Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Jun 2008 14:35 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces As I already explained in the first Usability Terms article, consistency goes a long way in ensuring a pleasurable user experience in graphical user interfaces. While some user interfaces appear to be more graphically consistent than others, Windows has always appeared to be worse than most others - probably because it carries with it stuff that dates back to the 16bit era. IStartedSomething agrees with this, and started the Windows UI TaskForce.
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RE[7]: Why?
by superstoned on Mon 2nd Jun 2008 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
Member since:

I'm not saying I've got answers to all questions, but generally, even rather specialized software can be build on FOSS. Besides, if it's really specialized, companies have to write it themselves anyway... You might know 95% of the money (that statistic is - well, rather random, btw, it might as well be 90 or 99%) being made in software development is made on custom software. Only 5% of the business depends on the whole concept of proprietary software, and I believe most of them could find a business model based on FOSS.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Why?
by chris_dk on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 18:08 in reply to "RE[7]: Why?"
chris_dk Member since:

Only 5% of the business depends on the whole concept of proprietary software, and I believe most of them could find a business model based on FOSS.

An if they can't?

I think you need to get out more in companies that depend on proprietary apps. These products are never going to be written as FOSS apps, simply because there are no developers that can do it.

These apps might be rewritten to use the cloud as software-as-a-service - using FOSS tools - but don't force anyone to open source everything. Why force a GPL monopoly? It sounds catastrophic.

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RE[9]: Why?
by superstoned on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 18:29 in reply to "RE[8]: Why?"
superstoned Member since:

Right, it is rather extreme. As I said, I wouldn't propose to introduce such a law anytime soon. But I think in the future it would be possible without too much dificulties. By the way, currently it looks rather the other way around - proprietary software vendors are often lobying hard to get laws which hinder or forbid FOSS some way or another.

And even though I don't want to see companies go bankrupt - I'm sorry, but that's life. If you don't adapt, you die.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Why?
by google_ninja on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 18:27 in reply to "RE[7]: Why?"
google_ninja Member since:

that is a very simplistic way to look at things.

First off, there is domain specific software (for example, ERP/Workflow for the apparel industry). There is a big enough market to build a business on it, but chances are you will have 3-4 clients (albeit, all fortune 500). This type of software is almost always proprietary, especially in submarkets where they haven't really embraced technology.

Then there is framework software, like SAP or Business Objects. These are big generic frameworks that a business will buy, and then hire a small team to customize it to their needs. These companies are huge.

Then you have library/component companies. It doesn't make sense to pay someone who has a general skillset for a hundred hours of work at 20$/hr to deliver something of less quality then a product that is available for 200$ developed by people who specialize in that product. An example of this is, which I used while I was freelancing. I actually made sales thanks to that component, and it is just plug and play, leaving me to focus on things that the client is actually paying me to focus on.

Lastly, you have infrastructure companies like IBM/MS/Sun/Oracle/etc. As good as MySQL is for small projects, it is not remotely in the same calibur as Oracle, Sql Server, DB/2 or Sybase. There are also things that simply do not exist in the open source space (like BizTalk, Commerce Server, etc)

The first two types could theoretically become an open source project, but most companies which are not IT centric do not want to deal with any of the issues around even helping to manage a project like that. You see open source efforts pop up now and then, but they rarely come close to competing in a serious way.

The third can sometimes be open source, but when I want a good component, I want it to be slick. Most open source software looks like garbage, especially in the component space. While a client may say they want function over form, as I mentioned before I have made sales on the demo-ability of ASPxGridView.

The fourth has some open source options, but is still mostly commercial. For years open source has meant "not for production", however that view has been changing thanks to IBM and Google. Even if you see someone running a linux server in an enterprise setting, chances are they have Oracle and some sort of propriatary appserver on it as well.

All that to say, you can't write off the enter enterprise market as "well, that is all done in house". It is actually only a very small percentage, and even then it is usually tying big propriatary tools together.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Why?
by superstoned on Tue 3rd Jun 2008 18:34 in reply to "RE[8]: Why?"
superstoned Member since:

Hmmm. But don't you think most money is made on customizing stuff? Sure, that 'stuff' is now proprietary, but in many cases it wouldn't make a huge diff if it was OSS. My company uses iProcess, a pretty neath product - and I'm also pretty sure it wouldn't make any difference if it was OSS - they would buy it anyway. Good support is crucial in the business, right? And the ideas behind FOSS make that even stronger.

But yeah, in the current market forcing the GPL would be bad. It will take time (and support from governments) for it to become more accepted, to get companies to learn to work with it. Then it will work.

BTW I don't think FOSS needs to depend on volunteers at all - companies can develop it together like is being done on the linux kernel and Apache. Not many volunteers there, but it works. Think Open Innovation.

Reply Parent Score: 2