Linked by Mark Tolliver on Thu 13th Sep 2007 08:14 UTC
Editorial The widespread acceptance of open source continues to grow as a cost-effective alternative to traditional network deployments. Well-known projects such as Linux have proven themselves to be in the enterprise environment, helping to dispel the fear, uncertainty and doubt preceding open source implementations. In the past two years, the industry has begun to shift from a total dependence on proprietary applications to a desire for more cost-effective, scalable and collaborative solutions.
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by JonathanBThompson on Thu 13th Sep 2007 15:51 UTC
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Open Source Software and proprietary software have co-existed for about as long as there's been hardware capable of running it, pre-dating Linux and all the other more recent horses into the race by decades. History shows that there will has always been a combination of the two, and the future is most likely a combination of the two, with neither one completely replacing the other: anyone that states that "OSS will rule the world" is a zealot, as is anyone that states "All software will be proprietary!"

Why will there always be a mixture of both? Because neither one is the whole practical solution for all situations in the real world that also involves budgets, because while OSS and free software may be available for certain things and works best for those needs in a given situation, not all situations have the luxury of being able to afford the biggest resource cost of Open Source/Free software: that of time, with another factor being that of (in many cases) trade secrets/intellectual property being a part of something that needs to remain hidden from the general public and on a need-to-know basis for the entity that needs software to solve a problem. Add to that, there's many things that are different enough problems from anything readily available that it makes more sense to do a custom project to implement it, and again, there's the time element: while free/open source software and the ideology is nice in theory and all that, eventually developers need to be paid, because nobody else tends to accept "Well, he's doing something that he's not being paid for, so we won't expect him to pay for our goods and services, either" and as of yet, I'm not aware of any government that pays a developer a stipend for working on any free/Open Source Software, or any other single entity that does. If someone is doing a project on their time outside of regular full-time employment, there's no practical or logical expectation that they'll be able to devote nearly as much time or energy to it as a regular full-time job of doing it. Anyone donating their time outside of regular paid full-time employment towards such a project should be thanked for their generous donation of time and energy, and not merely for the time and energy expended for that specific project, but also all the time, money and energy spent studying to become skillful enough to accomplish that goal, which is what a HUGE percentage of people saying, "Do things for free! Produce all this open stuff for us because we want it! Why should you complain?" and those that don't decide to use up their time, money and energy to do free/Open Source Software outside of what they do for a paycheck should not be harassed, which is all too common.

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