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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Redundant article
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 13th Sep 2007 15:51 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

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.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Redundant article
by TechGeek on Thu 13th Sep 2007 16:59 in reply to "Redundant article"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You make a lot of good points. I would just like to add that I see OSS development more like art than science when it comes to incentives. There are a lot of reasons to do it. Many people get paid to do the programming. You look at the major projects and you will see that the main contributors are working for Novell or Red Hat or IBM or Sun or someone else. Why? Because it gives that company some leverage into how the project moves forward. Then there are the people who write software that is incidental to their jobs. Some system admin needs a tool that does this. He writes it as part of his job and his company allows him to open source it. Then there are the people doing it for free to make a name for themselves. Many students do this to make themselves more attractive to employers. Then there are the people who do it just because the love it. everyone has a different reason for doing it. However, in most cases I would say that there is a underlying truth that they do it more because the love it than because they expect to get paid. This probably accounts for the higher than average quality of OSS software. The only people that I harass are the ones that use OSS and think that using it is all the thanks they need to give.

Reply Parent Score: 2