Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Mar 2006 11:28 UTC, submitted by anonymous
OpenBSD "Even if you don't use OpenBSD, you're likely to be benefiting from it unknowingly. If you're using Solaris, SCO UnixWare, OS X, SUSE Linux, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, chances are you're using the OpenBSD-developed OpenSSH for secure shell access to remote machines. If so many are using this software, why are so few paying for it? Official responses (and non-responses) from Sun Microsystems, IBM, Novell, and Red Hat are below, but if you're one of the freeloaders who hasn't contributed to OpenBSD or OpenSSH, what's your excuse?"
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Bah!
by grat on Wed 29th Mar 2006 12:57 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

People would like this to be about the BSD vs. the GPL license, but it's very simple:

Do you, or your company, benefit from an open source project?

Are you contributing back to that project?

And in spite of what you think, bug reports don't constitute "contributing back"-- They're very useful, but closed source projects typically get those for free as well.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Bah!
by markjensen on Wed 29th Mar 2006 15:03 in reply to "Bah!"
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

Are you contributing back to that project?

And in spite of what you think, bug reports don't constitute "contributing back"-- They're very useful, but closed source projects typically get those for free as well.


I don't necessarily disagree with your intent that people who use Open Source software should contribute back to the community. However, two things must be realized.

One, users of Open Source software generally are not required to contribute back (depending on license and the user's actions to redistribute changes).

Two, bug reports can be contributing back, depending on the user's skill level and financial situation. I think it is grossly unfair to belittle the effort that people who submit this sort of feedback as "non contributing".

Some may donate to OSS projects. Some may purchase it (even a home user could buy an off-the-shelf boxed Linux distro). Technically proficient may donate code improvements back. Some go out and buy books on the subject. Some submit bug reports. Some 'merely' promote the use of OSS as an alternative to interested friends.

I would call none of the above 'freeloaders' as per the article, nor as 'non-contributers', as you seem to be doing.


EDIT for typo repair... I probably have more... :|

Edited 2006-03-29 15:04

Reply Parent Score: 1