Linked by David Adams on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:20 UTC, submitted by jeanmarc
Editorial The real heart of open source lies in its potential to be greater than the sum of its parts, the capacity to leverage the talent and abilities of an entire community of developers and users who are striving towards a common goal, according to an editorial at Linux Insider.
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Only one problem
by bentman78 on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:27 UTC

"you wish to be critical of the open-source movement, please do so in light of the facts: open source's biggest weakness is not "lack of support" or "lack of an effective business model"

I beg to differ. Thie biggest weakness isn't "lack of support" it's willingness. Go to a Linux forum post a question about something simple and get called a "noob" and flamed by Linux zealots.

Until eveyone in the "community" can be nice to each other regardless of what distro of Linux you use, or whether you use FreeBSD or Linux, or anything else for that matter, the Open Source community will hurt.

From what I know ..
by t3rmin4t0r on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:28 UTC

Successful open source projects have a dev team of 5-10 people.

More than that becomes hard to manage - or then you start modularizing ;)

user communities are much bigger and form a replacement pool for developers in general ...

RE: Only one problem
by JS on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:37 UTC

I agree. While I think Open Source's real strength is the community I also find the thing that turns me off open source (Linux in general) is a subset of the community. I think it's a case of the people really doing the best for the community don't bother being very vocal, yet the OSS zealots tend to troll boards clogging intelligent discussions with Anti-M$ rants, and tends to do a lot of damage. While there are Windows zealots who do the same it's rare to go to a Linux discussion site and find a lot of Windows lovers posting bad things about Linux yet you can go to a Windows discussion site and see a lot of Linux/OSS lovers out there just trolling around. An example would be a posting about a vulnerability in Windows and you look at comments and the only comments you see are

"Doesn't affect me, I use Linux"

"OSS rules, Window$ suxors"

While these guys are a small subset of the community, they tend to have the most time on their hands to troll around making the community seem like a bunch of childish idiots.

RE: JS
by Flatline on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:48 UTC

"While these guys are a small subset of the community, they tend to have the most time on their hands to troll around making the community seem like a bunch of childish idiots."

I basically don't look at those guys as part of the community (I know they kinda are, but I tend to disregard asshats). I've found large portions of the OSS community to be very friendly and helpful...the Mandrake and SUSE forums are quite good, and tend to be very noob friendly, as do many others.

I do understand that it is a problem, though...my first foray into the Debian forums was pretty brutal, and ditto for the Slackware forums.

It really is unfortunate that a small group can make the rest of us look bad; I dislike those guys as much as you do.

Whats so bad about messy
by rspickles on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:09 UTC

Not only would Adam Smith have loved the workings OSS – Charles Darwin would recognize the working of the OSS. When people rant against the lack of central control and organization or as this author labels it “fragmentation” of effort they still miss the point. Free markets and natural selection are both messy and fragmented by their nature – how else can you insure you have found the best solution for each given problem. Neat ordered action only exists only in the human mind when ever we insist on it we must ignore posible solutions and therefore at times must ignore the best solution. So I have no problem with the "messieness" of OSS devlopement in the OSS comunity.

Hmm
by Err on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:14 UTC

I'm not so sure I even agree with the 'community' idea anymore. It seems there are a huge number of takers, and very few actual givers. There are projects, some well known projects, that receive very little support from the 'community' even in non-technical areas yet the project members are immediately attacked for flaws/limitations. Seems the majority of the 'community' just want something for nothing.

@bentman78
by dizz on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:15 UTC

well if you ask for something simple it wont matter who you ask.

go ask a chef how to boil an egg.
try asking in windows forums how you shutdown your computer.

alot of people think that you should be able to figgure out simpel things by your self.

if i get a question and a simpel google by cut and paste
gives the corect answer on the first link i think that people are wasting my time. some begginers tend to give better questions and they often get an answer.

On the rudeness of internet bulletin boards
by Mulligan on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:15 UTC

It's everywhere, no matter what the topic. It just goes with the territory. You can always find smaller forums where people are not having flame wars, but if you go to the bigger ones, they will inevitably attract trolls, etc. This is the internet today. Besides people, if you hang out regularly at THIS site, I would assume you are immune to trolls.

Flawed assumption ...
by Darius on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:16 UTC

People approach me regularly on the subject of open source . Unfortunately, many of them tend to engage in polemics concerning the relative strengths of their preferred monopolistic software package versus whatever parallel open-source alternative happens to be in the press at the moment.
It isn't about whether the current version of Bloatware XP has more features than RedHat 9. It isn't about whether IE is more or less secure than Firefox. While those issues are certainly relevant and timely, they miss the bigger picture: It's about the community, not about the software.


The author unfortunately has the flawed assumption that most people would ever give a shit about a community of dedicated software developers who are building inferior apps. Now, I'm not saying all their apps are inferior, but saying that this doesn't matters is simply the furthest thing from the truth - it is the only thing that matters. The reason why most people approach the author about the merits of software xyz is because most people see their computers as a tool to get work done as opposed to a religion. I don't have time to be an idealist, spending all my time trying to champion some half-assed app that's currently alpha-quality at Sourceforge.
So you can have your religion or do whatever it is you do in order to motivate your self to build open source software. But if you want my attention and support, then build me apps that are better (as in, helps me get my work done faster and more effeciently) than the ones I'm currently using. Other than that, you can babble on all you want to about politics, religion, and community, but you'll get nowhere that way.

@dizz
by Anonymous on Fri 17th Dec 2004 19:42 UTC

"alot of people think that you should be able to figgure out simpel things by your self.

if i get a question and a simpel google by cut and paste
gives the corect answer on the first link i think that people are wasting my time. some begginers tend to give better questions and they often get an answer."

No one is holding you down, preventing you from doing anything but tell them how to shut down a computer. If you don't have time for basic questions, then don't answer them. Ignore them. Your time isn't being wasted unless you decide to waste it on "RTFM" and "STFU, noob".

Hmm
by Lumbergh on Fri 17th Dec 2004 21:10 UTC

At first I thought the article was going to be some touchy-feely, gobbly gook about people sitting around singing kumbaya (the community), but then he addressed the weakness of open source. And that is a limited pool of talented developers, myopic vision, and fragmentation.

The problem is that if someone is not getting paid then they are not going to take shit from some kid on a project who is a wannabe dictator. So what happens is that they start their own project and then you get duplication of effort. Forking or starting from scratch isn't always bad, but dilution of talent is a problem.

Sometimes software is better developed with 5 guys with offices right next to each other, with a manager that can crack the whip, and they have incentive to stick it out (pay).

99.9999% of people don't care about source code. They think people that view open source as a religion are crazy and just want to use software tools.

@Darius & @Lumberg
by Michael Wassil on Fri 17th Dec 2004 21:36 UTC

I think the issue the article raises is that of an environment within which software development takes place. The author contrasts the open, "commununity", free market environment that characterizes OSS development to the closed, monopolistic environment that characterizes most commercial development.

The fact of the matter is, a lot more people use software than develop it. Whether they care about the development environment is a secondary issue. If they don't care and just want something for free, or if they care and become advocates is not really what the article is addressing. Likewise, whether or not most users care about having access to the source code is irrelevant. The developers have access to the source and are the only ones who care about having access to it.

The author is stating his opinion that all other things being equal, the open source, community model has greatly more potential than the closed, monopoly model of development. It can be more responsive and lead to more creative interaction between developers and the mass of users than the closed, monopoly model. I think he's correct.

Monopoly vs. for-profit
by WP on Fri 17th Dec 2004 22:02 UTC

In comparing open source "community" models, keep in mind that the relevant option is market-driven competition, not a monopoly. (Side note to Michael: the OSS "open" model is most certainly not free market, and nor is the monopoly). Any option is preferable to monopoly for all parties but one (the monopolist itself). I agree with Darius, the key is the quality of the application. I refuse to use an OS or software because someone tells me a touchy-feely story of several developers working together for the betterment of humanity or some such nonsense. Granted, that is a worthy cause, and I will certainly donate money, time, and support to such things. But I will not use inferior software to do it.

Think about it this way. What if an "open source" car was made, but its top speed was 20 mph/kph, or its gas mileage was very poor. Would the warming of your heart in supporting the "community" cause you to purchase or use such a vehicle?

I place "community" in quotes because I think the term is grossly misused when referring to open source. It is typically invoked by those who wish to think the millions who use OSS are unified in some belief, cause, or action, when if fact, most of those people just want to get work done with the best software they can find. The "community" doesn't approve, disapprove, belief, or support anything, necessarily. They are just a very large, diverse group of users and developers.

@lumberg
by Anonymous on Fri 17th Dec 2004 22:06 UTC


Sometimes software is better developed with 5 guys with offices right next to each other, with a manager that can crack the whip, and they have incentive to stick it out (pay).
----

the same office can produce code which is open source. witness novell,redhat,ibm et all


"
99.9999% of people don't care about source code. They think people that view open source as a religion are crazy and just want to use software tools"

not true. this is just myopic like saying people dont care about being able to do customisations when necessary

RE: Michael Wassil
by Darius on Fri 17th Dec 2004 22:15 UTC

The author is stating his opinion that all other things being equal, the open source, community model has greatly more potential than the closed, monopoly model of development.

Of course, all things usually aren't equal though ;) Anyway, I think it's a bit unfair to refer to any closed-source development effort as 'monopolistic' .. at lot of the programs I use were developed by shareware authors who are just trying to make an honest buck.

It can be more responsive and lead to more creative interaction between developers and the mass of users than the closed, monopoly model. I think he's correct.

That is entirely subjective. I've gotten a great deal of response and feature requests added from some closed source developers, but others not so much. IMHO, making a comment like the above is just too generalized.

Granted, that is a worthy cause, and I will certainly donate money, time, and support to such things. But I will not use inferior software to do it.

I will support any application I use. Even if it is free - if the developers ask users to donate a few bones to support the project, I don't have a problem with that. But I don't feel inclined to support apps that I do not feel are worth of use on my part.

RE: Only one problem
by Stu on Fri 17th Dec 2004 22:36 UTC

@bentman78

Quote "I beg to differ. Thie biggest weakness isn't "lack of support" it's willingness. Go to a Linux forum post a question about something simple and get called a "noob" and flamed by Linux zealots. "

If you ask a simple question the chances are there is a FAQ that exists to answer it...

I have found however that sites like linuxquestions.org cater for 'noobs' very well with specific forums to answer simple questions.

The same can be said for some quality MS windows help sites too

Workers of the world unite!
by Zambizzi on Fri 17th Dec 2004 23:06 UTC

Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country!

The greater good!

Just jokes, really, no flames...lighten up.

Not all "community" efforts are good and the same can be said about proprietary software. Software is dynamic and so are people and I doubt we've found even a good model for developing software yet because, as a technology, it's in its infancy yet.

It took Honda many decades of existing car building to come into the market w/ a car that is produced fast, cheap, and is very reliable. We don't yet have that in the software world and even open source projects can produce bad code.

I guess my point is (or lack thereof), is one model does not fit all software development projects, that's rediculous. Both methods are two of the biggest we know and both are very effective.

@ Anonymous (IP: 61.95.184.-
by Lumbergh on Fri 17th Dec 2004 23:48 UTC

the same office can produce code which is open source. witness novell,redhat,ibm et all

Irrelevant to the way that the vast majority of open source software is developed.


not true. this is just myopic like saying people dont care about being able to do customisations when necessary


totally wrong. even the minority of software users that know how to program are hesitant to muck around with gobs of C/C++ spaghetti code that they didn't write. They either wait for the feature or find another solution.

Re: Flawed assumption ...
by Frick on Sat 18th Dec 2004 00:23 UTC

"But if you want my attention and support, then build me apps that are better (as in, helps me get my work done faster and more effeciently) than the ones I'm currently using."

1)You assume everyone thinks like you. What about people for whom computers are a hobby? Remember where you are. This isn't ITnews.com nor WebDesignersnews.com. If you are only interested in the practical aspects of computers and only used closed source (namely Windows0), why come here? Microsoft.com has forums where they talk about nothing but Windows and Windows apps. If you're here, you must have curiousity about other things.

2)Also, most OS apps don't have the resources thrown at that them that a corporation can apply to their own projects.

3)Most importantly, you must be comparing OS projects to only the best proprietary apps out there because there are a myriad of lousy closed source applications on the market that aren't worth the cardboard box they're stuffed in. Compared to a lot of these, a lot of open source apps are better.

Re: Flawed assumption ...
by Darius on Sat 18th Dec 2004 00:37 UTC

[quote]1)You assume everyone thinks like you. What about people for whom computers are a hobby?[/quote]

Anyone who uses computers as a hobby probably uses them to get work done also - these two uses are not mutually exclusive. Some people may install any and every OS they can get their hands on just to see what they're like. But when it comes to accomplishing specific tasks, they probably have a main OS they normally boot into.

Remember where you are. This isn't ITnews.com nor WebDesignersnews.com. If you are only interested in the practical aspects of computers and only used closed source (namely Windows0), why come here?

Who says I only use closed source? I am typing this in Firefox at the moment.

2)Also, most OS apps don't have the resources thrown at that them that a corporation can apply to their own projects.

Ok, so what's your point?

3)Most importantly, you must be comparing OS projects to only the best proprietary apps out there because there are a myriad of lousy closed source applications on the market that aren't worth the cardboard box they're stuffed in. Compared to a lot of these, a lot of open source apps are better.

Indeed you are correct. Please keep in mind that I am not a religous person so I don't claim that either model is the true path to God. I simply have a difference of opinion with the author, as I think the functionality of my apps is the single most important aspect of using a computer to get real world tasks done. Personally, I don't really care whether the apps I use are open or closed source. I'd prefer it if they were all free (both as in speech or as in beer), but it makes little difference to me if the apps sucks.

...
by Sérgio Machado on Sat 18th Dec 2004 01:19 UTC

I am using Open Source and Gnu/Linux since one year ago, i have change to Gentoo/Linux, i don't use Windows, Windows are stoped in time. I hate that interface! I feel mor free using Gentoo, i am not worry with license and piracy.

Open Source is good, we leave most of us in a democracy. So what is the problem of some freedom, Open Source can be free or not, you can sell your product in Open Source. It's cool knowing what are the source that we install in our System...



development
by Anonymous on Sat 18th Dec 2004 01:24 UTC

"
Indeed you are correct. Please keep in mind that I am not a religous person so I don't claim that either model is the true path to God."


development models have nothing to do with religion at all. neither proprietary nor open source development can be called "religion". thats totally utterly bogus.

idealism. maybe?

religion. obsolutely not...

v @Frick
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 01:27 UTC
v re:ALL OF OPEN SOURCE SUCKS ASS
by Stu on Sat 18th Dec 2004 01:34 UTC
@ Sérgio Machado
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 01:38 UTC

I am using Open Source and Gnu/Linux since one year ago, i have change to Gentoo/Linux, i don't use Windows, Windows are stoped in time.

Please explain stopped in time. Is Linux stopped in time because it's based on a 35 year old operating system?

I hate that interface! I feel mor free using Gentoo, i am not worry with license and piracy.

How do you feel more free using an operating system? That's just bizarre. So I guess you were pirating before? - because only pirates worry about piracy.

Open Source is good, we leave most of us in a democracy.

You state that open source is good and that most of us live in a democracy. Do you have a point in that statement?

So what is the problem of some freedom,
And who has problems with freedom?

t's cool knowing what are the source that we install in our System...

It is somewhat cool to have access to the source code of your system, but I will never buy that it gives you anymore freedom. And by freedom, I mean real freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, economic freedom... Not the freedom to dick around with source code.

Maybe I take freedom more seriously than people that consider having source code freedom.





Hehe
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 02:15 UTC

I've got a fan. I'm glad my fan informed me that I live in Europe. That's always good to know

Open source is cooperative "internet"
by JNG on Sat 18th Dec 2004 02:32 UTC

Used to think "open source" is like "communism" where everybody does the work and nobody makes any money (maybe somebody is still not making money ;) . But now I see some good aspect of it: it's like the "internet" of software development -- it's a cooperative effort.

Nodes of internet cooperate to form a big network. Pieces of open source software cooperate to form a software system, like Linux.

It's not perfect and sometimes seems "messy" and uncontrolled, but as a community, somebody can build something useful out of it, maybe even something that one likes.

Re: Open source is cooperative "internet"
by ACM on Sat 18th Dec 2004 02:40 UTC

'Used to think "open source" is like "communism" where everybody does the work and nobody makes any money (maybe somebody is still not making money ;) .'

Only if you buy into not making money, Communism is flawed as in being equal. It does not benefit anyone 'worker' but the whole collective as in the Corporation. They want more little workers, working for free. It helps the Large Corporations stock price soar to new heights.

Meanwhile, the 'unknown' author gets nothing and remains poor.

No thanks, I am not working for free nor working except for $$$.

;)

@Darius
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 02:45 UTC

Seems someone wanted to underline our discussion as to how there are trolls on both sides of the fence. We obviously have both a anti-OSS troll and an anti-Windows one (well, anti-Lumbergh, really, but Lumbergh's bias is quite obvious).

Good, the balance is preserved! :-)

I must say, however, that Lumbergh himself borders on being a troll, mischaracterizing how OSS is developed (most important OSS projects have paid employees, and some are more disciplined than if they had a manager breathing down their neck). In fact, a recent article underlined how few bugs the Linux kernel has per 1,000 lines of code, way under the average for "commercial" software. (Although that is code quality, not necessarily app quality.)

I just wanted to add to your idea that people should use the best app...the problem is that the quality of an application is a subjective thing. Some people keep using crappy apps because they know them well, others won't link powerful apps because the UI doesn't have enough eye candy, etc. We've discussed how I feel that Directory Opus is, for my use, not as good as Konqueror (though both kick Explorer's arse), but I can completely understand why someone would feel differently (it doesn't really matter, because they don't run on the same platform anyway).

If I was mostly doing sound design and/or video editing, I would certainly use a Mac (ProTools and Final Cut Pro are, in my view, superior to the competition), but then again someone could make a masterpiece using Premiere (heck, someone could make a masterpiece using Video Toaster on an Amiga...)

What I'm trying to say is that how we appreciate apps is quite subjective. Now, you may think that you are very rational in your approach, but it's clear from reading your posts that you have a bit of a bias. Rather than try to deny it, you should acknowledge it, just like I acknowledge mine. What OS we use and what app we use as much a matter of personal taste as it is of objective quality.

And trolls do suck - both the anti-Linux and the anti-Windows kind. I have actually nothing against Windows (though I have plenty against Microsoft), I just prefer Linux and I am able to do everything I need using it.

Let's all agree that diversity is good, and that a monopoly is bad, and maybe we'll put an end to these useless flame wars.

Well, one can dream, right?

v @A nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 02:54 UTC
@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:05 UTC

Oh, I see you're back to using your real IP ;)

Uh? What are you talking about? I have two IPs, my home one (the one above) and the one from work (67.71.241.---).

Are you suggesting that I'd stoop down to the level of the trolls on this thread? Please, give me a little bit more credit...English may be my second language, but I've got a bit more vocabulary than that! :-)

Anyway, I've been one of the people begging Eugenia to give us user accounts on this site, to avoid name-stealing trolls and sock puppets, so I think an apology is in order.

Sorry that the fangirls don't want to hear the truth, but the vast majority of OSS developers are not getting paid, and as ACM pointed out, basically act as unpaid drones to help the bottom line of RedHat, Novell and IBM.

No, those who contribute to OSS without being paid do it because they like it. However, the point is moot as the major OSS projects have quite a few paid workers. Anyway, no one's forcing anyone to code anything, so I fail to see what the problem is...

BTW, if you're going to use words like "fangirls" for people who disagree with you, don't be surprised if others accuse you of trolling.

(Darius, I think we have a disturbance in the balance of things - it seems there are two anti-Linux trolls in this thread! ;-)

P.S.
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:07 UTC

As soon as anyone brings communism into a discussion about Linux, the thread is basically dead. It's basically the equivalent of Godwin's Law.

@A nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:18 UTC

I wasn't calling you a fangirl and I guess you didn't notice the ;) after my first sentence.

The fangirl is the rabid, anti-ms bigot, who claims to love choice but then discounts windows as a choice. The fangirl is someone who proclaims that having source code gives someone more "freedom". The fangirl is someone that claims that the GPL is more free or just as free as BSD or MIT/X11. The fangirl is someone that think open source software is a religion.....

(Darius, I think we have a disturbance in the balance of things - it seems there are two anti-Linux trolls in this thread! ;-)

I guess that was directed at me. I've most likely been using and programming on linux professionaly than you have.

@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:41 UTC

I guess you didn't notice the ;)

I mostly noted that you insinuated I was trying to disguise my IP.

The fangirl is someone who proclaims that having source code gives someone more "freedom".

I believe having access to the source code does, in fact, give you more freedom. For starters, it gives you the freedom to learn from the code and modify it.

The fangirl is someone that claims that the GPL is more free or just as free as BSD or MIT/X11.

I believe the GPL is in fact just as free as the BSD license. So, are you so lacking in vocabulary that you can't present arguments to support your views, and must resort to insults?

Guess what: that's what a troll is.

I guess that was directed at me. I've most likely been using and programming on linux professionaly than you have.

Uh, whatever. I'm not a programmer, I'm a game designer. What's your point? If you're trying to convince anyone that you don't have an anti-Linux bias, I'm sorry to say that so far you're failing miserably.

v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:41 UTC
v Oops
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 03:42 UTC
v @A nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 04:02 UTC
v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 04:26 UTC
GPL vs BSD
by altair on Sat 18th Dec 2004 04:34 UTC

Actually the GPL isn't as free as the BSD license especially from a developers viewpoint. If a library is written using the GPL, I could not use the library in my program unless I used the GPL. However if a library is using the BSD license, then I could do this.

For example, my friend wrote a tetrinet client for OSX but because the only thing he could find for the protocal was the gtk version, he had to release it using the GPL license though he did not want to do that.

Also I am against Linux especially after taking my class on Operating Systems. The source code for Linux is the ugliest thing on this planet.

@altair
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 04:42 UTC

Actually the GPL isn't as free as the BSD license especially from a developers viewpoint.

It is more restrictive from a developer's viewpoint, for sure. But from a user's viewpoint it guarantees that the apps and derivatives will remain free.

That's besides the point, however. If the GPL was so bad, then no programmers would use it. As it happens, quite a lot of applications are licensed under the GPL, including some top-notch software such as the Linux Kernel, the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, Samba, and so on.

In any case, GPL is freer than proprietary code - so I guess you and Lumbergh must hate proprietary code most of all, because it is a lot more restrictive than the GPL...

Also I am against Linux especially after taking my class on Operating Systems. The source code for Linux is the ugliest thing on this planet.

Well, at least you don't hide your bias. However, saying that "Linux is the ugliest thing on this planet" isn't much of an argument - especially since researchers found that the bug/line of code ratio was exceptionally low for the Linux kernel. I guess you must think bugs are beautiful.

v @a nun he moose
by Anonymous on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:01 UTC
@altair
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:16 UTC

Gtk+ is LGPL. You can release "your" code under any license that you want. The only restrictions you have are if you modify the library code. Your friend was not obligated to release his code under the GPL.

By the way, what does "the protocol" have to do with Gtk+?

@a nun he moose
by Darius on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:22 UTC

Hey buddy, nice to see ya again ;) I'm going to continue our conversation from a previous thread in this one, because it is a nice transition anyway.

Actually, MS's monopoly relies on the Office file formats being closed. I would favor the government forcing MS to open up these file formats and presto! the abusive monopoly would be a lot less powerful.

Agreed, and open their APIs too - for at least 3-7 years.


It does seem as if you're saying that we shouldn't even bother denouncing MS dirty tricks because "it's the nature of business" and "everyone does it"..

I'm assuming that what you're trying to do is to pesuade as many people as you can not to use MS products. If that is the case, then you're completely going about it the wrong way. Look at guys like me and Lumbergh - you talk at great length about how awful a company MS is, but what good does it do? Absolutely none. If you couldn't tell from this thread and others, we're all about using the best tool for the job, not religion or politics.

If you (and I mean the anti-MS crowd) really want to get your message across, then create a website where you showcase different OSS apps and show us what is great about them, kind of like what my friend Shane did with DIrectory Opus:
http://www.monroeworld.com/reviews/dopus8/1.php
Give us screenshots with a feature tour of the apps and show us things using these apps that we just couldn't otherwise pull off. (Hint: Konquerer with the terminal emulator would be a great place to start - I'd like to see that in action.) Here is another example of how it is done, a page profiling the Opera browser:
http://tntluoma.com/opera/lover/7/
So you accuse me of being bias, and maybe I am - my bias is that I want to use apps that'll let me perform a given task as quickly and as efficiently, with as much functionality as possible. I think most other astutee Windows users are the same way (as if you haven't figured that out already).

So, if the open source apps are really that good ... good enough to go head-to-head with the best of their closed-source counterparts, then take the time and show us. The Mozilla project has been really good at that, which is why you see it gaining a foothold on one of the most popular closed-source apps in existence. (Well, that and the fact that MS isn't actually competing with them anymore, but again ... that's beside the point). Don't bother wasting your time telling us how evil Microsoft is, because we just don't give a rat's ass in the respect that we're not going to let it be the determining factor of what OS we use. Hell, you could even show MS execs on TV performing a human sacrifice for Satan and it still probably wouldn't matter. Do you understand?

But if you don't think open source apps are that good, then maybe you should find another cause to fight for, because your religious drivel does little more than to annoy the piss out of people like me, which I assume are the people you're trying to 'reach.' Now, you can tell us about how advanced the operating system and desktop enviroments are, but that doesn't go far enough .. it has to be the apps.

Well, if an app isn't available for a particular distro, then of course installing it is going to be hard
but hey, there are some apps that work well in a certain version of Windows and don't work well with another!


True, but if an app is available for the version of Windows I run, I never have a hard time finding it.

"Something I've thought about doing is to pick 20 Linux apps at random and offer $1,000 to anyone who could point me to a distro that I could install the latest version of all these apps without having to jump through hoops, such as having to hunt for a different repository, compiling from source, etc. "
If you were to really pick 20 apps at random (not hand-picking them) and asked if I could install them using a single repository (I use ftp.proxad.net exclusively), then you'd quickly be out of $1,000! :-)


No, I would pick them by hand. But I'm not going to pick the ones I think would be hard to install, just the ones I'd be interested in trying out. And it has to be the latest version. Not the 'bleeding edge' beta version, but just the latest stable version. For example, I just went to the k3b website and noticed that the latest version is 0.11.18, so that is the one I want. 0.11.17 or 0.11.16 don't cut it - has to be the latest.

Meanwhile, can you point a single place to me where I can get ALL of my Windows apps? If you're going to set the bar that high for Linux, you have to set it just as high for Windows...

I'm not looking for a single place to install software, just a single, consistant method. For example, in Windows, I simply download the file and double click. Sometimes I have to double click on a .exe inside of a zip file or else simply unzip to a directory, but that's about as difficult as it usually gets. So, if you say to me 'This is how to install apps in this distro', even if it is done by dropping to a command line and typing 'install application', as long as it works for all 20 apps, then you're good.

@a nun he moose
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:27 UTC

By the way, if I'm so anti-linux why am I constantly defending Mono against the anti-Mono trolls on every thread? If I was a windows fanboy I wouldn't even give a shit about Mono. Or why am I always on the Ubuntu threads and the gtk+ and Gnome threads? Explain that one to me.

At the risk of injecting myself into the conversation...
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:45 UTC

, but since Darius did bring up my name and we do share similiar viewpoints I'll bring up a couple points.

As I've stated before on many threads, our shop is linux only. Back in '97 we saw the writing on the wall for OS/2 which our applications were based on and knew we needed to make a change. Our embedded systems went totally linux about 2.5 years ago. It was crazy for us to pay licensing fee to Microsoft or anyone else. We do network protocol conversion and Linux is the right tool for the right job.

That said, I do find Microsoft development tools to be very nice. MFC/win32 api sucks bad. Always has and alway will, but .NET is a fine piece of engineering even if it is a rip-off Java. Most things in the software world are rip-offs of something previous anyway. I also find cross-platform apps like FireFox and Eclipse to run a bit better on windows (especially Eclipse) than they do on Linux.

Not only that, but I can have an almost complete unix environment within windows via cygwin. And if that's not enough (and sometimes its not) I can run a real linux on top of windows via colinux. http:///www.colinux.org. Heck I'm running debian in colinux using cygwin's xserver right now and it works great.

The point is, when I'm in an only linux environment I'm limiting myself when I can have the best of both worlds.

Another example of cross-platform apps
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 05:58 UTC

I've got DrScheme opened up in windows right now. There are windows, linux, and I believe a Mac version. It's my understanding that it uses wxWidgets for its toolkit. Now unless I recompile wxWidgets on linux to use a beta version that uses gtk+2.x I'm stuck with a gtk+1.x version. I think most people are going to avoid gtk+1.x apps in almost 2005 like the plague. Now I could re-compile wxWidgets with not much of a problem, but why? I've got a perfectly working windows version.

To me, it just seem that there are better tools in windows much of the time. PyWin is a nice, minimalistic Python IDE that just works and has intellisense. Vim was always screwing up my python code and I'm not a big emacs fan. I guess I could've tried Eric3, but I didn't feel like bringing in most of KDE for the IDE.

Corman Lisp is another example. Like I said, I'm not a big emacs fan, so I downloaded a trial version of Corman Lisp which produces very fast executables for windows. There is no version for linux.

Frankly, as a developer, I've always found linux developer tools to be lacking, while windows always seems to have a plethora of decent tools.

@Darius
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 07:52 UTC

I'm assuming that what you're trying to do is to pesuade as many people as you can not to use MS products.

Again, you're assuming wrong. I actually own an Xbox and enjoy it a lot. I have a Microsoft mouse, I use MS Office at home.

What I want is for Microsoft to stop using FUD and lies against Linux.

Look at guys like me and Lumbergh - you talk at great length about how awful a company MS is, but what good does it do? Absolutely none. If you couldn't tell from this thread and others, we're all about using the best tool for the job, not religion or politics.

That's a very limited point of view. About politics, I mean - religion is about where we come from and what happens after we die, and it has nothing to do with the current discussion.

Politics, however, is a different story. You may not care about politics, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft isn't involved in politics - hey, you even admitted yourself that government wouldn't move against MS. They won't, because MS has a lot of clout, and Gates has lots of friends. Movers and shakers, you know, that sort of thing. Politics is all about power, and money brings power. It's not rocket science.

So to you choosing Windows under Linux may not be a political decision to you, however that doesn't mean that there aren't political repercussions to that choice. Note that I'm not saying that you should stop - only that you should be conscious that it is indeed a political choice to some extent, even if you don't care about.

I can hardly blame you - I use Microsoft products every day. I must have used about seven different MS software today: Windows 2000, IE (I also use Firefox, but because of a weird database issue I have to use both browsers simultaneously), Windows Explorer, Word, Excel, Visio and Notepad (yes, I use notepad everyday, it helps to get rid of unwanted text formatting). However I am in favor of gradually reducing reliance on MS products, especially the OS.

That's my only problem with MS: they control the OS, and that gives them an unfair advantage. In my ideal world, MS would adopt Linux and sell proprietary software for it. It would be one software vendor out of many, competing on merit rather than using its vast resources to crush competition.

And, as I also said in the other thread, the best tool for the job is an entirely subjective choice. People use crappy software they're used to every day. Sometimes the best app is too expensive. Sometimes the best app doesn't run on your platform (K3b kicks Nero's ass, for example, and you can't get Final Cut Pro for Windows). Sometimes two people will find that two different apps are ideal for the job, and will start a flamewar on a web site. So saying that you and Lumbergh "just want the best tool for the job" really doesn't say much in itself. It's just another tired cliche, in fact.

If you (and I mean the anti-MS crowd)

I do not assume that you represent the anti-Linux crowd, do not assume that I represent the anti-MS crowd. You're starting to sound a little bit arrogant there, my friend.

then create a website where you showcase different OSS apps and show us what is great about them

I work 60 hours/week on game projects, and I try to have a life. If you really want to find out about those programs, I suggest you try one of the nice Linux liveCDs. And if you don't like what you see, then you can always create a website to bitch about it. But don't feel like you have to post overly critical messages in every Linux thread.

So, if the open source apps are really that good ... good enough to go head-to-head with the best of their closed-source counterparts, then take the time and show us.

No. I don't care if you or Lumbergh use a particular app or not. OSS is doing just fine without me putting in extra time about it. If you're interested about an app, you'll look it up. It's not my responsibility to guide you.

You still don't get it - I have nothing about Microsoft's products, I have someting against Microsoft itself, or more specifically the way it conducts its business by spreading lies and FUD about OSS.

You can use any software you want, on any OS you want, I really don't give a damn.

Hell, you could even show MS execs on TV performing a human sacrifice for Satan and it still probably wouldn't matter. Do you understand?
Don't bother wasting your time telling us how evil Microsoft is, because we just don't give a rat's ass in the respect that we're not going to let it be the determining factor of what OS we use. It doesn't matter to you, but it matters to a critical mass of people in the IT industry.

But if you don't think open source apps are that good, then maybe you should find another cause to fight for, because your religious drivel

What religious drivel? What the hell are you talking about? Are you already out of arguments that you must try to misrepresent mine as some sort of irrational sermon?

Give me one quote of what I've written that you consider "religious drivel". Just one.

@Darius (continued - damn 8,000 character limit!)
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 07:53 UTC

No, I would pick them by hand.

Well, by hand or at random? You're contradicting yourself.

And it has to be the latest version.

Why? I thought what counted was to have the "right tool for the right job"?

Not the 'bleeding edge' beta version, but just the latest stable version. For example, I just went to the k3b website and noticed that the latest version is 0.11.18, so that is the one I want. 0.11.17 or 0.11.16 don't cut it - has to be the latest.

K3b on the cooker repository is version 0.11.18. However, it does usually take a few days for the latest version to be package for a distro, unless the developer packages it with an auto-installer itself. This is becoming more common, by the way - but ultimately it's the developer's responsibility (packages are the distro maker's).

Of course, using bleeding-edge packages does mean that you may have instability, especially for lower-level applications such as DEs or WMs. However, I do run a selectively cookerized Mandrake box with almost no hitches. As with every software, if you want stability first, don't go with the latest version - this is often true of Windows software as well, btw (i.e. also known as "better wait for the first service pack or revision before migrating"...)

I'm not looking for a single place to install software, just a single, consistant method.[...]Sometimes I have to double click on a .exe inside of a zip file or else simply unzip to a directory, but that's about as difficult as it usually gets.

You're contradicting yourself within a single paragraph, here.

If you think there is a single way to install software on Windows, then you've got anothing coming. There are dozens of installers (though InstallShield is the most popular one). Even Windows has different installers.

Personally, I think software repositories with nice frontends are much better: RedCarpet, Xandros Networks, Linspire's Click-n-Run are good for newbies, Mandrake's RPMdrake and other similar tools are good for more experienced users.

So, if you say to me 'This is how to install apps in this distro', even if it is done by dropping to a command line and typing 'install application', as long as it works for all 20 apps, then you're good.

I'd love to take your challenge, but unfortunately I must decline as it is much too easy to load the dice in your favor: all you have to do is look throught the distro's software depository and look for an obscure, minor or obsolete app that isn't in it.

That, and I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the week-end. However, I can say that - personally - I can find anything I need in the Mandrake repositories, so for me it is indeed the "right tool for the right job" (see, I'm guilty of using cliches too...)

On that note, I bid you farewell for now...no doubt we'll talk more about this in a future thread! Until then, don't assume too much and watch out for the trolls...from both sides of the bridge!

Responses
by altair on Sat 18th Dec 2004 08:32 UTC

@A nun, he moos
"In any case, GPL is freer than proprietary code - so I guess you and Lumbergh must hate proprietary code most of all, because it is a lot more restrictive than the GPL..."

No, I use whatever program accomplishes a certain task or set of tasks as quickly, painlessly, and intuitively as possible regardless of the license. I just don't like it when people say that the GPL is equal to other licenses in "freedom." I do tend to run "proprietary" programs more often then open source ones because the tend to be better. OSS software that i'm running right now: Adium, Firefox, Eclipse, Snes9X(?), bash.


"Well, at least you don't hide your bias. However, saying that "Linux is the ugliest thing on this planet" isn't much of an argument - especially since researchers found that the bug/line of code ratio was exceptionally low for the Linux kernel. I guess you must think bugs are beautiful."
Not being buggy and having readable code are two very different though not mutually exclusive things. I can prove that the Linux code is ugly. Here is a line that I came across in my class when we implemented the 2.6 kernel into the 2.4 kernel for an ipaq:
#define CHECK_MAGIC(x)
do {
if ((x) != (long)&(x)) {
printk("bad magic %lx (should be %lx), ",
(long)x, (long)&(x));
WQ_BUG();
}
} while (0)

Now we came across this while looking at the kernel waitqueue code and we have no clue what this is actually trying to do and what use it has in the code. Also keep in mind that this is nowhere near the worst code that we came across in our class...

@Lumbergh
"Gtk+ is LGPL. You can release "your" code under any license that you want. The only restrictions you have are if you modify the library code. Your friend was not obligated to release his code under the GPL.

By the way, what does "the protocol" have to do with Gtk+?"
I was referensing the program that I think is called gtetrinet. He did not know the protocol and couldnt find it anywhere else so he had to look at how they did it in gtetrinet.

I have no qualms with the LGPL because it solves the library problem however not everybody uses this which to me seems like an arrogant "haha you can't use me" thing to do.

RE: Another example of cross-platform apps
by neocephas on Sat 18th Dec 2004 08:33 UTC

I've got DrScheme opened up in windows right now. There are windows, linux, and I believe a Mac version. It's my understanding that it uses wxWidgets for its toolkit.

DrScheme uses an old fork of wxWidgets, so re-compiling wxWidgets won't do you much good. However, the CVS does use a version of wxWidgets with gtk2, I think.

Frankly, as a developer, I've always found linux developer tools to be lacking, while windows always seems to have a plethora of decent tools.

Well, that's pretty subjective. As a comp sci student, I find programming on Windows pretty frustrating. As you said, the Win32/MFC/.NET Forms sucks. Likewise, the fact the different versions of Visual Studio are incompatible with each other and that MS is deprecating so many APIs all the time (particulary for GUIs) is frustrating when you are trying to program a simple assignment.

Additionally, the lack of a good shell is also a hindrance, at least to me. Coming from a student's perspective, with a shell, you are at least introduced and encouraged to understand how a compiler works and operates. If you take away an IDE from a lot of classmates of mine, they would have no idea how to compile their programs. Linux development tends to encourage this awareness of how things work.

Moreover, for a student, using open source makes a lot more sense. You can see the source and learn from it. You can contribute back if you want, and this is quite frequent in the university environment. Also, learning these tools (OSS) makes you more flexible and you skills are more cross platform. Most of the research at my school usually involves Solaris or Linux. Not being able to be navigate with a command prompt isn't exactly a good thing.

Practically, you also get a large resource of tools to work with. Imagine, as a student, if you had to pay for all the external libraries you want to use in your projects (ie I made a streaming audio player that took advantage of mplayer and drscheme and some mp3/ogg java libraries). The costs would be highly prohibitive (even at academic discounts) and you would be force to do simple projects or rewrite large amounts of code.

I guess after all this rambling, I'm just saying that your view that linux development tools are lacking is unfair. I find open source tools educational, usefull, flexible, and powerful. Some people like it some people don't. I helped my friend dual boot with ubuntu and now he works primarily in linux and prefers using a terminal and compiling on the prompt. I tried the same with my roommate, but he needs photoshop and stuff like that, so he never touches his linux partition. To each his own.

@neocephas
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 10:37 UTC

DrScheme uses an old fork of wxWidgets, so re-compiling wxWidgets won't do you much good. However, the CVS does use a version of wxWidgets with gtk2, I think.

Thanks for the info. I'll look into that if I decide to use DrScheme in Linux.

Well, that's pretty subjective. As a comp sci student, I find programming on Windows pretty frustrating. As you said, the Win32/MFC/.NET Forms sucks. Likewise, the fact the different versions of Visual Studio are incompatible with each other and that MS is deprecating so many APIs all the time (particulary for GUIs) is frustrating when you are trying to program a simple assignment.

Yeah, it's subjective and programming and choice of tools is about as subjective as you can get. I said that win32/MFC was a clusterf*ck, not .NET. .NET is good engineering. I've never had a problem upgrading solutions/projects from older versions of VS to newer version. Of course it would be interesting to see if say Whidbey knows about say VC++ 4.0 projects, but Microsoft has always been good about backward compatibility. Microsoft never depecrates apis. That's one of the reasons they've been so successful. Longhorn will probably change all of that though.

Additionally, the lack of a good shell is also a hindrance, at least to me. Coming from a student's perspective, with a shell, you are at least introduced and encouraged to understand how a compiler works and operates. If you take away an IDE from a lot of classmates of mine, they would have no idea how to compile their programs. Linux development tends to encourage this awareness of how things work.

That's why you use Cygwin or native versions of unix utilities. You don't learn how a compiler works just because you use it on the command line. The only thing you learn on the command line are the various compiler switches. If you want to learn how a compiler works buy the dragon book or some other compiler book. I've been programming linux professionaly for close to 7 years now and once you know your way around the command line there's no point in re-learning it over and over and over. In any case there's no difference from typing make and pressing a build button, except that you have to write Makefiles, which is nothing special and Make isn't a great build tool to begin with. It's just that everybody knows it. The same thing with the autotools. Nobody really likes the autotools, but everybody uses it because they are a standard.

Moreover, for a student, using open source makes a lot more sense. You can see the source and learn from it. You can contribute back if you want, and this is quite frequent in the university environment. Also, learning these tools (OSS) makes you more flexible and you skills are more cross platform. Most of the research at my school usually involves Solaris or Linux. Not being able to be navigate with a command prompt isn't exactly a good thing.

For a student it does make a lot of sense to read a lot of source code. At the stage in my career the only code i'm really interested in reading is my own, co-workers, or maybe sample code to learn a new language. I just don't have the patience or inclination to read people's source just for the sake of it. Let's face it, there's a lot of crap code out there that does more harm than good. I remember look at the GNU telnetd code once to see how they were doing things and it was basically unreadable. At least the man page acknowledged that fact.

Practically, you also get a large resource of tools to work with. Imagine, as a student, if you had to pay for all the external libraries you want to use in your projects (ie I made a streaming audio player that took advantage of mplayer and drscheme and some mp3/ogg java libraries). The costs would be highly prohibitive (even at academic discounts) and you would be force to do simple projects or rewrite large amounts of code.

I'll agree that some tools are prohibitively expensive for students, but I don't know what that has to do with linux or windows. There's lot of free tools out there for windows. Maybe not the code, but it's free as in beer.

I guess after all this rambling, I'm just saying that your view that linux development tools are lacking is unfair. I find open source tools educational, usefull, flexible, and powerful. Some people like it some people don't. I helped my friend dual boot with ubuntu and now he works primarily in linux and prefers using a terminal and compiling on the prompt. I tried the same with my roommate, but he needs photoshop and stuff like that, so he never touches his linux partition. To each his own.

It's not unfair, it's just my opinion. Each developer has their own unique way of developing and their preferred tools. One size doesn't fit all. Yes, to each his own.

@Lumbergh
by neocephas on Sat 18th Dec 2004 11:53 UTC

.NET is good engineering. I've never had a problem upgrading solutions/projects from older versions of VS to newer version. Of course it would be interesting to see if say Whidbey knows about say VC++ 4.0 projects, but Microsoft has always been good about backward compatibility. Microsoft never depecrates apis.

From what I've seen, I think .NET seems pretty decent. The main problems my class was having was that in VS.NET 2002, the documentation was all for .NET Forms which was to replace the old MFC/Win32 api stuff for GUIs. However, .NET Forms itself is suppose to be replaced in two years (at least that is what I've read... Avalon or something). Anyway, the version of VS didn't allow us to make GUIs with C++, only with C# and VB. Being a C++ class, this was obviously a problem and different groups had to resort to wxWidgets or QT, or just bite the bullet and use Win32 blindly (pretty much blindly). I think VS 2003 resolved this, but 2002 pretty much turned me off it.

That's why you use Cygwin or native versions of unix utilities.

Or you install NetBSD or Arch Linux, which is what I did.

You don't learn how a compiler works just because you use it on the command line. The only thing you learn on the command line are the various compiler switches...In any case there's no difference from typing make and pressing a build button, except that you have to write Makefiles, which is nothing special and Make isn't a great build tool to begin with.

True, but at least you understand that a compiler and a linker is involved and the process your files go through. Albeit, this isn't important if all you are doing is cranking out code, but it is if you are learning. I also find using the command line keeps you better organized. With IDEs, you usually have project files, but these files do not necessarily match up with whats actually on the filesystem. I also found using Makefiles and a commandline compiler simpler and easier than IDE for adding external libraries. For the life of me I could not get VS to link wxWidgets, but with gcc it was a simple command line switch. The only things I liked from VS were intellisense and the integrated debugger, but other than that, a shell + vim + Makefile is a lot easier.

I'll agree that some tools are prohibitively expensive for students, but I don't know what that has to do with linux or windows. There's lot of free tools out there for windows. Maybe not the code, but it's free as in beer.

Well I think this goes back to what the article is actually about: the community. With Linux, there is an open community of developers and users who share their work. It is easier for me, as a student, to learn and contribute to this community. This is manifested in all the software that is available. For instance, I could have used Microsoft's Speech SDK for my robot, but I couldn't really customize it (which I needed to for my particular application) so I used CMU Sphinx. Most of the software on Linux is open source and it is usually freely (as in beer) available. In particular there are a lot of free libraries which you can use in your applications, where as on Windows, you usually have to pay for them. There is open source stuff for windows, which is good, but it's just easier for me to do it on Linux.

Each developer has their own unique way of developing and their preferred tools. One size doesn't fit all. Yes, to each his own.

Word. Linux isn't perfect, but neither is Windows. Not by a long shot.

PS If you are a fan of scheme, Chicken Scheme is pretty sweet too. It can produce stand-alone executables and runs on Windows and Linux.

Different day, same OSNews
by Anonymous on Sat 18th Dec 2004 12:19 UTC

Darius and Lumberg don't like Linux, and who gives a damn?

RE: article
by karl on Sat 18th Dec 2004 12:42 UTC

It's unfortunate that the author insisted on potraying the FOSS community model of development as something which Adam Smith was thinking about when he wrote "The Wealth of Nations". Arguably such is better than comparing FOSS with "communism". But both of these interpretations are, well, to put it simply rather baked. FOSS isn't centered around, nor produces any kind of "free market"-at least not in any way positively related to the use of this concept in the context of an american social-economical ideologie. "Free market" is perhaps the second most misused and abused ideological concept next to "democracy".

The fact that no political party-with perhaps the exception of "libertarians", ie. conservative reactionaries, endorses, let alone really desires "free markets" is lost in the patriotic song and dance which celebrates the (American) triumph of "Free markets". But it is not surprising that the author chooses to talk of FOSS as "free markets" at work: after all the very specific historical developement which has led to the current social-political-economical constellation which is currently labeled "free market" is held to be "natural" ie. as in a law of nature, and American, probably due to a mytholigcal cross-association of being-American and being-natural-are the two not synonym?.

It is actually more understanable when someone compares FOSS to "communism". Not because this comparison means anything-but because what FOSS *is* is about as alien as "communism" is to patriotic americans. The fact that FOSS is commensurable with the current social-political-economic constellation, ie. viable as a resource for the purpose of economic exploitation, does not mean that the FOSS community is a "representation" of the (natural laws) "free market". This constellation is unqiuely capable of co-opting *virtually* any and or all kinds coordinated human activity-at least in the short term. That which is not commensurable with outright cooptation becomes the "enemy of the state".

What is interesting about FOSS, however, is that the long term goals of FOSS are not commensurable with "free markets"-unless one understands that the kind of market freedom envisaged in FOSS is a freedom which is radically contrary to that which is meant when one talks about "free markets" in the context of neo-liberal ideology. Saying that it is "radically contrary" is perhaps to weak: when the kind of market freedom embodied by FOSS comes to fruition the kind of "free markets" envisioned by neo-liberal ideology will cease to exist-at least in the context of software development.

The author of the article surely did not mean this kind of market freedom. And Adam Smith could not have, in his wildest dreams, ever imagined something like the FOSS community. Luckily FOSS is not definable in the context american market policies- the FOSS community is not bound to any nation-the FOSS community is perhaps the single most positive development in the context of globalisation-and as such a glaring anomaly, due to the predominance of extremely negative globalisized developments.

The kind of freedom embodied in FOSS is beautiful: it relegates any statements by any members of any national identity mute: what FOSS *is* and will become is subject only to the people who will constitue that community-and most of them will not even speak english;)

The subject of freedom ebodied in the FOSS community is not you or I as individuals-and when one understands this one can also understand the tendency of many who to want to compare it with "communism". In this sense FOSS is uniquely un-american-albeit I would hope that not all Americans worship individualism as the be-all end-all of the political, ie. social, existance. The subject of FOSS is however radically incommensurable with any kind of state control. Anyone who understands this understands why the comparison of FOSS with "communism" and "free markets" is so brain dead. The subject of freedom embodied by FOSS is the community of those empowered by it.

The State can empower itself by embracing FOSS, as is the case in Brazil, but in so doing the State is empowering the citzens-ie. the "community" of FOSS. With the advent of the personal computer "the ownership of the means of production" took on a meaning which hitherto was unknown. FOSS concretizes this freedom-it places the tools, ie. the means of production, in the hands of those who use it-and it does so in such away as to preclude any third party (ie. corporation or the State) from taking this freedom away.

FOSS emodies a confrontation with the definition of private property-at its base it is a reformulation of the concept of property and the conceptualization of property and the consensus about what constitutes property and how the relationship of public-private is understood is the basis of society itself.

I consider myself a member of the FOSS community. At this point in time a large number of fractions wish to co-opt the identity of this community for themselves. But all the vying for identity is rather mute-the FOSS community is not *an* identity-regarless of how one talks about it. We have the pro-this and the anti-that-but regardless of these identifications the copyleft nature of FOSS is a challenge to our societal definitions of property and how the relationship between private and public is understood. This challenge is not dependent upon the wish of some or many to see such as a challenge.

This challenge consists therein that there is no legal or jurisprudence tradition which can adequately cope with copyleft. Inevitably the courts will have to develop a tradition of coping with copyleft and in so doing the understanding of copyright(patens and PROPERTY) will change. Who would have thought that the most successful sustained challenge to the concept of property would have come from a somewhat disgrunteled programmer at Americas most presitigious technical school. And who would have thought that this un-american train of thought would strike a chord of ressonance with people throughout the world.

RE:pfft
by Adam on Sat 18th Dec 2004 17:20 UTC

Personally I never met anyone who thought GNU GPL was a religion, nor have I seen any newbie flamed for writing a question that makes good use of english: its grammer, and semantics.

Alot of newbies tend to write the most ass-backwards questions, and give no error messages.

v @Karl
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:01 UTC
@altair
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:02 UTC

No, I use whatever program accomplishes a certain task or set of tasks as quickly, painlessly, and intuitively as possible regardless of the license.

Wait, we're talking about two different things, here! I was talking about accessing code, and now you're talking about using programs - apples and oranges as they say.

I said that if you don't like the GPL license because it's "less free" than the BSD license (I disagree, but that's another debate), then you must hold proprietary licenses in utter horror, as they are a lot less free than the GPL.

Now we came across this while looking at the kernel waitqueue code and we have no clue what this is actually trying to do and what use it has in the code.

So, you don't know what the code is for, therefore it's ugly? Did you try sending a message to the LKML? You know, the Linux kernel is a living thing, so some patches (this seems to be part of one, for the waitqueue debug code) may sometimes linger longer than they should. To claim, as you did, that the Linux kernel is the ugliest code around is both silly and unprovable because you don't have access to the source code of proprietary kernels. One thing you do have, however, is the opportunity to make the Linux kernel code less ugly by contributing to it.

Of course, your contributions would have to be GPLed... :-)

v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:07 UTC
v @a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:24 UTC
@a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:28 UTC

Maybe you should read the writing of someone who is more a member of the open source "community" than Karl will ever be - like Eric Raymond (a libertarian).

@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 18:59 UTC

I'm a Libertarian Leftist. Are you going to insult me because of that? Are you so inept at political discourse that you can't debate with someone who holds opinions that differ from you?

Noticed how he called libertarians right-wing reactionaries. He is the one that started attacking people.

Well, when talking of Libertarian Rightists, then I'm afraid to say that he's right to say that they are - for the most part - conservative reactionaries. This may seem extreme to you, but remember that you are in the U.S., which is overall a more conservative nation than the rest of the world (i.e., what you consider "centrist" is acutally right-of-center).

So he wasn't attack anyone, merely stating his opinion. Also not that he didn't name anyone. Please understand what "personal attacks" mean.

What do you make of that? He's trying to use FOSS to further his political agenda.

No, he's saying just was he's saying: that FOSS embodies a confrontation with the definition of private property. The notion of FOSS does challenge the traditional notion of private property. That doesn't mean that the goal of FOSS is to undermine or eradicate the concept of private property! If you tried to understand what the guy said instead of projecting your own misconceptions over it, you would have gotten that.

In any case, the basic issue remains: if you disagree with him, then try to articulate a counter-argument instead of going into attack mode.

He slams individualism and americans at the same time.

No he doesn't. He said that he hopes that he hopes that not all Americans worship individualism as the be-all end-all of the political, ie. social, existance. He's right - individualism is important, but so is a sense of community. It's not a black-and-white thing where it's all one or the other (which is why he used the term "be-all end-all"). He makes a legitimate criticism of the "extreme" individualism championed by some in the U.S. - now, if the hats fits you...

So I just proved my point that he hates capitalism and individual liberty.

Uh, no. He didn't. That's what you read into it, but you're too biased to actually understand what he says. And one could make the case that capitalism can actually be detrimental to individual liberty - look at the numerous cases of human rights abuse tacitly supported by transnational corporporations, especially in South America.

Don't associate "free markets" and "democracy" - they don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. For the record, the U.S. is not a capitalist country, as it is very protectionist and interventionist (through the Pentagon system of corporate subsidies, among others). "Capitalism" is for U.S. client states, who must open up their markets to U.S. goods or face the consequences. Nicaragua is a good example.

I feel sorry for you if he convinced you of anything besides that he gives Open Source a bad name with his neo-socialist rantings.

He presented arguments. You attacked him. Guess who's going to be more convincing? I guess this is also why so many of your posts got modded down (some of mine did, too, but out of three there was a duplicate post, and another post apologizing about it).

Neo-socialism? That's catchy. Since socialism is back in style in Europe and South America, it's probably a good idea to call it neo-socialism to underline the fact that it has become modernized to deal with the realities of a new century. After all, you guys have the neo-cons running the show, it's only natural that the rest of the planet reacts accordingly.

P.S.
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:04 UTC

Maybe you should read the writing of someone who is more a member of the open source "community" than Karl will ever be - like Eric Raymond (a libertarian).

Hey, who do you think I am? I have read ESR's writing. I agree with most of it, but obviously we disagree as far as politics are concerned. He's libertarian-right, I'm libertarian-left. We agree on social issues, but not on economical ones.

Now, I disagree that ESR is "more" a member of the OSS community than Karl. You're either part of the community, or you're not. There's no "degree of purity" involved. It just proves that it is a diverse community, and that not all members agree on all subjects. Yet most of the time they manage to discuss their differences without resorting to name-calling (though ESR did half-jokingly threaten to shoot another prominent member of the community - a statement which I hope you don't condone...)

@ a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:09 UTC

Ok, so you admit that you're a leftist and so it's no suprise that you agree with his socialist rant.

Since socialism is back in style in Europe and South America, it's probably a good idea to call it neo-socialism to underline the fact that it has become modernized to deal with the realities of a new century.

I'm glad oppressive socialism isn't back in style in the United States.

@a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:11 UTC

I'm a Libertarian Leftist

That's an oxymoron. I guess you're ashamed to admit that you're a socialist.

v @a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:17 UTC
@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:41 UTC

Ok, so you admit that you're a leftist and so it's no suprise that you agree with his socialist rant.

I agree with his arguments. You have yet to offer any counter-arguments of your own.

I'm glad oppressive socialism isn't back in style in the United States.

Who said anything about "oppressive socialism"? Again, more soundbites without substance. How about actually constructing an argument, for a change?

That's an oxymoron. I guess you're ashamed to admit that you're a socialist.

No, it's not. You can be Libertarian on the left, or on the right, just like you can be authoritarian on the left or the right. Please, enlighten yourself:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

If you're a game designer than what does Linux even offer you?

In a professional sense, nothing. We do use gcc and other FOSS tools, and I believe one of our servers runs Linux. The tech guys also use Linux liveCDs as diagnostic tools. However, this is irrelevant to the conversation. I use Linux at home for personal computing.

I guess the only thing FOSS even offers you is the ability to identify with other people (like Karl) that want to use FOSS as a vehicle for a socialist agenda.

No, FOSS offers me high-quality software that fulfills my personal computing needs without supporting an abusive OS monopoly.

BTW, since I guess you identify yourself with capitalism, you should know that monopolies are a direct threat to capitalism. Indeed, one of the main arguments in favor of free market is that they are self-regulatory (an article of faith which I don't share, but it is still one of the main arguments). The problem with monopolies is that, since they tend to stifle competition and push prices up, they are actually detrimental to the alleged regulatory mechanisms that would be inherent to free-markets. So, as a capitalist, you should be even more opposed to MS's OS monopoly than me, as it robs competition of the "level playing field" championed by free market theorists.

FOSS is a religion to you and Karl.

Uh, no. Religion implies metaphysical questions such as "where do we come from", "where do we go after we die" and so one. Also, religion is based more on emotions than rational discourse. Me and Karl have actually used rational discourse to present our opinions, while you're the one who has resorted to emotional ad hominem attacks.

There's only one person acting like a religious fanatic here, and it's you.

@ A nun, he moos
by altair on Sat 18th Dec 2004 19:53 UTC

No it's not Apples to oranges. I like most closed source licenses. I am going to graduate soon and closed source licenses make my future job worth more. I don't mind the BSD license because it's able to be used in other things with the freedom for those people to choose what license they want to use. I do not like the GPL because it does not have this freedom.

Also as to the Linux kernel, there is this thing called readability. Having a CHECK_MAGIC macro that is used is a WTF moment when trying to understand the code. I'm sorry if you don't agree with me but the writing style and variable naming inside the kernel does not lend itself to easy understanding.

If you want my view on licensing here it is: I don't care about the politics of software. I just want the best program for the specific task(s). The only time that a license matters is if I can't install it on all of my computers and it is too expensive to actually buy 2-3 copies of. This has really only been a problem with some of Microsoft's activation programs (Windows XP, Visual Studio .net). Luckily because I am a student I get those for free due to the MS Academic Alliance.

Also I don't have the time to mess around with source code to a program in order to get it to suit my needs. I also don't like editing text files to change the options. I even don't like firefox's having to use "about config" in order to access the option to turn off that annoying accellerated scrolling.

v @a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Sat 18th Dec 2004 20:11 UTC
@a nun, he moos
by Darius on Sun 19th Dec 2004 00:59 UTC

[quote]I do not assume that you represent the anti-Linux crowd, do not assume that I represent the anti-MS crowd. You're starting to sound a little bit arrogant there, my friend.[/quote]

Sorry ... based on your comments, I assumed you didn't like MS ;)

You still don't get it - I have nothing about Microsoft's products, I have someting against Microsoft itself, or more specifically the way it conducts its business by spreading lies and FUD about OSS.

I'm not quite sure, but I assume your end goal is to get Microsoft to be a good corporate citizen. IMHO, the only way they're going to do that is if you can convince people not to use their products (and Windows/Office inparticular). I told you how to go about this in a previous post. If none of that matters to you, then disregard my comments.

> No, I would pick (the apps) by hand.
Well, by hand or at random? You're contradicting yourself.


Sorry, bad choice of wording. I mean random to you because you would not know ahead of time what the apps would be.

> And it has to be the latest version.
Why? I thought what counted was to have the "right tool for the right job"?


Because newer versionos are usually (but not always) better than the older ones. However, if you can provide me sufficient proof (bug reports, usenet post, whatever) that an earlier version is better than the latest one, then that will do.

If you think there is a single way to install software on Windows, then you've got anothing coming. There are dozens of installers (though InstallShield is the most popular one). Even Windows has different installers.

Even with all the installers, it pretty much always works like this: Run the setup, Next, Next, Finish. That works 99% of the time. I don't mind small variations in the Linux install method, so long as I don't have to spend days searching Google when/if something blows up in my face.

I'd love to take your challenge, but unfortunately I must decline as it is much too easy to load the dice in your favor: all you have to do is look throught the distro's software depository and look for an obscure, minor or obsolete app that isn't in it.

To be honest with you, except for Linspire and Xandros, I don't have a clue how to search a distro's repoistory and don't intend on doing so. Anyway, since I won't know ahead of time which distro(s) you will choose, I'm not about to go looking through every damn repository to see what's current and what's not.

Anyway, to you (or anyone else), I won't be checking this thread again so if you want to continue the discussion, email me at this webform:

http://www.worknman.com/mail.html

And we'll talk ;)

v @Lumbergh
by karl on Sun 19th Dec 2004 01:05 UTC
Re: @a nun, he moos
by Darius on Sun 19th Dec 2004 01:13 UTC

I'd love to take your challenge, but unfortunately I must decline as it is much too easy to load the dice in your favor: all you have to do is look throught the distro's software depository and look for an obscure, minor or obsolete app that isn't in it.

I will go ahead and tell you what several of the apps are:
- k3b
- Firefox
- Thunderbird
- Opera (for Linux)
- JavaXM (http://freshmeat.net/projects/jxm/?branch_id=48160&release_id=15362...)
- I don't know which ones yet, but I'll probably try at least 4-5 different audio editing apps
- Mplayer (with the proper codecs so I can at least watch DVDs and mpeg files)
- Rythembox
- Gaim

And I don't know what else yet. Do keep in mind that all these apps will have to work properly out of the box, which means no having to hunt for package y to make feature x work.

v @Karl
by Lumbergh on Sun 19th Dec 2004 01:34 UTC
@Lumbergh
by karl on Sun 19th Dec 2004 10:34 UTC

Would you care to address the issue which was raised ?

I'll admit the sentences are somehwat long and that I made a number of spelling errors in my original post but neither of these can account for not addressing the issue at hand.

-----------------------------------------------------------
FOSS emodies a confrontation with the definition of private property-at its base it is a reformulation of the concept of property and the conceptualization of property and the consensus about what constitutes property and how the relationship of public-private is understood is the basis of society itself.

This challenge consists therein that there is no legal or jurisprudence tradition which can adequately cope with copyleft. Inevitably the courts will have to develop a tradition of coping with copyleft and in so doing the understanding of copyright(patens and PROPERTY) will change.
-----------------------------------------------------------

If you disagree with what I am saying here please tell me why. I can't believe that this issue is so difficult to comprehend. Oh and just for the record I did not come to this conclusion based on some kind of political agenda-such became clear after having read court documents written by judges who attempted to make decisions where the GPL was called into question. Their inability to deal with copyleft was humourous and enlightening at the same time...

You may resort to calling me a FOSS fanatic or zealot or refer to such as "my religion". I honestly couldn't care less. I am honestly inspired by the fact that millions of people around the world have embraced software licenses which cannot be adequately dealt with by any pre-existing legal or jurisprudence system. At this point the judges cannot rule against these licenses because far to much is at stake.

I find it fascinating that without any overt political goal something has come into being which has profound legal and societal ramifications. The fact that these licenses have been embraced and our producing the effect that I am describing is not due to any particular political ideology-but it is due to certain values shared by many which are not accounted for in our jurisprudence system-values which are intimately intertwined with issues of indidividual liberty-values which form the basis of the "community".

Quit digging yourself deeper and deeper in a hole of endless recrimination and address the issue at hand or explain why it is, for you, a non-issue.





@Karl
by Lumbergh on Sun 19th Dec 2004 17:15 UTC

Don't tell me that you're not entangling your political views into the GPL or FOSS as the whole. By the way, if you want to talk about truly free software, why don't you talk about truly free software (like public domain) instead of GPL software.

Some of your quotes:

The fact that no political party-with perhaps the exception of "libertarians", ie. conservative reactionaries

Wrong. Libertarians are the true liberals (in a classical sense). Leftists, socialists are the real reactionaries.



FOSS emodies a confrontation with the definition of private property-at its base it is a reformulation of the concept of property and the conceptualization of property and the consensus about what constitutes property and how the relationship of public-private is understood is the basis of society itself.

Here is where you really show your cards. Just explain how software bits (which are unique in its ability to be distributed) are somehow representative of private property as a whole? You really need to elaborate on that paragraph. "confrontation with private property". A confrontation with what property? That statement sure smells like communism to me.

With the advent of the personal computer "the ownership of the means of production" took on a meaning which hitherto was unknown. FOSS concretizes this freedom-it places the tools, ie. the means of production, in the hands of those who use it-and it does so in such away as to preclude any third party (ie. corporation or the State) from taking this freedom away.

Does that also apply to those that will sell their software without the source code? I'm going to guess you hate those kids in the early 80s that were making hundreds of thousands of dollars by hacking games on their Apples in their bedrooms. That's real empowerment. being an unpaid worker drone for the likes of Novell, Redhat, and IBM isn't empowerment. What the hell is wrong with getting paid for your work?



The subject of FOSS is however radically incommensurable with any kind of state control.

Yeah, software should be independent of state control - except not when it comes to Microsoft for some people because these braindead fools act like Microsoft forced people to buy their software.



when the kind of market freedom embodied by FOSS comes to fruition the kind of "free markets" envisioned by neo-liberal ideology will cease to exist-at least in the context of software development.

So are you making the assumption that FOSS will render proprietary software obsolete? We've heard this for years. FOSS works for our company because we can sell our closed-source, proprietary software on top of linux. I know you hate that. If the kernel didn't allow proprietary, closed-source apps, or GCC had some restriction on the code it generated, linux and gcc would be useless bits except to a couple hundred hobbyist kids.

I consider myself a member of the FOSS community. At this point in time a large number of fractions wish to co-opt the identity of this community for themselves. But all the vying for identity is rather mute-the FOSS community is not *an* identity-regarless of how one talks about it. We have the pro-this and the anti-that-but regardless of these identifications the copyleft nature of FOSS is a challenge to our societal definitions of property and how the relationship between private and public is understood. This challenge is not dependent upon the wish of some or many to see such as a challenge.

There's no doubt that Redhat, IBM, Novell, Sun and others are trying to jump on the bandwagon to further their own agendas. There you go again with "challenge to our societal definitions of property and hos the relations between private and public is understood". Once again, it smacks of a socialist political agenda.

This challenge consists therein that there is no legal or jurisprudence tradition which can adequately cope with copyleft. Inevitably the courts will have to develop a tradition of coping with copyleft and in so doing the understanding of copyright(patens and PROPERTY) will change. Who would have thought that the most successful sustained challenge to the concept of property would have come from a somewhat disgrunteled programmer at Americas most presitigious technical school. And who would have thought that this un-american train of thought would strike a chord of ressonance with people throughout the world.

Once again, "understanding of property will change".

Karl, maybe you can fool some of the kiddies around here with your pseudo-intellectual leftist diatribe, but it's totally clear that you (and others) have a leftist political agenda entwined with FOSS.

I'm a better spokesman for open source than you ever will be because at our company (oooh...evil private company producing proprietary code) has been selling boxes with linux for over 7 years. I can show people how you make a buck off of linux. All you can do is tell people that FOSS "will change our definitions of property"



@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sun 19th Dec 2004 23:21 UTC

You're the one that brought up neo-socialism being back in style in Europe. I guess you forgot the last time national socialism was in style in europe.[...]It's just more government oppression that we've seen from national socialism

I know you've already Godwinned the thread, but the nazis were not socialists. In fact, they killed thousands of socialist. Just because they used the word "socialism" in "National socialism" doesn't mean they were, not any more than Democratic People's Republic of Korea is democratic.

Nazis were on the far right, not the far left. So if you blame Stalin on me, I'll blame Hitler on you, since he was a friend of the capitalist, corporate world (who did a lot of money because of him).

Get your facts straight.

Microsoft abused you? Poor baby.

Thanks for proving to anyone that you're an idiot.

@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Sun 19th Dec 2004 23:33 UTC

Libertarians are the true liberals (in a classical sense). Leftists, socialists are the real reactionaries.

You know it's bad when you need to redefine words to support your point of view. From those dastardly communists at Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: re·ac·tion·ary
Pronunciation: rE-'ak-sh&-"ner-E
Function: adjective
: relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction; especially : ultraconservative in politics


What the hell is wrong with getting paid for your work?

Nothing. Neither Karl nor me believe this. You're trying to misrepresent our position in order to denounce it. That's a textbook example of the "strawman argument" logical fallacy. You seem to like it because you use it a lot, probably thinking that it's a valid form of counter-argument (it isn't).

it's totally clear that you (and others) have a leftist political agenda entwined with FOSS.

Just like you have a rightist political agenda (less government intervention, more power to corporations, unfettered free market). The difference is that, while Karl constructs well thought-of points, presented clearly and respectfully, while you repeat the usual ultra-conservative propaganda, interspersed with strawman arguments, lies and insults.

I'm a better spokesman for open source than you ever will be

Which is why your posts invariably criticize Linux and the OSS movement? With friends like you, who needs enemies.

Anyway, spokesmen don't throw around insults and twist other people's words or misrepresent what they say.

@Darius
by A nun, he moos on Sun 19th Dec 2004 23:36 UTC

Opera's going to make it more difficult, because I don't think it can be freely redistributed by distro makers (being proprietary).

Anyway, work on your list, I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to discuss again on this site. BTW, I appreciate the fact that we can disagree without coming to the kind of useless rhetoric used by Lumbergh.

It's simple...
by Victor on Mon 20th Dec 2004 01:13 UTC

Lumbergh et al have a very practical and technical view of the software world. I don't know if you'll ever be able to change that.

To me, software is much more than that. You say that people who doesn't view software as a practical issue (as you do), are the people who thinks "FOSS is a religion".

Well, it's not "religion", that's a very bad name to give it. But, still, to me FOSS has a lot of ideology and philosophy in the concept itself.

Thus, thinking of free software as simply "a software with source code avaliable", is an over-simplified way of thinking about free software.

Similarly, i think it's bad when people compare proprietary software with free software just by their technical abilities ("get the work done", as you love to say it). Because free software is much more than some lines of code; free software is, above all, about freedom; it's about being free to "get the work done".

Victor.

@victor
by Anonymous on Mon 20th Dec 2004 03:10 UTC

"Lumbergh et al have a very practical and technical view of the software world. I don't know if you'll ever be able to change that.

"
no he doesnt. he loves to attack idealogists and visionaries like RMS without any rational arguments. he would keep throwing about anti OSS claims to back his "practical" arguments. more power to people who have a long term idealogy which is known to be more practical..

v @a nun he moose
by Lumbergh on Mon 20th Dec 2004 03:40 UTC
v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Mon 20th Dec 2004 05:33 UTC
v @a nun, he moos
by Lumbergh on Mon 20th Dec 2004 06:37 UTC
@Lumbergh
by karl on Mon 20th Dec 2004 10:14 UTC

I have no doubts about the work you have done. I have noticed as many others undoubtedly have, it has been quite obvious from your posts, that you have dealt with and used FOSS software. I also understand that you are a champion of the commercial software world-I imagine your livelihood is rather tied up in it. Nothing I have said is against you or your livelihood.

If you could avoid loosing yourself in endless equivocation this who discussion could be so much more fruitful-and less recriminatory.

My first post was a response to the article, "It's the community, stupid". I was criticizing the naive understanding of "free markets" being used by the author of the article and the attempt to romanticize the FOSS community as some kind of expression of Adam Smiths ideas.

I am fully convinced that the FOSS community in the future will be a paid community-ie. will consist of individuals who draw their livelihood from their work. Any society which makes the transitition to using FOSS in the public sector will end up creating many, many thousands of new jobs. Societies which do so start empowering their own citizens-instead of funneling a large percentage of their GDP to foreign software corporations. The skills involved in programming become marketable valuable skills in the local economy-the local economy of every city and town in the societies which make the transition. The money which is saved in this process can be reinvested in other areas-everyone knows that public institutions are hard pressed financially in virtually all parts of the world.

The wages which these programmers/sys. admins/technicians etc. will be paid, is going to be taxed which increases the revenue available to the governement to allocate for public services. Moreover the software in use in the public sector will be far better suited to the local specific needs of those contributing to it-and remeber custom tailored software is far more valuable than "pre-packaged".

If you are, as you state, a libertarian then you must surely know that the talk about "free markets" is pure ideological b.s. You know damned well that there is virtually nothing "free" about our(american) "free markets". The american government subsidizes specific industries continuously-which is totally contradictory to the notion of a "free market". If the government via a program like the 401k redirects %10 of the income of the majority of its workers directly into the stockmarket by excepting it from taxation status-well how exactly do you understand "government underwriting of corporations". There is no such thing as "free markets" or "pure" capitalism. And when we the people have no say in where the wealth of this nation is directed -how "free" are we. Surely as a libertarian you must see such.

Many libertarians wish to abolish most of the services of the state and wish to allow the "free market" to fullfill these services. What these conservative reactionaries however fail to grasp time and time again is that the modern form of the corporation is a function of the State. Without the services provided by the State there would be no such thing as a corporation.

And one of the most important services of the State is to be found in the laws which codify what property means. It is the very particular interpretation of property codified today in our laws which makes the kinds of corporations viable which today exist. If the societal definitions of property change, ie. the laws which codify these definitions, then everything founded in these laws change-the forms of corporatism, the functioning of the market, and the ascription of value to those things deamed "goods" in the market.

I find it helpful to envision the legal structures as a kind of ecosystem: according to the legal structures at hand certain kinds of organisms are viable, and other kinds of organisms are not viable. Modern corporate america is viable due to the legal structures at hand. A big chunk of modern corporate America is dependent upon the codification in law of very specific interpretations of what property is.

When I say that FOSS is a challenge to the definition of property I mean: a) there is no legal or jurisprudence tradition which can adequately cope with copyleft. b) because there is no pre-existing tradition precedence cases must be established c) in the attempt to codify such precedence cases the established definitions surround intellectual property will become problematic d) this will result in changes to the societal understanding of property-ie. the codification in the forms of laws thereof e) this will have ramifications for all facets of society which have their legal foothold in these laws.

Now I am not saying that this will be unequivocally "good". I am also not saying that this will "utterly" change society. I am also not saying that there will be universal employment, an end to market exploitation or a "revolution". I am distinctly not saying that everyone will be "happy" and "free" as a result of such. I am just pointing out that as the numbers of those who embrace FOSS increase that there is a gradual change in the societal consensus about what constitutes property. And this will necessitate that the State codify this new emergent consensus.

What I am saying here is only "radical" in the sense that it delves into the roots of things. The codification of property is perhaps one of the most fundamental things in the formation of modern society-for the form of this codification defines the market and the vast majority of people buy and sell the products and services of labor via this market-the majority of human activity finds its expression in this market.

Now if what I am saying here sounds like "neo-socialism" may I kindly suggest that you go enroll yourself in a class on economics and a class on law.

I do not believe that the purpose of human labor is monentary economic self-survival. I believe that human labor is not about making money. I believe that economy is something fundamental to human interaction. The monetary economy is but one kind of economy and arguably one of the less important forms of economy. The monetary economy is but a means to an end-an end which itself has no monetary value. Economy metes out and apportions the interaction of indidivudals within larger societal "communities". Economy is the medium of social interaction.

In a sense the author of the article was correct-it is the community, stupid. But not the community defined by the monetary economy. Not consumers and not producers.

v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Mon 20th Dec 2004 14:25 UTC
@karl
by Lumbergh on Mon 20th Dec 2004 20:02 UTC

My first post was a response to the article, "It's the community, stupid". I was criticizing the naive understanding of "free markets" being used by the author of the article and the attempt to romanticize the FOSS community as some kind of expression of Adam Smiths ideas.

It's interesting you wrote that because romanticizing FOSS to fit with your ideology is exactly what you are trying to do.

I am fully convinced that the FOSS community in the future will be a paid community-ie. will consist of individuals who draw their livelihood from their work.

You can make money off of FOSS. We do it. We've also sponsored a developer who worked on LLC in the kernel. I've never claimed otherwise.

Any society which makes the transitition to using FOSS in the public sector will end up creating many, many thousands of new jobs.

The private sector, which is invariably more efficient than the public sector, has created millions of new jobs through proprietary, closed-source software.

Societies which do so start empowering their own citizens-instead of funneling a large percentage of their GDP to foreign software corporations. The skills involved in programming become marketable valuable skills in the local economy-the local economy of every city and town in the societies which make the transition. The money which is saved in this process can be reinvested in other areas-everyone knows that public institutions are hard pressed financially in virtually all parts of the world.

If governments want to give the best service to their citizens then they will use the best tool for the job. And they will not exclude "foreign company" software if that gives the best bang for the buck. Governments do a disservice to their constituents when they base purchasing decisions hatred of America and/or Microsoft. Your assumption that FOSS always means a savings in money has been proven wrong time after time again. Software purchase is usually the least expensive cost in IT. Deployment, training, staff, as well as a myriad of other issues usually have more cost.

The wages which these programmers/sys. admins/technicians etc. will be paid, is going to be taxed which increases the revenue available to the governement to allocate for public services. Moreover the software in use in the public sector will be far better suited to the local specific needs of those contributing to it-and remeber custom tailored software is far more valuable than "pre-packaged".

Once again, you make assumptions on needs that you are incapable of knowing.

If you are, as you state, a libertarian then you must surely know that the talk about "free markets" is pure ideological b.s. You know damned well that there is virtually nothing "free" about our(american) "free markets". The american government subsidizes specific industries continuously-which is totally contradictory to the notion of a "free market". If the government via a program like the 401k redirects %10 of the income of the majority of its workers directly into the stockmarket by excepting it from taxation status-well how exactly do you understand "government underwriting of corporations". There is no such thing as "free markets" or "pure" capitalism. And when we the people have no say in where the wealth of this nation is directed -how "free" are we. Surely as a libertarian you must see such.

I don't believe I ever stated that I was a libertarian. I rejected your defintion of libertarian as "conservative reactionary". Libertarians are more liberal (in a classical sense) than republicans, democrats, socialists, and communists combined. And I do want more free markets, less government subsidies, less government intervention in general. I want to empower the individual to make decisions for themselves. The statist-socialism in western Europe and Canada does just the opposite.

And one of the most important services of the State is to be found in the laws which codify what property means. It is the very particular interpretation of property codified today in our laws which makes the kinds of corporations viable which today exist. If the societal definitions of property change, ie. the laws which codify these definitions, then everything founded in these laws change-the forms of corporatism, the functioning of the market, and the ascription of value to those things deamed "goods" in the market.

Ooohh, evil corporations. Let me explain something to you people on the left. A corporation can't force you to do anything. Only the state can.

Once again you fail to explain or are afraid to explain what you mean by "societal defintions of property change". I know what you're getting at it, coming from your leftist ideology, but I wait to see if you have the courage to come out and really say it, instead of dancing around the issue.

When I say that FOSS is a challenge to the definition of property I mean: a) there is no legal or jurisprudence tradition which can adequately cope with copyleft. b) because there is no pre-existing tradition precedence cases must be established c) in the attempt to codify such precedence cases the established definitions surround intellectual property will become problematic d) this will result in changes to the societal understanding of property-ie. the codification in the forms of laws thereof e) this will have ramifications for all facets of society which have their legal foothold in these laws.

It's just a software license. Either it's legitamite or not. Your attempt to use the GPL as a vehicle for a grander cause in challenging the notion of private property will be a failure because the vast majority of people believe that private property is a cornerstone of individual freedom.

Now I am not saying that this will be unequivocally "good". I am also not saying that this will "utterly" change society. I am also not saying that there will be universal employment, an end to market exploitation or a "revolution". I am distinctly not saying that everyone will be "happy" and "free" as a result of such. I am just pointing out that as the numbers of those who embrace FOSS increase that there is a gradual change in the societal consensus about what constitutes property. And this will necessitate that the State codify this new emergent consensus.

Those that embrace FOSS as leftist ideology, as you do, will always be an almost infinitesimal small number compared to those that use FOSS for cost-savings or to get out of Microsoft lockin. One of these days I might submit an essay on how you're locked into the software you use, no matter where it comes from. But that's for another day.

I do not believe that the purpose of human labor is monentary economic self-survival. I believe that human labor is not about making money. I believe that economy is something fundamental to human interaction. The monetary economy is but one kind of economy and arguably one of the less important forms of economy. The monetary economy is but a means to an end-an end which itself has no monetary value. Economy metes out and apportions the interaction of indidivudals within larger societal "communities". Economy is the medium of social interaction.

Let's hope that you can both enjoy your job(labor) and also use it for economic benefit. Human labor is about an exchange of services for capital in order to fulfill a need. Nothng more and nothing less. I don't consider it labor when I'm programming something at home for no other purpose except for the enjoyment of programming.


@karl -continued (8k limit)
by Lumbergh on Mon 20th Dec 2004 20:03 UTC

Karl, the bottom line is that you take this stuff way too seriously. Your philosophy makes assumptions that FOSS will make "challenges" to private property. By challenges, one can only assume that you are not happy with private property as it stands today and would like less private property. I reject that notion and as seen by the collapse of the Soviet empire that vast majority of people reject your philosophy too. A cornerstone of freedom is the right of private property.

What's somewhat amusing is the closed-minded bigotry that comes from the extreme FOSS advocacy crowd. Instead of being inclusive they are exclusionary in their advocacy. The amoun of hatred directed at Microsoft indicates severe personality disorders. After all, Microsoft is just a group of people that write software and sell it. You can choose to buy their products or not. Nothing more, nothing less.


@Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Mon 20th Dec 2004 23:38 UTC

Ooohh, evil corporations. Let me explain something to you people on the left. A corporation can't force you to do anything. Only the state can.

Let me explain something to you: corporations can (and often do) bribe states to get what they want. Or hire muscle to get rid of annoying pests like people who want better working conditions or clean air and water.

This is rampant in countries where the state is notoriously corrupt, such as Colombia, where people who wanted to start a union at Coca-Cola where brutally murdered.

To say that corporation have no power of coercition is to be completely ignorant of how things work in the real world.

v @Lumbergh
by A nun, he moos on Mon 20th Dec 2004 23:46 UTC