aired in public."
Order by: Score:
Conjecture.
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:21 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The "article" is actually a rant that cites ZERO sources, examples, research, or any measurable data for comparison. It is tantamount to name-calling.

Reply Score: 5

Retro!
by popo on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:24 UTC
popo
Member since:
2005-07-27

While this article poses some interesting querstions, its largest problem is that it is stuck in the past. The author's qualms with a lack of "Conceptual Integrity" and his comparison of open source developers with "bedroom programmers" indicate that he has an antiquated view of what the open source industry really looks like.

The major players -- Apache, Mozilla, Redhat, Sun -- are highly organized groups of professionals (many of them working in offices collecting paychecks for their work) who have clear goals, strong work ethics, and more experience as professional software engineers than many proprietary programmers.

The beauty of open source is that anybody can contribute, but its strength lies in the fact that not everybody has to contribute: the open source model has become economically viable enough that loose associations of hackers working from their basements are not the norm. The BCS author needs to understand that.

Reply Score: 5

free time?
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:24 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

"Any software that (IT professionals) write, irrespective of whether it is during or outside normal working hours, legally belongs to their employer."

Does that bother anyone else? Having something you do in your free time (time for which your employer does not pay you) belong to your boss? How fscked up is that?

Reply Score: 1

RE: free time?
by gpierce on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:51 UTC in reply to "free time?"
gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

"Any software that (IT professionals) write, irrespective of whether it is during or outside normal working hours, legally belongs to their employer."

In most cases that is not exactly true. What you elect to do with your time outside work is your business and not your employer's. Unless they can prove you contributed their proprietary technology, they will have a hard time stopping you.

Reply Score: 0

RE: free time?
by Brad on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:43 UTC in reply to "free time?"
Brad Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, when you go to work for a company, you sign things, and those things mention stuff like this. So if it bothers you, you could decide not to work for them.

Sure it can be a pain.

But on many levels it makes much more sense then it not being this way. Otherwise there would big problems with people learning stuff at work, on the companies dime, and then going home and using this skill set, or extending it for their own gain, maybe even then leaving the company and coming back and taking the former employers market.

If people were more honest and ethical, this might not be as much an issue. But people are the way they are, so here we are.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: free time?
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Sep 2005 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: free time?"
Anonymous Member since:
---

>>>> But on many levels it makes much more sense then it not being this way. Otherwise there would big problems with people learning stuff at work, on the companies dime, and then going home and using this skill set, or extending it for their own gain, maybe even then leaving the company and coming back and taking the former employers market. <<<<<<<<<

Actually it makes very little sense that way. Why shouild an employer have any claim on the skills you develop while working for them? Its in evitable that you will learn and grow and become more skillful as a result of working at a particular job. So all your past employers would have a claim on your earnings today, if those earnings result from skills you developed on previous jobs.

It makes no sense to give employers this sort of protection except in very limited circumstances for limited periods of time (i.e non compete agreements) and even in this case the employee has to explicitly agree to the limitation placed on them (and they must receive 'consideration' in exchange).

Reply Score: 0

RE: free time?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:03 UTC in reply to "free time?"
Anonymous Member since:
---

Does that bother anyone else? Having something you do in your free time (time for which your employer does not pay you) belong to your boss? How fscked up is that?

Very... and the author of the article seems to think this is the law in "most industrialized nations". Well.. it's not in Denmark.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: free time?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:31 UTC in reply to "RE: free time?"
Anonymous Member since:
---

It's only employer's IP if the contract states so.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE: free time?
by nathan_c on Mon 19th Sep 2005 14:43 UTC in reply to "free time?"
nathan_c Member since:
2005-07-12

This is definitely not true - at least in the US. When you go to work for someone, you sign the terms of employment. Things like non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements (when you leave the company), and limits on activities that you can do outside of work. (Some consulting companies tell their consultants that they can't do similar work on a freelance basis outside of work - this makes sense because that's how the company makes money).

The idea that what you do outside of work belongs completes to the employer by default is crazy - it's not law in the US and I doubt that most developers would sign something like that.

In fact, there are tons of companies who encourage their developers to adopt outside projects (that don't compete - obviously) to give them more perspective and experience. Many of these companies enjoy the fact that their developers apply the knowledge they gain outside the workplace to projects inside as well.

Also, what about Apple and its IP deal with its developers. If you develop something in Apple that never gets released by Apple, you own the IP. (As the rumor goes). Not a bad deal. :-)

If there are countries that have a law like this, I would love to hear about them...

Any other software devs from the US want to chime in on this?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: free time?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE: free time?"
Anonymous Member since:
---

Every company that i've worked for has encouraged software development and other related intellectual pursuits outside of work without contractural or IP obligations. Unless you intend to sell such work, you're allowed to use company resources to aid your development unless such development impacts your *real* job. Many highly innovative products began as the hobbies of employees: the Lamborghini Miura, the Golf GTI, Visicalc, etc. I've signed NDAs and the like but they are hard to enforce and detecing infractions of the NDA is similarly difficult.

I haven't seen non-compete clauses for software devs. However, they are all the rage in marketing and sales where the turnover rate is higher and there is the potential of a salesman or marketing manager taking *his* customers with him when he departs. Still, such agreements are hard to enforce and generally come with buyout options.

Reply Score: 0

yet another piece of anti OSS fud
by morgoth on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:26 UTC
morgoth
Member since:
2005-07-08

I very quickly skimmed the article, will read more thoroughly later on today during work ;-)

From what I can see, it seems nothing more than an article by a pissed off, sore loser anti OSS person. Quite possibly bribed, oops I mean paid by Microsoft to state these claims. A lot of this is very similar to what Steve "Monkey Man" Ballmer said several years ago.

It's not OSS that needs to be regulated, it's proprietary software. For many years, proprietary software has offered the enduser poor quality, poor variety, and poor post product purchase support - because it had no competition. Now with OSS hot on it's tails, proprietary software is having to perform, and it's not liking it. Poor diddums, my heart bleeds for you proprietary software.

I also note that this is a UK site - funny that they should mention software patents as an issue, when Europe doesn't have any (legally). Odd, yes? Sounds very much like a pro American influence here.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

Unfortunately you can still get (what amount to) software patents in the EU under specific circumstances... Software patents are supposed to be explicitly forbidden but there are still patent-attorney practices in the EU that specialise in finding ways to protect software using patents...

(A friend of mine is a patent attorney, should really get him to explain the tricks involved some time)

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
---

Well, they're not legal in Denmark. But some of countries within EU have some sort of support for patents on software. But not in Denmark. Let's hope it stays that way.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Sounds like Microsoft to me....
by Archangel on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:43 UTC
Archangel
Member since:
2005-07-23

I agree with the earlier poster, the concept of the employer owning everything their employees do is really quite scary.
I don't know the law in that situation, but I suspect the EFF would have a field day if someone tried to claim that.

Fred Brooks and bitter experience both tell us that the emphasis should be on good design and tight specifications to minimize bugs, but in the OSS method of software development, the emphasis is firmly on fixing things once the design is implemented in code. This is a very inefficient way of ensuring code quality - just ask Microsoft!
What on earth do Microsoft know about the OSS method of software development?
I see what he means about how you fix bugs etc, but he's stretching things to try to make a point - I'm willing to bet that Microsoft write specifications and designs before they start throwing code about, and the bugs still appear.

The whole paragraph on professionalism is just ranting. Who's to say it's not professional? Personally I'd call the disaster that's been Windows XP unprofessional.
And it's funny that the programmers in this highly trained and disciplined gaming software industry are starting to complain about the strictures they have to work in (sorry, can't remember the link).
This argument is probably fine if you want to produce millions of Doom clones, but doesn't have much to do with open source software.

The "lack of innovation" thing is a rant too. You could say that Windows lacks innovation just as readily if you wanted to.

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous Member since:
---

I don't know the law in that situation, but I suspect the EFF would have a field day if someone tried to claim that.

Actually, a great many tech firms require that employees sign a non-disclosure and intellectual property contract upon hire. Most of these IP contracts specify that any work product done with company resources and/or information is owned by the corporation. Which really turns a "field day" into a "swamp".

Reply Score: 0

Hmm.. LOL
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:43 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

What you do in your sparetime is yours, unless contract between your and your employer states otherwise. In which case you're also getting payment. If you don't get payment then the software belongs to you.

At least this is true in Europe. Can't say for USA.

Besides that... the author definitely does not grasp OSS. I consider it doubtful he's ever read the bazaar and the cathedral.

A lot of claims, no sources, no examples, no nothing. Sounds like a sort-of rant.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm.. LOL
by Mark Williamson on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:57 UTC in reply to "Hmm.. LOL"
Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

My contracts (UK) have *always* made explicit how much of my IP is claimed by the company. Two major organisations asserted ownership of all my IP. Of of those (Intel) basically said they'd waive rights to any code that wasn't directly related to their business.

My current consulting contract with XenSource requires me to turn over Xen-related code (to make sure it gets GPL'd, actually) and doesn't make claims on any of my other IP.

I'm not aware of any general provision in law that means an employer automatically owns all your IP - the arcticle sounds like FUD in that respect.

Reply Score: 2

bsd better
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:56 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

the processs for developments in the BSDs is more professional and sound with respect to "engineering" principles.

Reply Score: 0

RE: bsd better
by ma_d on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:06 UTC in reply to "bsd better"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That's quite true. But it's OSS development too ;) . They also develop, generally, at a slower pace to more bazaar projects. But, they also have far fewer people working on projects.
I suppose there are sort of steps between. And Linux (itself) is a bit of a bazaar extreme. It even has multiple maintainers (for different branches).

Reply Score: 1

RE: bsd better
by bornagainenguin on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:54 UTC in reply to "bsd better"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

I don't know that I'd agree that the BSD process is necessarily 'better' though I will say its done according to this guy's idea of 'professional' and 'sound with respect to "engineering" principles.' Hmmm...from what I read of this rant, anything that would read as 'good' according to this guy's principles should raise a warning flag, given how clueless he seems to be...

Reply Score: 1

RE: bsd better
by bornagainenguin on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:56 UTC in reply to "bsd better"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

I don't know that I'd agree that the BSD process is necessarily 'better' though I will say its done according to this guy's idea of 'professional' and 'sound with respect to "engineering" principles.' Hmmm...from what I read of this rant, anything that would read as 'good' according to this guy's principles should raise a warning flag, given how clueless he seems to be...

Reply Score: 1

Moronic
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

This guy is so clueless it boggles my mind.

For example if small firms go out business because they are unable to compete with OSS, then OSS is not to blame but rather the lousy management or business idea of that particular firm. However the moronic author of the article does not seem to grasp that companies are only needed as long as they contribute to society or otherwise produce goods/services for which there is demand.

I too agree with the earlier poster, the concept of the employer owning everything their employees do is really quite absurd.

Reply Score: 2

I call BS
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

First let me say that I definatly support the idea that F/OSS is not the be all end all of licensing. And it definatly has many issues of its own. But most of his arguments here are really crap.

Intellectual Property: First, he forgot a big category of people that can still work on F/OSS. Those hired to do so. You know those small companies like Red Hat, Novell, IBM. (In fact I believe most of the development on the linux kernel nowadays is hired programmers. But this is just a personal opinion and I do not have numbers to back me up. Would be pretty hard to get those numbers as well.)
Second, from my simple understanding a company dosn't own ALL code you write on you free time, only that relating to the code you do at your job. This issue depends on the contract signed by the employed with the employer, but from my understanding complete IP ownership on all code done even in free time is very uncommon.

Conceptual Integrity: This really depends on the maturity of the project. If you are talking about a small project on sourceforge he is probably right. Though the case isn't better for all those small windows apps. Except that in F/OSS fixing bugs is easier.
With more mature projects (Linux & *BSD Kernels, Gnome, Kde, Mozilla, OpenOffice, Samba, Squid, etc...), where the quality of code *is* important, a badly written patch will most probably not get accepted. These projects have gone through a redesign or two and are big enough projects that HOW something is done is sometimes more important then WHAT it does (in a submitted patch).
In addition to that, no code is bug free, and in this regard, there are quite a few security fixes that happen purly due to someone noticing a mistake in the code, rather then an exploit coming out. And you will be hard pressed to find a project which has a fix for an exploit faster then some of the F/OSS projects. (Obvioussly getting a fix, and getting the users updated is a different matter, but there are solutions, some better some worse, in most distros)

Professionalism: There is a big difference in the flawed comparison. F/OSS is 'free'! The almost 'destroyed' economy (though I do not believe it is as chatastrophic as he presents it) was probably more due to money being spent on alot of little badly-written games. Hardly any time or money is spent on badly written projects in the F/OSS world. Distributions are sort of a filter for the really bad projects to those that pass a certian bar (that bar depends on the distro, big differences between Debian and RHEL.)
Also, the projects that would cost money (i.e. for companies in terms of switching to a new platform etc...) usually have significant support from companies and there is also usually hired hands in the development of that code.
The economy between the gaming industry and the F/OSS world is extremly different in many other ways (am not going to list them here) that the whole comparison is crap.

Innovation: This is the funiest one yet!!
"the legendary robustness of Linux actually owes more to the good design of Unix and its older relative, Multics, than it does the OSS development process."
What is this guy smoking?? You want to explain how Xen, SELinux, colinux, the # of processors linux can run on, the amazing performance level of the kernel that just keeps getting better, ReiserFS4, and their is more I missed and that is just in the kernel!
The F/OSS is doing more in innovation then any company out there! The days of the old Palo Alto Reaserch are almost gone. Very few companies have te money for that kind of reaserch, and they deal more with deadlines, value of stock, sale prices, and more. With F/OSS there is none of that and more freedom for people to try out what they want even if it ends up being poitless. There are many Doctorate or Master's projects that were then later developed or integrated into projects. What would all of the reaserch projects that take F/OSS code and modify it for thier testing and reaserch going to do otherwise? Rewrite these things from scratch?

I can't even believe I reponded to an obviously idiotic article with paragraphs like this:
"What we really need from government is an investigation of the long-term effects of OSS on our indigenous software industry, assistance to combat the threat to the industry's livelihood that OSS might pose and the development of a strategy to build on the opportunities that OSS has created. Without prompt action, my fear is that a further move towards OSS could result in the nightmare scenario of OSS at one extreme and Microsoft at the other with nothing else in between. Where would our freedom of choice be then?"

[I apologize for any spelling or gramatical mistakes, English is not my native language]

Reply Score: 2

Open source and proprietary is good
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:58 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

I like both and understand the value of both. Proprietary works for high-end stuff that needs a lot of polish and investment. Open source tends to work at the bottom of the software stack where everybody can base their work off of, both proprietary and open source.

Reply Score: 0

Baaaad...
by ma_d on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:59 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

"Intellectual Property: A major flaw at the heart of the open source movement is the misconception that most individuals actually have the legal right to contribute their intellectual efforts to OSS projects. In most industrialized nations, intellectual property (IP) generated by an employee through the course of his or her employment legally belongs to the employer."
I imagine it's possible for the employer to sign away that right back to the employee. But ya know, no one ever signs a contract when they go to a new job so that's obviously out of the question.

"This is a very inefficient way of ensuring code quality - just ask Microsoft!"
I believe Microsoft has restructured their techniques for getting projects done twice, and plans to do it again after Vista due to failure to complete things on time. Vista just took forever. And another project, I forget which, had a problem where it was so rushed to stay on time that programmers were said to solve some functions this simply: return 12;. We all know, bugs are faaaar easier to fix when they're created than they are once you've forgotten the code. Anyway, I wouldn't just ask any company: They all figure out they had something wrong eventually. The author quotes Fred Brookes to disprove OSS. The problem here is that OSS has already disproved Brookes main equation which says that time to completion takes n^2 due to communication channels. There's still a LOT of truth in what Brookes said, but small groups are not the only way to get things done.
Of course, the OSS method, done entirely in-house, would be unbelievably stupid. The advantage comes into effect when in-house translates to you, and all other 16 companies implementing the same thing.

Professionalism: Is silly. I'd much rather be called an amatuer, the true meaning of the word is much nicer than the meaning of professional. Where amateur comes from amator, latin for "lover, devoted friend." Professinal being one "suited for a profession" or "engaged in an activity as a source of livelihood." Talk to 500 people about their jobs, in a range of fields and companies, and I think you'll see the latter more often than the former.
Also, the gaming industry is one of the lowest paid programming areas (especially for programmers at that skill level). Because the jobs are highly coveted. Not because of the benefits: But because they're often lovers of the work. He may also want to note that many gamers today constantly complain about innovation in games, or lack there of.

Innovation: Has he ever worked on an OSS project? I've never seen one without a maintainer before. Are there any without lead developers? TMK, Linux development is fairly innovative internally; but the interfaces are ripoffs. Of course, being a kernel the innovation is going to be internal, since we all know what it's supposed to do: Help the applications get their work done on the hardware.

I believe the majority of software today is not packaged. Therefore proprietary vendors are a minority. This means the worst it would do is:
a.) Make for good in-house software.
b.) Make for a lot less people making in-house software.
B is more likely I suppose. Kind of sad, but that doesn't mean we should be pro-enefficiency.

"In theory, an OSS license doesn't actually prevent anyone from selling the software but in practice no one will buy it if the source code is freely available, unless the seller is also providing some kind of added value."
Ok, so you can't sell OSS OEM software. I'd absolutely agree with that.

I think the problem with the whole worry about OSS destroying jobs, probably via it's code reuse (problem solving reuse); is that people think there is a small, finite, set of problems to solve. If there are infinite problems, it doesn't matter what pace you solve them at. Solving them faster would only increase supply in the market; and presumably increase demand as well: We've seen more software sell as more becomes available.


Why would we want a Government study? I thought we wanted to know what it will do, not what some shill thinks it may do. We need academic papers with peer review to study it. And there are all kinds of papers floating around about it. There are even published books! Pro and con!

Reply Score: 1

And a correction
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:59 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The hacker culture really started in the early 60s at MIT. Read Hackers.

Reply Score: 0

RE: And a correction
by ma_d on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:02 UTC in reply to "And a correction"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Or...
Free as in Freedom
And I think Rebel Code covers it too.

Not to mention a swarm of books I haven't read which mention RMS. If you mention RMS, you have to explain the history of hackers.
And actually, I think it dates back to the 50's with "dormitory hacks." (basically breaking into things and some really funny pranks)

Reply Score: 1

Innovation
by Mark Williamson on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:04 UTC
Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's easy to look at OSS and say "That isn't innovative". *Most* of it isn't doing something new, *much* of it is copying existing systems. This is proper and necessary - taking the good ideas that are available enables a "best of breed" system. You can't compete without duplicating functionality, which is why commercial products copy each others' ideas too.

Innovation comes where somebody spots a new way of doing something, or a problem we didn't know needed solving; then (s)he has to go out there and tackle it. This is not the norm in OSS, or in industry, or anywhere. There's no reason OSS can't do innovation: there are plenty of OSS innovations out there too.

I'd also suggest that the small proprietary companies that are innovating *aren't* the ones most threatened by OSS. My perception is that when OSS does reimplement ideas from existing projects, it's typically the big projects from big companies (Operating systems, office suites, graphics apps...) - not copying the ideas of random start-up companies doing unusual projects.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Innovation
by ma_d on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:11 UTC in reply to "Innovation"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

It's almost like a manual way to force software into public domain by reimplementing it.
It's a copyright brute force technique if you will.

Of course, the idea of a public domain must be sheer evil to this author. The thought of doing things, in the end, for the good of society; and not just your pocketbook; must be anathema.
Keep in mind, when I say public domain I mean an involuntary time driven one. IE, copyrighted works are copyrighted for n years.

Engineers in other fields accept this with patents. And in return they can copy designs from 25 years ago. And the guy who patented it got protection for his idea to make the market value on it for 20 (I think it's 20 in the US) years.
Software lacks this, proprietary and free (Free does it by choice). Which makes it, in practice, more similar to authoring a book (which is in effect, in the US, copyrighted forever).
But in theory, it is like engineering. Well, part of it anyway.

Reply Score: 1

The Trouble with Tribbles....
by vasper on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:11 UTC
vasper
Member since:
2005-07-22

It reminds me the Star Trek TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles". A lot of skweeks with no substance.

First, the author makes the mistake of confusing free with freedom. Open Source is not about being free of charge, but about freedom of choice.

Then, he confuses Open Source, with lack of design. I as a programmer have spend many hours planning with others software I help create, OSS or not.

Nothing in OSS is unplanned as is implied here. Just look at the thousands of newsgroups specifically for OSS project descussion. Those people are designing. In fact some may say that because there are more minds working on a problem, the best idea is easier to find.

As for Intellectual Property, a company can only claim as their IP what was written in their labs, or using their equipment. The company I work for cannot control code I write at home, using my personal PC. But it could claim IP of the code I write in the lab, or on the Laptop PC it has provided for me.

So I can't see any trouble with OSS, I can only see trouble with people trying to get others afraid of OSS.

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous
Member since:
---

What remains is innovation. I think this is overblown. During the time that open source software has been "copying" proprietary solutions (which isn't strictly true since so much of the original GUI design was published research done at Xerox PARC and the universities), proprietary software hasn't been very innovative either. The most recent major innovation was the web browser, but that wasn't proprietary, being created at CERN (I think it was also open source).

Search and advanced graphics were kicking around the open source world before they started turning up in proprietary OSes (they were never given priority though). Small innovations like Apple's Expose are arguably equalled by small innovations in open source in areas like panel apps, browser extensions, etc. Regardless, when it comes down to it, this isn't an open source problem: there have been no *major* innovations in software from any source.

Reply Score: 0

Factual errors
by archiesteel on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:37 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

1) The employer does not ipso facto own the IP produced outside of work except if it says so in your contract. That is the law in North America, and I believe it is the same in much of Europe as well.

2) The "console glut" of the 1980's was not the result of "bedroom programmers", but rather of questionable management decisions by Atari (who, unlike current console manufacturers, did not seem to hold publishers to strict standards of quality) and of independent publishers trying to maximize profits by slashing production times.

I'm sure there are others, but after reading this it became clear to me that this man is a paid MS shill doing some astroturfing...plus a change...

Reply Score: 1

Read the last paragraph
by Ravnos on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:38 UTC
Ravnos
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you have any doubts as to whether or not this guy is full of shit, read the last two paragraphs of the article. They expose him as the transparent fool that he is. "Oh noes! We need the gov't to protect us from that evil, evil OSS or else we may have to rethink our business models!"

Reply Score: 1

This is an IT lacky...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:44 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

...who apparently has a hard time understanding how OSS software development works.

IP is a moot point for OSS developers. It's just to keep track of who did what and where to give credit when borrowing code. The sole purpose of IP in OSS is to keep record of who did what when so they can rebuff proprietary claims of IP infringement. (can we say SCO?)

From the point of view of somebody mixing proprietary with GNU, yeah this may be an issue. But the GNU folks (as well as BSD) will read this and say: "Uh, so what's your point again?"

Reply Score: 0

RE: This is an IT lacky...
by AdamW on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:20 UTC in reply to "This is an IT lacky..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree that this article is mostly rubbish, but you're off base here:

"IP is a moot point for OSS developers. It's just to keep track of who did what and where to give credit when borrowing code. The sole purpose of IP in OSS is to keep record of who did what when so they can rebuff proprietary claims of IP infringement. (can we say SCO?)"

open source is _founded_ on IP. The concept of open source requires the existence of a framework of intellectual property law which allows the 'owner' of a piece of code to dictate what rights others have to use it. Without this framework, all code would be public domain (code anarchy!) Especially the GPL requires strong IP law to enforce the 'all derivatives must be open source' criterion. So to say IP is a moot point is just not right.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: This is an IT lacky...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE: This is an IT lacky..."
Anonymous Member since:
---

According to the GPL IP is pure bull. However, copyright is important. But IP is just a way to confuse people, and it's an unholy mix of copyright laws, trademark laws and software patents mixed together.

GPL is pro-copyright and anti-IP (there's a catch here, remember).

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: This is an IT lacky...
by AdamW on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is an IT lacky..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Er, no it's not. "IP" (Intellectual Property) is a handy catch-all term referring to the legal concepts of copyright, trademark and patents. If you own and wish to exert copyright in something, you have intellectual property.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: This is an IT lacky...
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is an IT lacky..."
Anonymous Member since:
---

That's what I wrote.

Being 'handy' in this situation is pure bull. You cannot lump copyright and patents together. It's like multiplying flying pigs with apples and claim the result is a orange with blueberry flavour. And that's why the GPL is anti-IP and pro-copyright. It's against the lumping-together mumbojumbo and it's for the protection of copyrights.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

"Abscence or design leadership" = baloney
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:31 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Seriously, where did that come from? Lack of leadership? Just take a look at OpenBSD...

Reply Score: 0

Full of shit
by rm6990 on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:45 UTC
rm6990
Member since:
2005-07-04

"Any software that (IT professionals) write, irrespective of whether it is during or outside normal working hours, legally belongs to their employer."

Great, that leaves Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, IBM, HP, Sun, Dell, Nokia and numerous others still paying people to program this stuff.

That is, of course, if this was true and the author wasn't full of shit.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous
Member since:
---

"Professionalism: There are uncomfortable similarities between the OSS development process and the situation that arose in the computer games industry in the early 1980s..."

...evidently the point in time and mindset from which the author's perspective seems to originate, showing him to be quite ignorant of the actual trends and their causes and motivations in the development of open source software today.

"Companies such as Red Hat... are successful because the market for Linux is huge, but this business model isn't really viable for niche market software..."

Having spoken to people who are comfortably running businesses selling support for open source software in niche markets, with the business case being *more* compelling because of the fact that not anyone can just tool up and repackage the product without offering a competitive level of service, it is obvious that the author's opinion here is idle speculation rather than fact.

"However, OSS does have a legitimate place in academia... The UK government's recently introduced policy... also recommends the adoption of OSS as the default exploitation route for publicly funded R&D software outputs. While this is broadly in line with the direction that the academic community is taking, it doesn't help the software industry."

The author surprisingly recognises the benefits of open source in academia, yet seemingly yearns for the days of old-school proprietary software, with "industry" presumably cherry-picking from academic work, and with "academia" presumably forced to suck at industry's teat.

BCS has always struggled to maintain some level of credibility, authority or even relevance (unlike other professional organisations), and with skeletons in its closet like pro-software-patent lobbying tendencies (http://wiki.ffii.org/Bcs0501En), I wouldn't expect more than a flawed analysis of open source at best, or a biased ultra-proprietary nostalgia trip at worst, from any member actively waving his or her membership around.

Reply Score: 1

Professional and orgainised
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Some organizations don't even come close to say Gnome release timings, OSS projects can be just as professional as any for there information, schedules etc.

People say OSS don't know where it's going, I beg to differ, the amount of vision in the OSS community is quiet astonishing. The last 10 years of OSS has see more vision than I can remember. Microsoft has had little vision since 1995 and thanks to OSS it's next version of Windows will just show how lacking in vision they have been.

Examples are,

MSIE has changed very little since 1995 in terms of features and real vision.

Windows has been plagued with security issues and lack of features which don't stand out from the rest.

OSS projects like KDE have jumped ahead in vision and features while Microsoft has been fighting linux, throwing FUD and it's security flaws, no vision or development since SP2.

Reply Score: 0

v RE: Professional and orgainised
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:25 UTC in reply to "Professional and orgainised "
Anonymous Member since:
---

So has Linux and other OSS projects. If you think otherwise, I need some of what you're smoking.

Of course OSS projects have had some security issues. But not nearly as many or as critical as those Microsoft has had (and still have).

In regard to the desktop MS still haven't implemented the template folder, nor implemented drag'n'drop in any noteworthy scope (before you flame me, remember I've been using Windows since 1990 - I'm not new to windows). What Windows can or cannot when Vista arrive, will be seen, when it actually arrives. As long-time windows user, I know Windows usually contain less of the good stuff than promised, and a lot more of the not wanted stuff.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
---

He must know what he is talking about.



(before you flame me, the above was posted with dripping sarcasm.)

Reply Score: 0

article wrong on many counts
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:12 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

I am not surprised to read an article like that by Microsoft "alumni" Stephen J Marshall who is afterall one of the strongest opponents of OSS.

However, he is dead wrong on many counts in this article and may want to consider to go back to school and study technical journalism. There he will learn, amoung many other things, that making up stuff and stating it as a fact is NOT acceptable. Not even in his unsubstantiated attacks against OSS.

Reply Score: 0

Company right's to my Code
by Earl Colby pottinger on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:32 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

Now this is a laught. Almost all the non-commercial software I have written were for the Amiga or BeOS.

The one time my ex-boss mentioned using my programming skills I made clear that they could not get any help from me at my present computer repair tech rates. If they want me as a programmer, they have to pay me programmer rates. The company was too cheap to pay that ;)

Reply Score: 1

bah...
by hobgoblin on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:00 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

point one in that article is one of the aspects of intelectual property that screams explotation...

why on earth do a corp have the right to something i make while employed to them? is this so that im not supposed to work for them, get an idea, then keep working while im setting up a competing company behind their back?

hell, wasnt the first apple computer allmost torpedoed by this as it was buildt while one of the funders where working for some company?

this is just another reason why intelection property should never be lawfully held by a corporation.

Reply Score: 1

Not so much
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:24 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The only point that could conceptually be held would be the first. Even then, software first licensed retains that license.

Conceptual Integrity - This idea has failed the software industry. This corresponds to the waterfall methodology which has proven expensive and ineffectual. Agile methodologies are the saving grace of the software industry. Refactoring and testing. Design projects to the ever changing landscape of public and business requirements and desires. Software dev has become way too fluid for conceptual integrity. Why do you think we have ultra high level languages like python or c#.

Innovation - Okay we all know this one is bull. Why is microsoft touting awesome new features for it's next os due in a year that have been in oss desktops for several. OSS tends to be developed by the people using the systems, as opposed to so guy in a cubicle coding by the hour waiting for 5:00. Which way do you think you'll get innovation. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

A whole bunch of bull.

Don't forget that OSS necessitates more secure, safe, and clean code than is possibly binary only.

Reply Score: 0

Heck yeah man, you are so right on.
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:34 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

"You obviously weren't at the PDC conference last week. MS demonstrated the composited Windows desktop running in hardware, with pixel shaders and full hardware acceleration. KDE is nowhere near that capability, and the perf is atrocious"

Yeah I know man. I was sooo cool. They could like show bits of documents in the icons. KDE totally. can't match that awesomeness.

I can't wait untill cool web search comes out for vista, that really makes the system run great! Wow, I hear they even include a ZIP extraction utility! That's really ahead of it's time. They are even considering a cd burning utility that can burn ISOs, who else does that out of the box??

Let's hear it Rah Rah MICROSORT! Rah Rah MICROSOFT. ;) omPoms waiving side to side kicking legs in air:

Reply Score: 0

RE: The Trouble with Open Source
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:47 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Thought of my employer owning something I wrote in my spare time is scary indeed.

Conceptual Integrity:
Like any engineering design project, good software needs a designer
Saying if I start a project, for instance a calculator program for specified task, and I release the code under GPL the code is still mine. Someone can fork the project of course, but the initial code is mine. If someone wants to write a patch to the program, don't I need approve it first? Ain't I the designer then?

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
---

Someone can fork the project of course, but the initial code is mine. If someone wants to write a patch to the program, don't I need approve it first? Ain't I the designer then?

You have the copyright to your code, but you don't have the right to others code.

What goes or does not go into your branch, is your decision. But if you're too slow to implement patches, you'll probably live to see another fork. But your branch is controlled by you. My branch is controlled by me (that is, if I fork your project :p )

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
---

Forgot to mention:

You don't get to approve anything, except for whatever goes into your codebranch. Everybody can do with the code what they want- with or without approval. But whether or not it goes into your codebranch - that's for you to decide. But if you say no, you might have a fork on your hands - and you can't control that one.

One could say that your're the designer to the extent other people sees you as such.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Right
by Soulbender on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:47 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

I think it's cute how he thinks the gaming industry has the most technically skilled programmers. That sure explains the many buggy releases, the millions of virtually identical games and the endless train of fixes, "point releases" (how's that for bullshit) and upgrades.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Professional and orgainised
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 03:26 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Really what security issue?, I guess you don't use Linux then, since when has Windows had the functionality of say KDE? and have you seen kde 3.5/xorg cvs/kompmgr ?

Well Microsoft have to do something but coming up with eyecandy like that is all they can do?, after all it's well over a year away from release. Anyway what use is pixel shaders on the desktop? since Linux desktop has demonstrated HW acceleration anyway, and my KDE desktop has the speed and features of what Vista has show to do. Lets talk about what we are using NOW not a year from now.

Microsoft have just looked at OSX and KDE, copied and called it there own innovation.

Reply Score: 0

v Fyra myror
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:22 UTC
RE: Fyra myror
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:47 UTC in reply to "Fyra myror"
Anonymous Member since:
---

*LOL*

Forty ants are more than five elephants? Yeah, I guess I can agree on that one. But why use swedish to state that fact ;) ?

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Fyra myror
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Fyra myror"
Anonymous Member since:
---

Or should it be four ants? Swedish is to difficult for a dane - too many spelling errors. I'm almost sure you could spell the words right, if you just tried ;)

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

v Actually a good read.
by deathshadow on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:42 UTC
RE: Actually a good read.
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:53 UTC in reply to "Actually a good read."
Anonymous Member since:
---

YOU ARE GIVING UP YOUR RIGHTS TO YOUR OWN WORK! Have fun eating ten cent ramen and tini drinks the rest of your life, or working a day job you hate to support your 'hobby'.

No, you're not. You are merely cooperating with other people. Anyway, unless you've created something really remarkable, you don't have any reason to try and 'protect' it. And if it is remarkable, you're gonna get hired by a major company, and/or the application will be recreated by competitors before you can even blink.

Besides that: Most programmers earn their living by maintaining large computersystems for companies. Not by coding applications for general use. And most of the latter one is coming from support.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

what's he smoking?
by butters on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:21 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

You can only find such a unique mixture of references together in one primary source:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/hacker-history/

This guy read Eric S. Raymond and decided to write a FUD piece about everything he learned: hacker culture, PDP-11, Fred Brooks (mythical man-month), Linus' Law (of shallow bugs), Multics, the origins of UNIX...

Only, he ommitted the parts about where ESR refuted the N^2 complexity predicted by Brooksian theory, the role of design and development in OSS, the theories of conventional software management and the Maginot line, etc. He missed the point.

His biggest fear is the limited choice of either OSS or Microsoft? Then I wonder if he considers himself a reactionary or revolutionary...

Reply Score: 1

My problems with open source
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:59 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

I'm up for using open source. It can save me some good money in the end. Problem is that for what I do, there just isnt an open source program that comes close to a closed source program that I use on a regular basis.

Sure Gimp is nice (I recommend it to everyone I know that needs a paint program) but it still doesnt match Photoshop in features. I have no problem paying money for a program thats better rather than just having to settle for something less. And if someone can provide a 3D program on par with Maya or 3DS Max, I would love to see it. Blender still has a loooong way to go in my opinion...

Reply Score: 0

RE: My problems with open source
by ma_d on Mon 19th Sep 2005 13:09 UTC in reply to "My problems with open source"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That's not a problem with Open Source. That's part of it: It tends to be a little behind on the bleeding edge cases. But at the same time, if you compare GIMP and Photoshop on other things like say, user interface; well Photoshop doesn't compare.
Oh if I had a dollar for every horribly photoshopped picture where they scaled it with a fast/low-quality scaling algorithm.... And then saved it in a heavily smoothed jpeg; I'd be richer than Captain Kirk!

Reply Score: 1

RE: My problems with open source
by Finalzone on Mon 19th Sep 2005 16:37 UTC in reply to "My problems with open source"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Some features from Photosop couldn't be implemented to Gimp due patents issue.
In term of layout, I prefer Gimp.

Reply Score: 1

trouble surrounding <...> (*non*-OSS)
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:07 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Never ever experience the overdue time MS has in responding to vulnerabillities.

http://www.eeye.com/html/research/upcoming/index.html

Reply Score: 0

In reply to kristian AT herkild DOT dk
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:15 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

You have the copyright to your code, but you don't have the right to others code.

What goes or does not go into your branch, is your decision. But if you're too slow to implement patches, you'll probably live to see another fork. But your branch is controlled by you. My branch is controlled by me (that is, if I fork your project :p )



Forgot to mention:

You don't get to approve anything, except for whatever goes into your codebranch. Everybody can do with the code what they want- with or without approval. But whether or not it goes into your codebranch - that's for you to decide. But if you say no, you might have a fork on your hands - and you can't control that one.

One could say that your're the designer to the extent other people sees you as such.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk


I didn't intend to say I control other versions except mine, and if someone forks my project (say, Yet Another Calculator YAC), they cannot use same name, right? So everyone knows I'm the maintainer (and thus, designer) of the YAC. Forks (say, Yet Another Yet Another Calculator YAYAC) has different person "in charge" and I have no control over there.

xaicawa AT yahoo DOT com

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
---

I didn't intend to say I control other versions except mine, and if someone forks my project (say, Yet Another Calculator YAC), they cannot use same name, right? So everyone knows I'm the maintainer (and thus, designer) of the YAC. Forks (say, Yet Another Yet Another Calculator YAYAC) has different person "in charge" and I have no control over there.

xaicawa AT yahoo DOT com


Whether or not they can use the same name depends on the license. With BSD/MIT-licenses you can use the same name. This is also true for GPL and LGPL. But other non-compatible licenses in regard to GPL do not allow the same name to be used.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
---

Whether or not they can use the same name depends on the license. With BSD/MIT-licenses you can use the same name. This is also true for GPL and LGPL. But other non-compatible licenses in regard to GPL do not allow the same name to be used.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk


From http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

"The GPL requires the maker of a version to place his or her name on it, to distinguish it from other versions and to protect the reputations of other maintainers."

I was shocked there for a moment, but that line saved my day ;)

xaicawa AT yahoo DOT com

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
---

Yes yes, place his or her name on it (like in an about box). But the application can still have the same name.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

oss
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:42 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

In my view, OSS purpose is to share the knowledge of code with other programmers. Whether the sw is free or not is not important. I don't know why OSS/free sw is always mentioned in conjunction with linux when clearly it has no OS boundaries. I use windows and some of my sw is free/oss and some isn't even made for linux.

There will always be need for commercial sw to meet those needs that OSS failed to meet or inadequately meets. The two systems are different and trying to cram one or the other onto folks is not good. Let folks decide for themselves. Reminds me of how online shopping was seen as death to brick and mortar stores by some while back and in the end it turned out that having both is desirable.

Reply Score: 0

RE: My problems with open source
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:11 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Well thats why you have the option, you can run Maya in Linux natively. The apps your talking are very complicated and have been developed over many, many years and there is no FREE application that comes close to The GIMP. At the same time you do have features in OSS software not found in non OSS and at least I can add or code my own features into it, unlike non OSS.

Reply Score: 0

hmm!
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:19 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Probably it looked a bit like OSS is not innovative, as a lot of things first had to be recreated with a free license. The point where both got equal is in a lot of areas not too old, some might argue that in other areas OSS even still needs to catch up. In again other areas, OSS is already innovative. Just depends on what areas you pick.

Desktops? With KDE at least it is on the level with Windows.
Hardware support? Both Linux and FreeBSD work okay, Linux got a bit more support then FreeBSD of course.

Reply Score: 0

Huh?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:22 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The process of creating software is more akin to an engineering discipline than an artistic endeavour,
Being clueless considered harmful, you know that?

Next time he'll tell us how positive cubicles are in software development?

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
---

"A major flaw at the heart of the open source movement is the misconception that most individuals actually have the legal right to contribute their intellectual efforts to OSS projects. In most industrialized nations, intellectual property (IP) generated by an employee through the course of his or her employment legally belongs to the employer. In the UK, this is embodied in the Patents Act 1977 and the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988."

Surely this isn't so?

Whether I label myself as an individual or set myself up as a sole business, I cannot understand how if I am working for someone elses business (with their own interests and shareholders) and if I make something in my 'other' time outside of that business's work time, my work will be allocated to that business.

I, whether an individual or a sole business, have my own interests, my externally invented intellectual property should not automatically be transfered to the business I do most work for. Just makes no sense!

Reply Score: 0

Another weener!
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 11:31 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

More anti-OSS weeners appear everyday!

Let them wallow in their own filth.


A saying goes something like this...

A tree falling down will make a sound...But how can there be sound if no one is there to hear it?

In other words...IGNORE THEM!

Reply Score: 0

RE: Anonymous (IP: 62.254.0.---)
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 18:39 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Well thats why you have the option, you can run Maya in Linux natively.
-----------

But I can still run it in Windows, which is what I would rather do. For one all my other programs are in Windows. Also (i'm not trying to start some Linux vs. Windows war, I do know how to use both) as an OS I prefer to use Windows over Linux. When i want to have some fun and tinker with the OS I'll boot into Linux. When I want a trouble free environment to get my work done I'll go into Windows. And yes, I can always add code to my open source software. That is a definate advantage. I just dont have the time to be adding features to software when I could purchase a closed source that has the features I need. It is possible to do scripting or add features by way of plugins anyways in the programs I use so the adding of features could really still be added when using closed source.

Reply Score: 0

*yawn*
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 19:30 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Having worked in a startup that sold internet appliances based on Linux I've seen the benefits of F/OSS first hand. The combination of a free, integrated software development and production environment and an easily configurable and modular operating system is huge advantage to a cash strapped startup. We payed for certain components (MySQL comes to mind) but overall software costs were neglible. Assembly and integration of all of the components (hardware and software alike) were both labor and resource intensive. You do need Linux experts for such tasks.

As a result, I see Linux as an excellent tool for computer savvy individuals and organizations, primarily in the embedded, server and appliance spaces. In this respect, however, Linux is little different from other freeware and commercial products. The much touted collaborative advantage possessed by Linux is little different from the BSD and other academic and commercial OS (such as Minix) undertakings. Academics and professionals made significant contributions to such efforts long before the advent of Linux.

Fundamentally, Linux's greatest accomplishment is the destruction of other commerical UNIX distributions. Linux has effectively unified the commerical UNIX world. However, we're already witnessing fragmentation of Linux as individual distros and corporate sponsors customize Linux to suite their own goals and purposes. In other words, this is exactly what happened to AT&T UNIX derivatives in the 80's.
The are some differences, such as a single kernel (which promotes widespread hardware vendor support) and a host of half-baked, crude or otherwise incomplete desktop apps to accompany it.

The command line tools in GNU/Linux are quite good but that's not really an accomplishment as the maturity and high quality of such apps was attained decades ago. F/OSS projects also tend to exhibit a plateau effect in which development stagnates as the project originator and maintainers gradually abandon the project. Additionally, the F/OSS community is in a constant, perpetual and reactive state of "catch-up" with respect to commerical applications. Such an approach is doomed to failure.

While Linux desktop apps stagger towards somethign resembling refinement, Apple and Microsoft (yes..M$) are *light years* ahead. I'm sorry but that is the cold, hard reality of the situation. OS X has effectively stolen Linux's thunder on the desktop. With Apple switching to commodity components I'm convinced that Linux will be squeezed out of the small share of the desktop market it possesses. What value proposition does Linux have at that point? Cheap hardware? No. Better desktop and CLI apps? No. Better pricing? Well..kinda. I'm don't have Apple's x86 software pricing list but I think that it will be competitive with "free."

Ultimately, you get what you pay for. M$ and Apple are feature-driven, customer oriented companies that bend over backwards (M$ more so than Apple...christ, there are still people running 16-bit, protected mode extended memory and it works in XP..mostly ) to maintain backwards compatibility and incorporate features demanded by their paying customers. The F/OSS community, IMHO, needs to develop a compelling reason to switch..the so-called killer-app rather than derivative, carbon-copy duplications.

Apple's killer app was OS X and now it is OS X on cheap(er) hardware. Granted, one has to deal with the RDF and Apple's tyranny. Either that or the ethically-bankrupt and late-to-market M$. Choose your poison ;)

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
---

The fact that the law is an ass is not a flaw in open source. It is unjust that anything a programmer writes belongs to their employer even if they do it in their own time and it has nothing to do with their employers business, this is more like slavery than a modern business relationship even if it is still enshrined in law. Does a carpenter who builds new kitchen cabinets at home expect to hand them to their employer when they leave the company?

Reply Score: 0

rant
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 20:43 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The best thing to do is ignore rants like in the article above. Not only do they display ignorance, they also possess the fallacy of making generalizations about the entire OSS movement- in this case, on the basis of the author's apparent peeves about Linux.

Evidently major corporations do not share the authors fears- Apple, IBM, HP, Nokia and so forth have all lent support to the OSS movement. Even Microsoft is not above implementing OSS code.

Maybe if ever programmer in the OSS were as undisciplined as the writer portrays them, and OSS was the circle jerk the article makes it out to be, we could find something useful in the article. Unfortunately, it does not deal with the issues in a manner that is rational in the least. Sad

Reply Score: 0