Linked by snydeq on Mon 1st Jun 2009 16:28 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source InfoWorld reports on the fight over open source 'leeches' -- companies that use open source technology but don't give back to the open source community. While some view such organizations as a tragedy of the commons, others view the notion of 'freeloaders' as a relic of open source's Wild West era, when coding was a higher calling and free software a religion.
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OK
by pooo on Mon 1st Jun 2009 18:21 UTC
pooo
Member since:
2006-04-22

So I read the article now. And it was basically what I thought. I now have two questions:

1. Is the total number of contributors really decreasing?? Or just proportionally wrt the number of users? If the real number of developers is decreasing that isn't because of *new* end users that don't give back. Sorry. If the total contributors is decreasing there is another explanation.

2. What do you expect? The whole point of FOSS and the GPL in particular is that people that believe in and are part of the community will contribute and you can force some people who don't believe to contribute if they distribute modifications also. But these companies are not believers at all and they aren't distributing modifications. They are part of the ass hole proprietary world the gpl is meant to be an island from. So what makes you think for a second they will pay developers to "contribute"? Here is how these jerk offs brain's work: "Does it increase profit?", "No", "End of conversation". Peer pressure is not going to do jack. A smear campaign that makes their marketing department sweat, now that idea has legs.

Anyway since there is no cost to them using this software, why do you care?? This whole article seems like nothing more than a chronicle of short sighted whiners. One thing that people sometimes forget about the FOSS idea is that it is about *contributing*. Another way of saying that is giving. Giving, giving. Just give to those lame people and maybe it will sink in after a while. Otherwise, let it go.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OK
by Lennie on Mon 1st Jun 2009 18:30 in reply to "OK"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

1. I didn't see this directly mentioned in the article and I don't know what Amazon does with Eclipse, but if they are releasing incompatible versions and do not releasing modifications, that could be bad.

Other then that, I don't think these 'leeches' are not so bad, as long as the community and number of contributers keeps growing and they don't ask to many stupid questions.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: OK
by Lennie on Mon 1st Jun 2009 22:26 in reply to "RE: OK"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I've put some more thought in to this and I would like to think the companies at this time are just still in a learning fase. Like many knowledgeable open source users that later on become contributers. When companies understand that when they work with others, it saves them time and money. And yes, in some cases they might be helping their competitors along as well, but doing the work yourself (as a company) and understanding the tech. is definitly a way to stay ahead.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: OK
by strcpy on Tue 2nd Jun 2009 06:32 in reply to "OK"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


1. Is the total number of contributors really decreasing?? Or just proportionally wrt the number of users? If the real number of developers is decreasing that isn't because of *new* end users that don't give back. Sorry. If the total contributors is decreasing there is another explanation.


I think this is an interesting and important observation to debate.

If we leave out all commercial entities from the picture, could it indeed be that the gap between users and developers has widened?

With the rise of Ubuntu et. al. the "all users are hackers" -idiom is increasingly starting to be a fallacy. And it was exactly this idiom that lead to the FOSS as we know it today.

Could it be that the critical mass of developers has been already reached? Could it be -- to put this even more provocatively -- that majority of the new users coming from Windows background are not capable of giving anything back to the community, being more of an obstacle rather than an asset?

At the anecdotal level I often find myself wondering about these questions. Increasingly even simple bug reports are useless. Increasingly I see vocal demands instead of patches. Increasingly I see a trend towards something I dislike; something motivated by clueless end-users instead of old power users and developers.

Increasingly I hear people accusing me of being an elitist bastard.

Edited 2009-06-02 06:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2