Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Aug 2009 22:23 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source When Windows Vista was launched, the Free Software Foundation started its BadVista campaign, which was aimed at informing users about what the FSF considered user-restrictive features in Vista. Luckily for the FSF, Vista didn't really need a bad-mouthing campaign to fail. Now that Windows 7 is receiving a lot of positive press, the FSF dusted off the BadVista drum, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.
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RE[10]: Why?
by nt_jerkface on Fri 28th Aug 2009 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: Why?"
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Actually, it's the other way around. Proprietary software didn't really exist, to any major extent, before the '80's. Prior to that, there was no real market for it.

Not true, the vast majority of software that ran on mainframes was in-house, closed source software.

And the proprietary software market could not have happened without the foundation laid by the previous free software. And I'm not saying proprietary software is bad. I earn my living working for a proprietary software company.

Which foundation was that exactly? Proprietary mainframes ran proprietary Unixes. Most open source software projects are either clones or alternatives to existing proprietary software.

Stallman didn't create the c language or the first c compiler. GCC 1.0 was released in 1987 whereas the original c compiler was developed in the early 70's at Bell labs. Most open source history is one of knock-off's. Open source has certainly saved a lot of people money but it was never a foundation for computing progress.

Just look at the most popular open source projects like Linux, Apache, and MySql. They all came out in the 90's and provided an alternative to pricey unix software. They saved ISPs and hosting providers a lot of money but they didn't create the internet.

Furthermore the most popular open source projects have full time developers, thus it would make little difference if they were closed source. In most cases it is a consistent group of developers that do all the work, not a widespread community effort. It's not as if Firefox gained popularity by being open source. It gained it by being a better alternative to IE6 at a price of $0. 99% of the people who run Firefox could care less the source was available, and for the remaining 1% very few could actually do something with it.

Finally computer hardware itself contains a ton of hard-encoded proprietary software, so to run a truly open-source computer you would need to run an abacus.

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