Linked by David Adams on Tue 26th Oct 2004 16:30 UTC
Editorial The software industry is undergoing a gradual transformation, and consumer fatigue is at its root. The licensing model that has formed the basis for the modern software industry is facing challenges on many fronts, and the industry is scrambling to keep its footing. Where this period of change may lead software producers and consumers isn't quite clear, but some trends are emerging. Since the proliferation of the internet, unauthorized redistribution of digital goods has become rampant. But although software sharing probably won't kill the software industry, the reasoning behind it shares some pedigree with the customer revolt that promises to transform the way software is sold.
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Re: Jophn Deo
by Jonathan Thompson on Wed 27th Oct 2004 14:28 UTC

Quote myself:

"One thing I've not seen mentioned in either the article or all the preceding comments to this one (58 as of the time I wrote this) is the amount of time and effort required by a creator of software to learn and master their trade sufficiently well to create the product."

Jophn Deo said:
"That's self investment, as it is when you attend University
or whatever institute.As opposed to research."

I won't argue that it isn't self-investment. It IS personally-directed research, regardless of how "scientific" it is. It involves real risk that what is studied won't be valuable to anyone else, or even themselves. A lot of the development of software can clearly be considered research, as it isn't possible to know immediately how to accomplish/implement something the first time. Also, even if it is known how to implement it, needs aren't always clear, or static: this requires (for great software, anyway, that actually has longer lasting value) some research into the target audience and their needs with appropriate interaction. Software designed without that feedback has a tendency to not be used by anyone but the original creators.

What I wanted to get across is that that self-investment/research is not significantly different than the same sort of self-investment/research required of a doctor or a lawyer that wishes to remain competent/employable in their respective fields: it takes TIME, ENERGY, MONEY expended to accomplish all of this. This is where the big schizm between what people think the value of software creations (once created) should be and what they are considered to be worth: they can't afford to be completely free, because that ignores the reality that a real human with real human limitations of time, energy, resources, etc. put their time and effort into accomplishing it. People don't truly expect to keep on going to a doctor for many hours each week and getting their services for free, and we know lawyers aren't cheap or free (if you aren't destitute and the government doesn't appoint one for you, courtesy of the taxpayers, which still isn't truly "free") because the cost of their investment in themselves needs to be recuperated, not to mention the fact that if they don't get sufficient remuneration, they will be incapable of providing any more service: they need food, shelter, clothing, etc. to survive. Software engineers are humans with exactly the same mortal needs, and this is what is clearly forgotten!