Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Feb 2007 16:49 UTC, submitted by elsewhere
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Is open source still a grassroots social movement made up of idealistic underdogs trying to revolutionize an amoral industry? Or has it become a cloak used by IT vendors large and small to disguise ruthless and self-serving behavior? Some observers argue it's the latter. Despite occasional protests from old-timers - the heated backlash against the Microsoft-Novell détente, for example - open source has become so co-opted by mainstream IT, so transformed by 'accidental open sourcers' simply looking for a better business model, that it's lost its cherished moral edge."
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v Oh boy...
by wolfman3k5 on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:19 UTC
RE: Oh boy...
by samad on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:29 UTC in reply to "Oh boy..."
samad Member since:
2006-03-31

What you're describing is for average users. Linux and open-source isn't for average users who just want to surf the web and use Office. It's for more sophisticated users who like the beauty of software engineering in an open medium.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh boy...
by suryad on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:23 UTC in reply to "Oh boy..."
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Vista?! Ok Office 2k7 I will give you...but Vista? Have you used it? IT honestly is nothing more than a prettier looking XP that has DRM and is slower for some reason along with a lot of overhead aka services running.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Oh boy...
by sukru on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh boy..."
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Well, I'm sorry to make this stray further from the main topic.

Yep Office 2007 is really nice as you said. It's actually revolutionary.

But Vista is also a big improvement over Xp. While not revolutionary, but evolutionary at least.

Many annoying interface bugs have been fixed and many utilities have been added (like when you tried to rename open files, you lost your modifications after an error message, now there is a retry. And start menu integrated search is very nice, yep it does a little bit more than google desktop).

Unless you have hardware incompatibilities (I've seen many cases, and find it normal atm), you'll have a much better experience with Vista. And actually it's a little bit faster on the same hardware (at least in my experience).

So please try to give Vista a chance before dismissing it altogether.

(Again sorry again for interrupting).

[i]Vista?! Ok Office 2k7 I will give you...but Vista? Have you used it? IT honestly is nothing more than a prettier looking XP that has DRM and is slower for some reason along with a lot of overhead aka services running[i]

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Oh boy...
by Gooberslot on Tue 20th Feb 2007 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh boy..."
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

And actually it's a little bit faster on the same hardware (at least in my experience).

Then your experience goes against pretty much every benchmark I've seen, with a very few exceptions.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Oh boy...
by wolfman3k5 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh boy..."
RE[2]: Oh boy...
by Darkelve on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh boy..."
Darkelve Member since:
2006-02-06

"Vista?! Ok Office 2k7 I will give you...but Vista? Have you used it? IT honestly is nothing more than a prettier looking XP that has DRM and is slower for some reason along with a lot of overhead aka services running."

Might that Reason be the DRM you speak of?

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

Reply Score: 2

It never had a halo
by moleskine on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:20 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

In the end, I guess it is a matter of individual taste: do you want to work for yourself, or slave away for da man?

Of course crooks, usurers, blackmailers, etc., are going to try to move in and slap "Open Source" on their wares in the hope of conning folks. Many of the biggest names in IT are already doing it, ably supported by their inhouse journals like the Econcomist, Businessweek, etc.

OTOH, talking of "idealistic underdogs", "halos" and "morale edge" is no more than applying labels to people so that they'll fit in with whatever story you want to tell. Ultimately, it is BS too. It might be used to puff up special interest groups like the FSF, for example, or it might be used by a greedy con-artist claiming that his money-making activities are merely cleaning up and making sense of the work of a bunch of hippies.

Just my 2 cents, but I like Open Source because it is a different and in some cases much more effective way of doing things, represents a much more humane way of organizing society, doesn't cost money I can't afford, and frees me from the tawdry junk-food view of the world promoted by the likes of Microsoft and Apple on behalf of their owners, the banks, investment and insurance companies.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It never had a halo
by b3timmons on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:47 UTC in reply to "It never had a halo"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

I agree that it never had one. If it represents a much more humane way of organizing society, then it really cannot be seen so much as "open source" anymore, however. The open source campaign seems to only concern itself with what is the most effective method of developing software.

The free software movement, on the other hand, would concern itself with what is humane, and, more generally, with what is ethical. Moreover, it too never had a halo, although it may appear to have one:
http://www.stallman.org/saintignucius.jpg 8^)

Edited 2007-02-19 18:03

Reply Score: 5

RE: It never had a halo
by butters on Mon 19th Feb 2007 19:08 UTC in reply to "It never had a halo"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

do you want to work for yourself, or slave away for da man?

There is a degree of irony in this. I agree that the spirit of OSS embodies a sense of entrepreneurship. You can go and make something great happen--change the world. But unfortunately it's often hard to capitalize, especially if your idea makes ordinary people's lives better but doesn't offer compelling advantages to businesses.

The OSS development model is a silver bullet for certain challenges faced by the software industry, but it is no cure-all. There is simply a hard limit on how much money the mass market is willing to spend on software, and it's dropping rapidly every year. You could try to argue that this is partly the fault of OSS, but considering the shareware movement it replaced and the widespread piracy of proprietary software, I argue that the consumer software market was going downhill no matter what.

A better argument is that the rise of OSS is the response to, rather than the cause of, the failure of the consumer software market. The proprietary ecosystems of Microsoft and Apple captivated our imaginations and opened our wallets for a while, but they no longer evoke the same response from their target demographics. Instead it is OSS and Linux that increasingly appeal to our sensibilities, because while proprietary software offered promises (sometimes empty ones), OSS offers possibilities--software that is truly as limitless in potential as the hardware on which it runs.

We know why OSS works from a practical perspective and why it appeal to our spirit of independence, but how does it drive revenue? How do you monetize OSS as an independent software developer? You have to find an angle into the professional or corporate markets. These are the only markets that pay for custom software development or comprehensive support contracts.

The other way in is by developing notoriety within the OSS community and hopefully gaining employment at one of the many commercial vendors that fund OSS development. You need more than a good idea to go this route. You need to be able to hack with the best of them, and almost as importantly, you need very solid written communication skills. Fortunately, once you get your first paid OSS development position, you have a golden ticket. Loads of commercial software and hardware vendors are looking for solid OSS development talent, and previous paid OSS experience is an unbeatable qualification.

Of course, proprietary software vendors will jump for the nearest life raft if they find themselves in a sinking ship. These days, OSS is nearest raft with the brightest beacon. Many times they jump on and then revert to the same strategy which failed them once before. It's their loss, not that of the OSS community. If they fail to see the big picture for their target market, then chances are an OSS model isn't going to correct their myopia.

There is one exception, and that is when OSS vendors start playing games with intellectual property. Of course I'm referring to Novell. Not only are they doomed to repeat history due to the same lack of foresight to which I previously alluded, but they are also undermining the rights of the entire OSS community. Microsoft eventually realized that while embrace and extend works wonders against your usual disruptive technology, it doesn't work against a social phenomenon such as the OSS community. However, IP law is a proven weapon for subverting the will of the masses. I won't dwell on this, read some of my previous posts for more.

The summary is that the OSS model works wonders for funding and scaling development projects. It's a challenge to monetize, but that's the nature of the software industry in general, not just OSS. The OSS community has nothing to fear from commercial vendors making blunders out of their OSS strategies. However, we have much to fear in the area of patent law. Novell may have opened Pandora's box, and unless the community moves immediately to distance itself from their regrettable decision, we might never fully recover.

Reply Score: 5

The fundamental problem
by samad on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:26 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

I think the point of the article is that open source is reaching its crossroads. Before corporate involvement was almost nil, now companies are scrambling to write open source software. The question the open-source community faces is all this corporate involvement good? Will they preserve and respect our rights, or will open-source be hijacked and transformed into something grotesque?

Reply Score: 4

It's a cycle
by stephanem on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:36 UTC
stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

Open Source (1965-1981) -> Closed Source (1981-1994) -> Open Source (1994-2010) -> Closed Source (2010-2021).

The open source messiah will decend upon us in 2021

Reply Score: 3

Milo_Hoffman Member since:
2005-07-06

Opensource has been around the whole time...

How the hell do you think the internet was created in that 1981-1994 timeframe huh?

Ever heard of sendmail, bind, ncsa?

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Kroc on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:52 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Speaking of idealistic individuals and dark corporations, OSNews readers might enjoy this comic on the subject. n_n

http://xkcd.com/c225.html

Reply Score: 5

The dark side of open source
by danq on Mon 19th Feb 2007 17:52 UTC
danq
Member since:
2005-07-29

I think it's true that the open source movement has had negative consequences. As much as I ideologically support the GNU's principles, here are my main issues:

1. It locks smaller businesses out and killed the shareware movement. While at one time one could charge for something, make money, and only deal with piracy, now almost everything has an open source clone and essentially forces people to open source their products.

2. It has also added to the current trend in our culture that everything should be available for free. This trend has been around since the Internet started to take off, but open source added to it. It is now almost impossible to sell something unless it is on a store shelf.

3. Advertising helps only certain people, and from what I've found the labor is definitely not worth the advertising dollars, which is the reason why I am no longer developing open-source software, concentrating on more profitable things. (If you're wondering, my Web site is about to be updated.)

4. Support only helps major companies who can develop complicated products and outsource cheap labor. Why do you think Linux is not for the average Joe? So companies like IBM and Red Hat can sell support.

5. Like the left-wing bias and censorship in American higher education, there is a large pro-open source bias and censorship on the Net in the form of "FUD."

Reply Score: 4

RE: The dark side of open source
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "The dark side of open source"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

1) Wrong. GPL and other FLOSS-licenses increases competition options making it possible for small companies to flourish. Of course it does require that software patents cannot exists. This is why smaller companies is (are?) the rule in Europe and big companies (is?) are the rule in USA. The software patents kill the small companies.

2) Selling information has never been the rule, with the possible exception of USA, where everything incl. your sick grandmother is for sale. In most parts of the world anything which isn't physical or a service is impossible to sell, because you can get it for free somewhere else. So far it proves that USA not only exports moral values to the rest of the world, but also imports moral values.

3) Advertising is overrated and can often kick back - especially when overdone (think Coca Cola and Olympic Games). The best form of advertising is mouth-to-mouth.

4) Support also helps small companies who can develop complicated solutions based on available open source components, and by selling support to people that the large companies find uninteresting (too little profit for them). Linux is definitely for the mythical Average Joe. He just doesn't know it yet, but GNU/Linux or PC-BSD/DesktopBSD are no more difficult to use than Mac OS X or Windows.

5) As a libertarian and fierce anti-socialist I call crap on your point no.5 - except for that part about left-wing bias and censorship in higher education ;) - but there is no pro-FLOSS censorship on the net and there is no pro-FLOSS FUD (at least point to some). Pro-FLOSS bias is true alright. But that's because ordinary people like FLOSS (it's about fairness) a lot better than Microsoft's unethical behaviour.

But keep whining - it's entertaining.

EDIT: Changed a bit in #1 - I can never figure out English gramma. (Am, Are, Is, Are, Are, Are) ... *sigh* - I like Danish better... Er, Er, Er, Er, Er, Er ;)

Edited 2007-02-19 18:12

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: The dark side of open source
by danq on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE: The dark side of open source"
danq Member since:
2005-07-29

"1) Wrong. GPL and other FLOSS-licenses increases competition options making it possible for small companies to flourish..."

How can small companies flourish when they can't make money?

"2) Selling information has never been the rule, with the possible exception of USA...In most parts of the world anything which isn't physical or a service is impossible to sell, because you can get it for free somewhere else..."

Idealistically, that is true. But the fact is that companies have to make money, and the open source movement seriously reduced that ability and favored a few transnational corporations who can afford to pay people to support their products.

"5)...but there is no pro-FLOSS censorship on the net and there is no pro-FLOSS FUD (at least point to some)...a lot better than Microsoft's unethical behaviour...But keep whining - it's entertaining"

Anytime someone says something, any think tank study, anything which is said by anyone which goes against open source, even if it supports the movement to some extent, is dismissed as "FUD" or "Microsoft funded" or "a troll." (You yourself accused me of "whining," when I was simply arguing several points which I believe to be true.)

As for Microsoft's unethical behavior, I see the exact same thing in FSF mailing list posts I've come across, like "We should not support non-free operating systems/this/that." The FSF wants to take over the world just as much as Microsoft does. Also, I still don't get how including a browser or media player with an operating system has anything to do with antitrust, since anyone can download anything or insert a CD-ROM with a competing product.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

1) Do you have any evidence they cannot make money? My older brother happens to work in a small company (even after Danish standard) making money on selling support for open source solutions.

They make money on selling support and commercial solutions based on open source components. I repeat: They make money on selling support and commercial solutions based on open source components. Just like IBM, Oracle, Sun, HP - and even Microsoft.

FLOSS != Non-commercial.

2) Crap. You have a twisted mind ;) - how come we have many companies in Denmark (5-10 employees) making money on selling support and commercial solutions based on open source components?

Just because you cannot adapt does not mean the rest of us cannot adapt. It is perfectly possible for small companies to thrive. Software patents however are the true Small Company-killer.

5) You can believe they are true as much as you want. Facts however do not support you. The same goes for the US think-tanks. It's quite funny though, that think-tanks in other parts of the world reach completely different conclusions than the US ones. (Hint: Read MS capital flow.)

The FSF cannot take over the world no more than personal freedom can force a person to think independently.

Boo-hoo I'm free, I'm free. Won't you please take my freedom away! Freely interpreted quote from danq, February 19th, 2007.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Boo-hoo I'm free, I'm free. Won't you please take my freedom away! Freely interpreted quote from danq
"""


I'm not going to play the "Free" vs "Not Free" game.

But looking at what is good for the consumer... well, disruptive technologies are called disruptive for a reason.

Henry Leland and his Cadillac Motor Car Co. pioneered interchangeable parts for automotive construction.

Henry Ford picked the idea up and ran with it, and I think we are all better off for that whole paradigm shift.

Likewise, OSS is a better way to develop certain kinds of software and we are all better off for it.

If it disrupts the Shareware Guys in those markets, they need to compete or change their business model or market.

OSS has picked up infrastructure services and everyday apps that most everyone needs.

But there is still plenty of territory for the proprietary ISV. Business accounting remains virgin territory. But you've got to be willing to do the boring, bean counting stuff, and issue payroll updates for a zillion States, Provinces, and Countries once a year. And that's year in, year out. It's real work. And not necessarily the fun stuff.

For infrastructure and common apps, though, the days are over when you can waltz in and present your proprietary app as though it were rocket science.

We've learned that cooperation and sharing can turn "rocket science" into "mundane".

For all the reinventing of the wheel that we see in OSS, we do a hell of a lot less of it than all the proprietary wheelmakers have done over the years.

Edited 2007-02-19 19:44

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yes yes.. adapt or die. One can of course adapt in several ways. Find a different market, or change tactics and use those of your "enemy".

Reply Score: 2

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

They make money on selling support and commercial solutions based on open source components.

Do you mean selling support for already written software?
Not everyone is working on big projects like JBoss.
If your product doesn't require heavy support how can you earn money? If your target audience is small?

But of course, if your program is no way better than free software it is not worth to create it.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

1) They make money on selling support.
2) They make money on selling commercial solutions based on open source components.

Because many components are available as OSS you don't have to do an awful lot of work in order to create a commercial solution.

Reply Score: 3

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Good, well written software, unless it is an extremely complex application, does not require end user support beyond a well written help file and a few tutorials. Selling support might work well for commercial databases and webserver apps, but it is fairly unprofitable for people using the moderately simple software that the majority of PC users use.

And the business model of giving the software away for free and charging for support gives the developer an intrinsic incentive to deliberately create lousy, poorly documented software that is hard to use, just so they can get more people to buy a support contract (I'm not saying this is what developers actually do, just that it is an ever-present incentive).

I have personally bought and used a number of very useful but inexpensive apps and vst plugins etc which were largely developed by very small teams (1-3 developers). Now there is no way you could charge for support on these apps, since their use is so simple and elementary, and generally well documented that buying support would be a waste of money. If these apps were open source, then the author would have to somehow compete with free versions of the software they were charging for.

So for small time developers, it would be highly irrational to open source their software if they plan on making money from it, unless it is so horribly complicated or poorly designed that end users need to have support to get anything done.

Then there are the costs of actually providing support - it costs a lot of money to employ staff, set up call centres etc in order to provide quality support, and many businesses that try the road of providing for support go bankrupt within 6 months because they simply don't get enough income to cover the expenses of providing support.

Quite frankly, if you need to buy support to be able to use software, then there is quite possibly something wrong with the software, and you should consider something better designed.

BTW, I have nothing against Open Source Software per se - I use and enjoy quite a few well written open source software packages (including the browser I am using to type this post), I just don't think it is appropriate for every situation, especially for small developers trying to put food on the table.

Edited 2007-02-20 00:19

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Since proprietary software makers also make their primary income for selling support your claim is invalid.

One can claim that since money isn't the goal with FLOSS in general, the quality of software is much higher than "commercial" software that needs to be bad in order to receive paid bugfixes and upgrades.

So far most poor software I've met have been proprietary.

Small time developers cannot make money at all. You cannot make money on an application it took you 4 hours to code. And no shareware application has ever been better than that.

Reply Score: 3

The ethics of FLOSS
by b3timmons on Mon 19th Feb 2007 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The dark side of open source"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

How can small companies flourish when they can't make money?

Clearly, this depends on the business model, and so adjustments must be made.

Idealistically, that is true. But the fact is that companies have to make money, and the open source movement seriously reduced that ability and favored a few transnational corporations who can afford to pay people to support their products.

If FLOSS has reduced such an ability, it has only involved firms relying on the proprietary software market. Other markets have been positively affected, of course, by not being subjected to certain restrictions and costs.

Anytime someone says something, any think tank study, anything which is said by anyone which goes against open source, even if it supports the movement to some extent, is dismissed as "FUD" or "Microsoft funded" or "a troll."

That's false. There are plenty of instances where facts and logic are used to refute certain claims. Sometimes those claims simply repeat a pattern of debunked claims, in which case they are rightfully dismissed.

As for Microsoft's unethical behavior, I see the exact same thing in FSF mailing list posts I've come across, like "We should not support non-free operating systems/this/that." The FSF wants to take over the world just as much as Microsoft does. Also, I still don't get how including a browser or media player with an operating system has anything to do with antitrust, since anyone can download anything or insert a CD-ROM with a competing product.

Refusing to support something is at worst unfriendly. Unfriendly is not unethical. For example, I may go to a party and be unfriendly, talking to no one. Unpleasant as that may be, it clearly is ethical. However, such is the good ethics of FLOSS that even in the case of refusing to support something, there is nothing stopping anyone from adding support separately, such as in a fork.

Moreover, earlier you mentioned how you "ideologically support the GNU's principles." Anyone who believes in these principles, i.e., the "four software freedoms", would necessarily see proprietary software as unethical. Indeed, refusing to support the nonfree systems would be a moral imperative. I know that this may seem harsh to some, but think about it.(*)

Regarding antitrust, it is indeed law, which in turn, derives from ethical constraints. So serious were Microsoft's ethical violations, that they violated the law. Of course, the law could be unjust, but that would need to be shown, which no one has done or has any prospect of doing.

(*) "Ethics is a bitch." The argument that proprietary software is unethical, has, IMO, plausibility. Simplistically, it states that proprietary software depends on prohibiting cooperation in the sharing of a nonrival and often useful good. Such constructive cooperation is the basis of society. Thus, proprietary software is harmful to society. Therefore, the ethical actions here must be against proprietary software. Please see gnu.org for a much better presentation.

Edited 2007-02-19 19:30

Reply Score: 5

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Let me ask a question that will hopefully change your mind: If your users weren't willing to pay money for whatever OSS products and related services you were offering, then what makes you think people will pay for a proprietary implementation?

All you're doing is preventing your target market from trying and liking your products. If you couldn't monetize your OSS offering, then your products probably didn't address a demographic that allocates a significant budget for such products. The cold hard truth is that the most sectors of the consumer software industry are barely alive. Think about the kinds of software that you would pay money for: Games? Maybe a really nice development tool or other content creation suite? Not much else...

Reply Score: 2

danq Member since:
2005-07-29

How can you make money off of something you give away for free when (1) you don't have the (unethical?) desire to make your software complicated and (2) don't have the need (or want) to hire an offshore support staff for your free of charge and freely redistributable products?

About the only way to make money is through donations and voluntary CD-ROM purchases (if the product needs a CD-ROM or is purposely made bloated enough to require one). This is exactly what happened with my old, no longer updated FreeDOS distribution (GNU/DOS) - wasted labor and money to pack the CD up for the post office, no one bought the CD, no SourceForge donations received. All I got was enough banner ad clicks to break even with my hosting costs for two years, while FreeDOS eventually improved their distribution to basically rip off mine. At that point I had no desire to compete with them because the whole thing was a complete waste of my time.

Reply Score: 0

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, now that I know you were offering a DOS clone, I see why you didn't make any money. Did you really think people were going to pay for that? I hope you aren't planning on offering a proprietary DOS clone instead?

Yeah, that's a tough one. Like I said, the consumer software industry is barely alive. You have to do something really special to get the mass market to pay for it.

I have an idea for you: how about an easy and universal way to flash your BIOS from a running OS (Windows or Linux). The user supplies the BIOS image and your utility does the rest. This might leverage your DOS expertise (maybe not). Use a dual license, where vendors who wish to distribute it with a proprietary BIOS image must buy a commercial license. You can start by offering binary downloads for a fee (maybe $5) if the user doesn't want to compile it themselves. It will be a while before distributions begin to package it themselves. Meanwhile, try to sell commercial licenses to motherboard vendors, pitching it as a convenient way for their Windows and Linux customers to update their BIOS without booting from a floppy.

Four elements here: 1) create something new, not a better hammer; 2) use a dual license to monetize commercial redistribution; 3) also monetize the convenience factor; 4) vendors are more profitable customers than consumers.

I wish you success. It's rough out there.

Edited 2007-02-19 20:13

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Doh.

Mistake no.1

You do not have to give FLOSS away for free. You can charge for it as you like. Whatever price you want. That's one way to make money.

Even if you don't want to make your software complicated it can still be complicated. I don't consider a CMS based on Apache, MySQL, PHP for an easy solution. You might be capable of working on it yourself, but there is no guarantee. A non-developer will have a hard time modifying the PHP-files or the database without any support. Open Source or no Open Source.

The other way is to sell support. The geeks won't need it - but Average Joe does need support. No matter if the combination is ASP.NET with Microsoft SQL-Server or if it is a LAMP-solution.

The fact you couldn't sell you FreeDOS distribution has nothing to do with it being Open Source. Even if FreeDOS was proprietary and patented you couldn't sell that product to anyone. It would be like selling MS-DOS to Mac OS X Users. Waste of time.

Of course you couldn't sell GNU/DOS. I don't even think you could sell if you payed people for downloading it and/or using it.

There is no market. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nobody wants it.

Reply Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

As a libertarian and fierce anti-socialist I call crap on your point no.5 - except for that part about left-wing bias and censorship in higher education ;) - but there is no pro-FLOSS censorship on the net and there is no pro-FLOSS FUD (at least point to some).

As a libertarian *and* social democrat ;-) I agree with dylanmrjones (apart from the left-wing bias and censorship in higher education). There is no pro-FLOSS FUD, simply because FUD cannot be "pro" something (remember, it means Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

You'll find that most of the criticism of Vista and MS doesn't necessarily come from FLOSS advocates, but also Mac enthusiasts and mostly from Windows users themselves...

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Woot O_o

How can one be libertarian (Ultra Liberalist in European sense) and social democrat (Reform Socialist in European sense) at the same time? They are opposite eachother ;)

Unless of course social democrat means something completely different in English than in Danish.

My only real critique against Vista is the system requirements (and all those orange flowers - eeek, my PC is not a barbie doll).

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

You're right, though, the use of the name "social-democrat" doesn't really fit with the current meaning of the term.

For a good example of a Libertarian Leftist, read up on Rosa Luxembourg.

Reply Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Rosa Luxembourg? She was a communist - and was killed in 1920 if I remeber correct. You're talking about the Rosa Luxembourg from Germany in 1920, right?

Libertarian Leftist or Libertarian Socialist are both oxy-morons. A leftish Libertarian is a european Liberalist. A right-wing Libertarian is OTOH very close to Anarcho-syndicalism (but without the violence and the focus on the working force).

Seems to me that there is a discrepancy between American terms and European terms ;)

Reply Score: 0

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Dude, libertarian (in this sense) is a political ideology. Socialism is economic. You can mix and match as you like, doesn't matter what anybody else has said or done before you.

I'm an Anarchist, and I take offence at labeling Anarchists as violent. I happen to be a pacifist.

Reply Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I am in many ways anarchist, too - but most of the anarchists one finds in Europe tend to be violent, support militant actions in democratic societies - and using violence against ordinary citizens in order to achieve political goals. If you happen to be a pacifist anarchist, then all is good ;)

You're wrong about Socialism though. Read this -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

Socialism is the ideology invented by Karl Marx. It did not exist before him, though there were movements with some of the same goals. It's an political ideology with a specific economic model (Plan Economy). The opposite to this is capitalism as the economical model and Libertarianism as the politcal model (Direct democracy, minimum of laws, no taxes, protection of free speech and private property, no military draft). Socialism is an ideology with no free speech, little or no private property, 100% or nearly 100% taxes, no right to other parties (One Party System if any parties at all), forced participation in military etc. North Korea is a socialistic society.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The dark side of open source
by b3timmons on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:21 UTC in reply to "The dark side of open source"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

The negative consequences of FOSS that you describe apply only to some who have a stake in a specific type of business model, revenue from an artifical scarcity of proprietary software licenses. No business model has a right to exist -- it is sink or swim.

The bigger issue, however, is the notion of property. Physical property seems to be a settled issue, but any kind of information is a totally different animal. The notion of owning information is undeniably controversial. Consider two distinctive characteristics of information:

1. It is nonrival, meaning that consuming it prevents no one else from doing so.
2. It can be used as both input and output in its own production process.

It is these two things that fundamentally limit rights, as compared to the physical case. Think through the huge implications here, and it is not surprising at all that progress necessarily involves taking FOSS in stride and learning to profit accordingly.

Edited 2007-02-19 18:26

Reply Score: 4

RE: The dark side of open source
by Darkelve on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:52 UTC in reply to "The dark side of open source"
Darkelve Member since:
2006-02-06

The Shareware "Movement"?? When was there ever such a thing?

Reply Score: 4

RE: The dark side of open source
by unoengborg on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:05 UTC in reply to "The dark side of open source"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem with your line of reasoning is that, you seam to think that there is a God given right to make money as a software company. Over the years, different types of businesses comes and goes. E.g. today we don't see any companies selling ice to keep your food cold, even though that would have been a good business 100 years ago.

This doesn't mean that there is no way to make money from free software, but you will probably not make it directly from the software but rather from the value the software provide when used, or as services related to the software.

Today most software is not written by software houses like Microsoft or Adobe, but as in house development in companies that sell other things than software. It could be anything from groceries to cars. To them F/OSS provide building blocks to keep their IT infrastructure costs down.

The incentive to contributing to a F/OSS project for these companies , is they get influence over the project and can guide it in the direction they want, and that they can share the cost for infrastructure that they have in common with other companies.

Reply Score: 3

irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

There was open source software before there was closed source software. So actually open source is nothing very revolutionary. It is just one very traditional way to publish software.

Maybe more open the better, but the fact is that you can use both open or closed software in ethical or unethical way, in a commercial setting or elsewhere. What is ethical software usage (or not) is a worthy matter of discussion in its own right but it is hardly solved by restricting the discussion to black-and-white closed-open-source fight only.

Personally I rather choose open source software, because I've learned to appreciate and trust its security and other benefits. But despite my personal preference I don't always understand the black & white idealism often related to these things in IT discuassions. Indeed I may sometimes even use closed source software too - without feeling painful moral guilt because of it... ;-P

Let the companies and programmers use which ever source code model or license they prefer and let the customers choose what they prefer.

The problems seen in international IT business today are broader (political, economical, legal, global etc.) and more complicated than just a question about the software sources being closed or open.

Reply Score: 5

Commercial support is good
by wonea on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:35 UTC
wonea
Member since:
2005-10-28

Commercial support tends to lend itself to the boring side of software, fixing bugs, and polishing stuff. I think there's enough people looking out for future prosperity of the movement for someone big like Oracle or Microsoft to buy themselves into the market.

The only organization that understands how to use the movement seems to be google.

Isn't wikipedia a kind open source?

Reply Score: 2

integration
by alucinor on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:53 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

I think the failure of commercial UNIX and the rise of Linux and Microsoft have shown us good reason for why proprietary software interoperating over open standards just doesn't work in the long run.

Even with POSIX, the UNIX corporations couldn't pull together to make developing applications as easy for UNIX as it is for Microsoft. Instead, all the different incompatibilities in the UNIX OSes made targeting Windows tempting because of the centralized control of the platform.

The inevitable consequence of a closed-source world is that competitors will not get their software to work together, and eventually one closed-source company will dominate because they will have an integrated ecosystem of every necessary component.

So this need for platform integration and a predictable platform for IT business has produced the success of Windows and Microsoft. However, since having the entire platform controlled by one company results in a lack of innovation impetus and of course vendor lock-in, open source has risen in popularity as a reaction to that.

Where we're at today is a place where we need a significant portion of the platform to "just work" and be easily taken for granted. We're there with Microsoft, and nearly there with open source -- and of course the latter route is preferred by entities that don't want to entrust so much control and power to a single American vendor.

Above this "commodization line" on the platform stack, I see plenty of room for closed source applications. Where most "closed source" occurs today however, is at the web service level, where companies will write software for mostly OSS or MS infrastruture usually in OSS scripting languages (which produces code that is implicitly open since there are no binaries), but it closed because they don't distribute binaries, so they don't have to distribute any source or files of any kind.

So open source is the diamond squeezed from the software commoditization pressure we first saw with MS. Software up to a certain level in the application stack, up to a certain point of "general use" is going to either have to be open source or released on Windows to subsequently be cloned by the Redmond borg. Either way, what we're seeing is the need for these general purpose tools to be widely and cheaply available.

Open source, then, is great for companies trying to generate revenue at the web site/service level because you can up and running so quickly (and for free if you're willing to risk it as you get going and do your own in-house support).

Wanting to just release a desktop app, though, and whether OSS or MS is your target platform and your tool is too general purpose, then yes: you will soon see a free clone of your application, whether it's coming from Redmond or the Linux cloud.

Reply Score: 3

bsd
by alucinor on Mon 19th Feb 2007 19:21 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

BSD never had a halo ... horns from the start, mofos.

Reply Score: 5

Depends how you look at it
by antwarrior on Mon 19th Feb 2007 19:55 UTC
antwarrior
Member since:
2006-02-11

I personally like the idea that companies have began using Open Source Software as a leverage tool in their relative markets. It think that it adds an interesting dynamic in the ecosystem.

Open Source is there to serve the interests of the users. Software Companies are also users of open source systems , whether it be on the desk or as solution to be provided by them.

I think that what we have today is a natural evolution of interests. what we must not lose is the bargaining power developers,general end users have with regards to the growth of a relevant software project.
.
It shouldn't be hijacked totally by self serving corporates or self serving developers.
A good example of where interests are not fairly represent are in e.g gnome and gimp . I am not going to argue whether the developers are self serving but we do have some issues ... wouldn't you agree.

Before you jump on me on the last examples. I do not want to start a debate on the developers involved in the projects, i am grateful for their, but you would agree , if you possess an unbiased opinion , that internal wrangling on issues and features has hampered the growth of the projects or had one side feeling that their interests have not been given due consideration.

Please understand that the last 2 examples given are not to start a flamewar but we can all see that in those particular projects developers have the ultimate say on certain matters and users are left bowing to the time table of the developers. On gimp I want you to look at the what happened with filmgimp/cinepaint fork. Read (http://linuxmovies.org/odd.software.html) on the issues with Gimp and the film industry. Gimp and Gimpshop ( due to user interface and workflow issues ... )

Regardless of your position on these issues is not really the issue,i am sure our positions might vary widely but it is clear the needs of one side of the party are not being met.

Commercial, developer or end user interests in open source projects whether they are self serving is not a major concern. What we should be concerned about is the "openess" of our projects, we should be really concerned when projects get hijacked and the project moves in a direction that is not really representative.

i know i ranted a bit, but i apologise , i am not sure if i was clear , for that too i apologise ,but i hope that you see that it's more than us ( devs / end users ) VS the commercial industry. All our interests need to be represented and compromises must occur on all sides when we support or promote open source projects

Reply Score: 1

RE: Depends how you look at it
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 20:27 UTC in reply to "Depends how you look at it"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The link http://linuxmovies.org/odd.software.html contains incorrect information.

GIMP is not an8-bit Painting and Image Retouching Application. It actually supports 32-bit ;) - and it has done so for almost a decade.

Looks like the information is extremely outdated.

Reply Score: 2

stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

They are people who are getting software for free on the backs of developers. The IBMs, Novells, Redhats have been riding this gravy train on the backs of developers cheering them on. But the net result is a drop in CS undergrads, a drop in Software-only based companies.

Look at Google - they have a billion dollar company on the backs of all of us who produce content for them at no charge. If ALL of us started to put NOSPIDER on our webistes, pretty soon Google's business goes away because they have nothing to sell the advertisers.


In the same respect, if all the "open source" developers started saying NOBINARIES allowed what would the Redhats and IBMs sell?


The bottom line is open source has done good - make everybody play a level game but at the same time, it totally locks out small developers - imagine this: I develop some amazing application you just couldn't live without - now if I keep it closed source, I have the chance of getting VC and making some money. If I open source it, IBM takes my source code and now if a customer says hey I'm willing to pay for support just who do you think he's going to pay? Me or IBM Global Services?.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

False again.

Europe which has no software patents is the home of most small companies. FLOSS + No Software Patents means increased number of Software-only companies and results in increased number of CS undergrads.

Of course many of the big companies are happy about FLOSS. They get a cheap working force. But so do the rest of us.

The problem is that you don't grasp the market. And your hypothese is funny.

If you really created a fantastic amazing application you could easily sell it - and sell support too. It just might make your into a employer before you know of it. Or Microsoft, Novell, IBM or Redhat would hire you right on the spot.

Reply Score: 2

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

False again.

Europe which has no software patents is the home of most small companies. FLOSS + No Software Patents means increased number of Software-only companies and results in increased number of CS undergrads.

You got numbers to back that claim?

Of course many of the big companies are happy about FLOSS. They get a cheap working force. But so do the rest of us.

Who is US?. If you are a user of FLOSS, you also have a n interest in maintaing that status quo because otherwise you'd have to shell out hard money for software.

The problem is that you don't grasp the market. And your hypothese is funny.

The problem is that developers are dooming themselves. In NO other industry are the providers of goods and services digging their own grave. Look at Medicine, doctors and drug companies are fighting very hard to keep non certified doctors and drug cloners (or generics) out. Every other profession takes pain to lock out free loaders and there people who offer free goods and services but it's always "charity" - Microsoft does a lot of charity too!

If you really created a fantastic amazing application you could easily sell it - and sell support too. It just might make your into a employer before you know of it. Or Microsoft, Novell, IBM or Redhat would hire you right on the spot.

So I could have a chance of getting $5 million from VC and starting my own company and being independant or taking a $100K/year job with IBM and find that you have less and less control on your own product. NO THANKS!

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Numbers?

Take a look at the number of major IT-companies in USA and major IT-companies in Europe.

Take a look at the number of small IT-companies in USA and compare with the ditto number in Europe.

Take a look at the companies resisting software patents in Europe. They are all small seen from a global POV.

Pretty much every little town (and big) in Denmark have several IT-companies with 5-10 employees. Big companies are however a rarity in Denmark. But we have many small. Usually concentrated around OSS-solutions. And they make money.

Do you have any evidence for your claim about FLOSS killing small companies, or is it just your believe?

US is the developers. We all contribute and we all gain. Why should I pay the other developers with money when I can pay them with my work? And why should they pay me with money when they can pay me with work? We help eachother instead keeping the average costs down, so we all stay competitive. Of course, those that will not contribute cannot stay competitive - too bad for them. Adapt or die.

A non-certified doctor is a very different beast (sorry for the wording) than a developer with a University grade in Computer Science. I don't understand your comparison, since the Health sector is very different from most other sectors.

Why not compare developers with people who sell sausages or those that sell train tickets? Why compare Developers with Doctors? Very weird.

So I could have a chance of getting $5 million from VC and starting my own company and being independant or taking a $100K/year job with IBM and find that you have less and less control on your own product. NO THANKS!

So you don't want to work for yourself and you don't want to work for somebody else. Sounds to me you don't want to work at all ;)

Reply Score: 2

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

Pretty much every little town (and big) in Denmark have several IT-companies with 5-10 employees. Big companies are however a rarity in Denmark. But we have many small. Usually concentrated around OSS-solutions. And they make money.


yet none of them are big enough to be a blip on any Open Source rader. Howcome all the major open source companies are here in the USA?. Majority of the 5-10 man shops are Windows consultants.

Do you have any evidence for your claim about FLOSS killing small companies, or is it just your believe?

Talk to any number of shareware developers - they are hurting for money. If you want to go to the 5-10 man company size, talk to Codeweavers or theKompany.com - how come all these guys are so busy churning out products for the mac instead of Linux?. Because they have to compete with free versions - and you cannot compete with FREE.



So I could have a chance of getting $5 million from VC and starting my own company and being independant or taking a $100K/year job with IBM and find that you have less and less control on your own product. NO THANKS!

So you don't want to work for yourself and you don't want to work for somebody else. Sounds to me you don't want to work at all ;)


So tell me where in the statement did I say I don't want to work at all?. I want to work be successful and employ more people - something that VC money can give me.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Aahh.. so GRATIS easy-to-use software is killing lousy shareware?

Yes, FLOSS is slowly killing proprietary software. But we're not talking about proprietary software, but whether or not we can make money on FLOSS. And we can. Not by selling small applications like shareware-programs to end users, but by selling solutions to companies.

The End User Software Market has never been profitable. And none of the shareware applications deserve a cent. I can write better software myself - and I've done that.

Of course proprietary software is suffering from competition. But that doesn't mean you cannot make money of FLOSS - you just make the money differently.

To me your statement: "So I could have a chance of getting $5 million from VC and starting my own company and being independant or taking a $100K/year job with IBM and find that you have less and less control on your own product. NO THANKS!" means you said no thanks to _both_ solutions since there was no indication of it being only one of the options you said no to.

Nothing prevents you from making money on FLOSS, but don't expect a simple shareware-like application to do the trick. You need to come up with something really good.

And I've never seen any good shareware. Not in the DOS-days, not in the Windows-days, nor today.

Reply Score: 2

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

The End User Software Market has never been profitable. And none of the shareware applications deserve a cent. I can write better software myself - and I've done that.

Oh do tell that to Microsoft and Apple!. Look at Winzip - in 1990s they were the main compression company - now I can get 1000 open source zip tools and never have to pay for Winzip again.

Nothing prevents you from making money on FLOSS, but don't expect a simple shareware-like application to do the trick. You need to come up with something really good.

Trust me you cannot make money off FLOSS - just be realistic. Let's say I'm the creator of XMMS and if all other media players on Linux also charged money, I would make the most money. Now if I give out my source code under some FLOSS license, the first guy to buy my $29.99 media player will put it on a ftp site for all to download. STRIKE I

Let's also assume that I can make money off support - just tell me when the hell did you ever call up the developers of XMMS and paid them money to tell you how to load a plugin?. Chances are you got on USENET or on IRC and got your answer. STRIKE II

Finally FSF says make money of manuals and widget frosting. Now I live in America and the "usual" going rate for widget frosting is say $75/hour and I say minimum of 20hours to create say a plugin to play Windows Media. Now since you have the source code for XMMS, you can easily put it up for bid and some outfit in Bangalore says we'll do it for $15/hour in 25hours.
There goes my money - STRIKE III


My ONLY way out is to make XMMS so convoluted that it depends on an installation of MySQL, setting up some kind of Database for storing media and setting up an Apache Webserver for displaying Play lists. Tell me, would you ever use that solution?

Edited 2007-02-20 03:53

Reply Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

They are people who are getting software for free on the backs of developers. The IBMs, Novells, Redhats have been riding this gravy train on the backs of developers cheering them on. But the net result is a drop in CS undergrads, a drop in Software-only based companies.

Well, that's quite the luddite attitude. The development model is shifting and nothing is going to change that, so adapt or move on.

Yes, the US suffered a decline in terms of CS grads but it has nothing to do with FLOSS. It was fallout from the dot com bust which resulted in a glut of comp sci people with a sharply reduced job market, and there's a perception that outsourcing is going to "rob" jobs. And actually, I recall reading somewhere that 2006 saw the first increase in CS enrollment since 2000, though I'll admit that I can't remember where so take that with a grain of salt. I can't be bothered googling for it.

Anyways, in reality, the US Dept of Labor is projecting a 48% growth in the number of application developers by 2014, based on 2004 statistics. If FLOSS is having a negative impact on employment potential, it's hard to see where. That the US is unable to generate enough domestic CS grads to meet demand is unrelated to that fact, and the US will simply have to lure overseas workers to meet the demand for positions they're unable to fill domestically.

So FLOSS isn't killing jobs by putting proprietary developers out of work, how can that be? Here's a point that was noted in a recent EU study on the economic impact of FLOSS in global and European markets:

Proprietary packaged software firms account for well below 10% of employment of software developers in the U.S., and "IT user" first account for over 70% of software developers employed with a similar salary (and thus skill) level. This suggests a relatively low potential for cannibalisation of proprietary software jobs by FLOSS, and suggests a relatively high potential for software developers jobs to become increasingly FLOSS-related.

Fancy that.

You should take a look at the report, it's fairly exhaustive and, well, refutes just about every point you're making. It's big, but it's an interesting read: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/policy/doc/2006-11-20-flossimpac...

The long and the short is that FLOSS is here and it's staying. It's not a job killer, in fact it creates new opportunities for skilled knowledge workers due to the shift in support and development methodologies.

The bottom line is open source has done good - make everybody play a level game but at the same time, it totally locks out small developers - imagine this: I develop some amazing application you just couldn't live without - now if I keep it closed source, I have the chance of getting VC and making some money. If I open source it, IBM takes my source code and now if a customer says hey I'm willing to pay for support just who do you think he's going to pay? Me or IBM Global Services?.

IBM Global Services is the largest IT services company in the world, they're just huge, yet surprisingly enough there are other IT companies that manage to exist alongside them. As someone who has partnered with IBM GS, I can assure you that the nature of their model and overhead precludes them from playing in a vast number of markets. In fact IBM GS frequently partners with smaller IT companies that are more nimble and better able to address particular markets.

But aside from that, you're under the impression that these companies are sitting around waiting for OSS software to appear so they can take it and push it themselves. If that were the case, the market would never have grown the way it has. If you look at IBM's model in particular, they leverage OSS where it makes sense but they don't try and dominate in it. They're quite happy to leave that to people better suited to; you'll notice they happily sell Suse and Red Hat linux rather than IBM linux.

On the VC subject, it's interesting that the EU study I mentioned above points out that the availability and access to VC funding in the US gives US-based FLOSS development projects an advantage over EU-based ones. Red Hat, JBoss, Digium, Sugar... all started as small OSS-related businesses that received VC funding. Heck, the Mozilla Foundation generates more revenue than most proprietary software companies do. The viability of the OSS model on business is not in question, a smart idea and a smart strategy will still find investors more than the licensing will.

Reply Score: 3

v Visionary movements
by Umbra on Mon 19th Feb 2007 20:25 UTC
RE: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 20:30 UTC in reply to "Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Heh... FLOSS is definitely global as well as capitalistic.

And there are many intellectuals that support Capitalism. And many intellectuals attack Open Source - especially Marxist Intellectuals (they really don't like the GPL - they only like licenses that do not allow for commercial distribution).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Guys, this is getting quite off-topic...if you don't want to be moderated down, keep the fallacious left/right analogies out of this.

The truth is that FLOSS is *neither* left or right, though it is certainly libertarian in nature (libertarian is a political philosophy, while capitalism/socialism are economical models). That's why you can have both Right Libertarians (such as ESR) and Left Libertarians (which I suspect RMS of being) pushing for FLOSS. You can also have FLOSS being pushed by capitalist corporations (such as IBM) and socialist states (such as Cuba).

And there are many intellectuals that support Capitalism. And many intellectuals attack Open Source - especially Marxist Intellectuals (they really don't like the GPL - they only like licenses that do not allow for commercial distribution).

Marxism isn't opposed to commerce. In fact, some variants (such as Trotskyism) were built around the idea of preserving some form of private property. What Marxism criticizes is the alienation of labor from the laborers, in other hands the fact that the means of production (the capital) are solely in the hands of capitalists, as opposed to those who actually produce the wealth (the laborers).

Again, this is all off-topic.

Edited 2007-02-19 21:31

Reply Score: 0

v RE[3]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Visionary movements"
RE[4]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Socialism is a political ideology. As an ecomomical model it is known as plan-economy. It doesn't work as a long-term model, but is useful during crisis or war-time.

Nope. Socialism is an economical model...of course, imposing this economical model *is* a political undertaking.

There is no such things as left libetarians.

Yes there is. One form of it is called anarcho-syndicalism.

I should know, I'm a libertarian leftist myself...

It's a name invented to give the oppressing Socialism a freedom-sounding name.

Socialism isn't oppressive if it is done in a democratic way. One can argue that Capitalism *is* oppressive if you don't happen to have any capital...

I know we won't agree on this, we've had this debate before, so there's no need to continue in this off-topic threadjack. I respect your opinions, though, even if I don't share them...I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. :-)

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

We'll probably never agree on anything except on disagreeing when it comes to _that_ debate ;)

And perhaps also this one: Emacs or Vi? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Visionary movements
by SReilly on Tue 20th Feb 2007 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Visionary movements"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Anarcho-capitalism is actually an oxymoron. Ask any Anarchist what she thinks of capitalism and she will sum it up in one word, oppression.

Check out http://www.anarchistfaq.org

Socialism in any form is economical. In fact, it cannot be any other way. The only time that changes is when it is implemented by the state. When the state implements anything, it becomes political.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_economics

Most Anarchist are socialist. The rare few that are not believe in a barter economy only. Capitalism is and always will be incompatible with Anarchy. Even Anarcho-syndicalism is opposed to capitalism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

It's unbelievable what some people will palm off as truth.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Tue 20th Feb 2007 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Anarchism is opposite of Socialism. Socialism cannot be separated from the State, since the Socialism Community is the State. It pulls down one terrible state and replaces it with another terrible state. Like replacing Sauron with Saruman.

Anarcho-syndicalism is anti-anarchistic and violent in most forms. The original anarchism was good, but the revised Anarchism as it looks after the Marxists conquered the media, is bad.

Reply Score: 0

v RE[6]: Visionary movements
by SReilly on Tue 20th Feb 2007 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Visionary movements"
RE[7]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Tue 20th Feb 2007 02:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You are collectivist Anarchist, which is merely Fascism in disguise.

EOF.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Visionary movements
by RandomGuy on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "Visionary movements"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

"Software, IT and computers are commodities like glasses, tv-sets, radios and electricity."

Wrong as wrong could be!
In many jobs you _need_ computers, the OS and the applications that run on it in order to do the job!
Furthermore the internet is a very important source of information. Please tell me: do you consider education a commodity? So everything is fine as long as those who are in power feed us enough? Centuries of hard fighting for freedom and you just shrug and want panem at circenses?

Still, I was about to vote you up because I think this point needs further clarification.
But then you crossed the line by comparing socialism and national socialism:
Seriously, I don't really like socialism but national socialism is a completely different beast!

Did you pay attention in history classes even _once_?!?
Do you know that Hitler set out to destroy Russia and communism?
Do you know how many capitalistic thinking people helped Hitler to get to power?
Do you know _anything_?

Sorry, buddy, I don't mind if people don't share my point of view as long as theirs is somehow informed.
Please, go and read a history book!

After that we can talk about whether or not property on thoughts (which IP really is) can be justified.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually Socialism (International Socialism) is pretty much the same beast as National Socialism. Both oppresses the individual. They have so many ideological similarities that they are basically identical.

And no, property on thoughts are not acceptable. How come you can charge me for my thoughts?

Reply Score: 0

v RE[3]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Feb 2007 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Visionary movements"
RE[4]: Visionary movements
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Feb 2007 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Visionary movements"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Do you know any forum we could continue this debate? I'm biting my tongue in order to prevent a reply ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Feb 2007 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Do you know any forum we could continue this debate? I'm biting my tongue in order to prevent a reply

Let's focus on what we agree instead, and get back on-topic. I have a feeling we could argue for hours without either of us moving an inch. :-)

To get back on topic: I truly do not believe that Open Source (or Free Software) has "lost its halo." Rather, I think it has continually moved from the fringe to the mainstream, like any good paradigm-shifting radical idea should do. :-)

What started as a pragmatist approach in early computer development (inspired by the scientific method, might I add) has returned with a vengeance, shaking the very foundation of the relatively young software industry to its core. And yet, it was bound to happen, because software - unlike other products - costs very little in manner of resources to develop, next to nothing to distribute, and the skills to produce it have been democratized through the Internet as well as more advanced tools...it was only a matter of time before this happened, really.

(And this, I think we can agree on. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Visionary movements
by Umbra on Tue 20th Feb 2007 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Visionary movements"
Umbra Member since:
2006-03-06

I'm sorry, but Socialism and National-Socialism have *very little* in common. One is left, and the other one is extreme right.

Sorry, but you are not correct.

1) Socialism, as you call it - did nationalize the production and production tools in order to achieve it goals = the State became the owner of the tools. Like for example the former USSR-DDR

2) National-Socialism, as you call it - did nationalize humans in order to achieve it goals = the State became the owner of the individual and the intellect. The production tools and profit taking where still relatively "free". Like for example the former Nazi Germany and present China.

For me it sounds like FOSS i trying to achieve both - or is at least at war with opponents of both. It certainly does not accept consumer Joe wishes, because then FOSS would be far better than it is it today and far better than pure old fashioned old thinking "capitalist software"

If FOSS would rule the IT-world we would indeed all be a lot poorer, both in economical and intellectual sense, and there would not happen much new.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Feb 2007 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

2) National-Socialism, as you call it - did nationalize humans in order to achieve it goals = the State became the owner of the individual and the intellect.

I'm not responding to this off-topic thread anymore, but I had to say that this is hogwash. You can't "nationalize" humans. Nationalization and privatization apply to corporations - enterprises of men, if you will - not to actual individuals.

If you're going to try and stigmatize FOSS on ideological grounds, at least don't try to build arguments on incorrect use of words.

Since your argument is based on a fault comparison, I consider that my original (off-topic) point still stands, and that's the last word I'll say on this subject here.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Visionary movements
by Umbra on Tue 20th Feb 2007 06:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Visionary movements"
Umbra Member since:
2006-03-06

I'm not responding to this off-topic thread anymore,

But you are ;)

but I had to say that this is hogwash. You can't "nationalize" humans.

Oh yes you can - and i was done - on a large scale

Read: The Meaning of Hitler
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Meaning_of_Hitler
By: Sebastian Haffner
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Haffner

a good book

Two forms of socialism, and both still alive and well today

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Feb 2007 07:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

National Socialism has nothing to do with Socialism.

Nazis believe in a master race; Socialists believe that all men are equal, no matter what their race

Nazis almost always believe in God; Socialists almost always don't

Nazis are anti-feminists; Socialists are pro-feminists

Nazis have no problems with private enterprise flourishing, with companies such as Volkswagen and IG Farben still prospering today; Socialists aren't too keen on private enterprise

Nazis exterminated the Jews, and accused many of being Socialists; many *** intellectuals were Socialists

Nazis exterminated Socialists and Communists en masse...

Now, did countries who adopted Socialism as an economic model become totalitarian? Most did, but that has little to do with Socialist economic theory, but more with the political culture of those countries.

The final difference seems to be that countries that claim to be Communist have betrayed the ideals of Socialism, while the only country to have called itself National Socialist fully embodied the folly of Nazism.

Mod me down, I don't care. Some people should learn a bit more history (and actually *read* The Capital)...

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Visionary movements
by Umbra on Tue 20th Feb 2007 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Visionary movements"
RE[3]: Visionary movements
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Feb 2007 03:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Visionary movements"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I do know that it was only the pure capital-muscle-strength of the USA that did beat both movements

The U.S. is not a capitalist country. It has a mixed economy. Who do you think pays for all the economy based around the Pentagon, the so-called military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about? Taxapayers, that's who.

That's right, all the neat computer technology we enjoy today would not exist without government intervention in the economy through taxation. Of course, the money subsidizes *private* companies, so that's why it's a mixed economy.

Now, unless you like your post modded down (I know I don't), please stay on-topic. Thank you.

Reply Score: 2

OSS Has Changed The Landscape!
by christianhgross on Mon 19th Feb 2007 23:40 UTC
christianhgross
Member since:
2005-11-15

OSS has changed the landscape for both good and bad.

1) OSS is as good and bad as binary only software. I can point out good and bad examples of each.

2) OSS has killed the software market. Many will point out, "oooh I am making money with support." But I would like to point out revenue made in the OSS market vs the binary market. The differences are like binary = 1,000,000 vs OSS = 1.

3) Just because OSS kills off the software market is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Time will tell whether this was good or bad.

4) The comment "nothing prevents you from making money on FLOSS" is ignoring basic business sense. Business works on supply and demand. If FLOSS does not hinder supply then whatever demand there is will be fulfilled by the supply.

Let me put this into an easy context. In the 70's there were no water shortages. People would never think of buying bottled water. So if you decided to run a business on selling water you would be pretty well shafted. Now in 2007 selling water is not such a bad idea, in fact rather lucrative. Why? Supply!

The question is what do you want an excess of water or a market where water can be sold? Neither is 100% better than the other!

Reply Score: 1

Left Below
by Sphinx on Tue 20th Feb 2007 03:01 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Patiently awaiting open source rapture.

Reply Score: 2

Linux is NOT free
by Southern.Pride on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:39 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

I give it about 2-3 years half of the benefits of using Linux will be an ancient memory thanks to the like of IBM and other big corps using it to their benefit.


It has boiled down to a few distro's now Ubuntu is like a Communist version, SuSE lack of hardware support and Fedora which is losing base everyday.

It is very annoying the way this has gone, I am an avid Linux user and advocate but this is for the birds.

Patent this, lawsuits, license for everything it is becoming too locked down to the point it is pointless.

Bring back the days of when it was driven by Enthusiast not by a big Corporation! It is all about stocks now and who can rush to patent something and make money on it then destroy it.

Way to go, now the Linux desktop operating system will become a fragmented, shell-shocked has been of what it once was or could have been......

Reply Score: 1

Whatever
by Phuqker on Tue 20th Feb 2007 18:21 UTC
Phuqker
Member since:
2005-07-17

I never gave a rat's ass about its so-called 'moral edge'. I never thought it had one. It's just one model among several, although it's often a good one and I use lots of open source myself. My motto has always been: Give me the best tool with the lowest TCO. Often that's open source, sometimes it's not.

- a laissez-faire libertarian

Reply Score: 2