Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 08:37 UTC
Linux

Pretty much for my entire career in Linux USB (eight years now?), we've been complaining about how USB device power management just sucks. We enable auto-suspend for a USB device driver, and find dozens of different USB devices that simply disconnect from the bus when auto-suspend is enabled.

For years, we've blamed those devices for being cheap, crappy, and broken. We talked about blacklists in the kernel, and ripped those out when they got too big. We've talked about whitelists in userspace, but not many distros have time to cultivate such lists.

It turns out it's not always the device's fault.

Fascinating bug.

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ze_jerkface
Member since:
2012-06-22

It should be viewed as a property, not an ideal or inherently superior for software progress.

If it were actually inherently superior then there would not be thousands of abandoned open source projects all waiting for "many eyes" and "many brains" to work on them. Furthermore there are tons of open software projects where bugs stay open for years even though the "many eyes" already found them since there are limited number of volunteer developers available.

Anyways paid eyes and paid brains beat volunteer eyes and volunteer brains. Open source can be useful but then so can a paid tester whose job it is to spend 40 hours a week looking for bugs in proprietary code that open source religion would find too boring to even glance at for 5 minutes.

It's really the money that matters outside of software that hobbyists find interesting. I'll take 5 paid developers over 100 volunteers any day of the week. I don't care if the source is open or proprietary.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I agree with most of what you're saying here about community development, but at the same time I think that you're also making a mistake by unilaterally associating it with open-source. Where does the open source definition (as provided here http://opensource.org/osd ) state that developers of open source software should never be paid and/or well-organized?

The GNAT toolchain for Ada development ( http://www.adacore.com/ ) seems to be a good example of commercial open-source software development, IMO. You are encouraged to buy the commercial version through broader licensing options, beta access and much better support, while at the same time, the open source community gets regular GPL-licensed source code releases for uses such as independent code reviews or inclusion in Linux distribution repositories.

Of course, you may argue that this kind of business model only works for corporate software. Then again, even in the closed-source world, that increasingly becomes the only way to make significant money with software, as users become cheaper and cheaper in their software purchases in the emerging "app store" software distribution model ($0.99, really ?).

Edited 2013-08-27 06:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

That's exactly it. Source availability and commercial status aren't mutually exclusive and we do find overlap.

ze_jerkface is right that there are many abandoned open source projects, however we should not jump to conclusions from that by itself without also knowing more about how many abandoned closed source projects there are. My hypothesis is that the abandonment rate is greater for all small devs in general since they have much lower odds of success than larger devs, however I don't even know if this is statistically true.

It would be really interesting to have concrete statistics about long term success rates given funding, head count, technical aptitude, license, etc as inputs. It would be sad, but unsurprising, if it turned out that all small developers had low potential across the board simply due to their small size.

Reply Parent Score: 2