Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Jul 2012 23:06 UTC
In the News Okay, so this is entirely new to me. Sparrow is was an email client for Mac OS X and iOS (and Windows), which brought a decent Gmail experience to these platforms - as opposed to Apple's own not-so-good Gmail support and Google's Gmail iOS application which, well, is just a webpage. Google has now acquired Sparrow, and basically all hell has broken loose, to the point of Rian van der Merwe writing that 'we' lost "faith in a philosophy that we thought was a sustainable way to ensure a healthy future for independent software development, where most innovation happens".
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How to live from open source.
by moondevil on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 07:21 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

Sure there are lots of benefits in using open source applications, even I use lots of open source applications.

Having said this, as someone that works for leaving doing software I wouldn't sell my applications open source.

Open source only works in products where the developers can get the money by selling services on top of it, or hardware that makes use of the said software.

At the end of the day the developers need to bring money home, and there is none to be had when your software is 100% available for the others to take, and you cannot sell services on top of it.

This is the reason why most open source desktop applications suck, as they are developed by developers on their free time until they loose interest. Most earn money doing something else.

Reply Score: 3

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

This is the reason why most open source desktop applications suck.


Like Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, VLC, Mplayer, K3b, Libre Office

and Windows shareware is noted for its excellence?

Reply Parent Score: 8

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

"This is the reason why most open source desktop applications suck.


Like Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, VLC, Mplayer, K3b, Libre Office

and Windows shareware is noted for its excellence?
"

Most of the Firefox, Thunderbird developers work for Mozilla.

GIMP, VLC, Mplayer are developers get their money from other sources and lets be honest they are way off what professionals expect.

Nero runs circles around K3b.

Libre Office only got so far thanks to Sun's money.

As for shareware it depends where you look.

Reply Parent Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

At the end of the day the developers need to bring money home, and there is none to be had when your software is 100% available for the others to take, and you cannot sell services on top of it.


This is a good point, as it is likely that Sparrow would never have existed as an open source app, because you're not going to make money like that by selling support services, or coffee mugs. And hey, not everybody wants to work for free.

And anyway, I recently read that an open source email app (Thunderbird) has had its development stopped recently, except for bug fixes and security updates. Will anybody fork it and continue working on it? Who knows. But really, how many open source projects have died on the vine because the developer got bored with it, or didn't have the time to work on it anymore.

The point is that whether you're using open or closed source apps, there's really no guarantees one way or the other, unless you personally plan to work on an open source app if it gets abandoned. Personally, I'd rather use an app where the developer gets paid for it, because then you know his livelihood depends on the continued development of the app, vs 'I just had a kid so I don't have time to work on this in the evenings anymore.' Sure, he may get bought out and the app killed, but like I said, there are really no guarantees one way or the other.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Sure there are lots of benefits in using open source applications, even I use lots of open source applications.


Don't feel bad. Even hardcore open source haters use open source now. It's unavoidable.

Open source only works in products where the developers can get the money by selling services on top of it, or hardware that makes use of the said software.


Most large successful and high-quality open source products work because they receive corporate backing.

Android Linux is probably the best example, with IBM and Red Hat providing steady revenue for the kernel, Sun for the VM (at least pre-Oracle), and Google for the userland. Google also largely funded Firefox, which kicked proprietary monopoly IE's tail from Scranton to LA, and then Chromium, which made the browser market a three horse plus change race.

Small indie developers sometimes make good and change the world, of course (BitTorrent, anyone?), but the big names in large open source projects are funded by corporations that profit from them - for better or worse.

Reply Parent Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

"Sure there are lots of benefits in using open source applications, even I use lots of open source applications.


Don't feel bad. Even hardcore open source haters use open source now. It's unavoidable.
"

Why should I feel bad?

My employer is able to charge the same consulting prices as with proprietary tools, but get the source code and the project tools for free, without giving anything back, thus increasing profits.

Edited 2012-07-23 07:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Even hardcore open source haters use open source now. It's unavoidable.

Now, if only some OSS-devotees - who likewise absolutely can't avoid depending on closed software behind large part of our modern world (perhaps even to a more fundamental degree) - would stop hatin'...

Edited 2012-07-29 00:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2