Open source presents a large potential competitive advantage for hardware and software vendors, and vendors of complementary or substitute services. Linux has contributed greatly to the adoption and success of OSS. In this article, ITManagersJournal examines seven open source strategies that can give your company a competitive advantage.
Seven Open Source Business Strategies for Competitive Advantage
2004-05-14 In the News 7 Comments
Great article. It may be only my experience (I doubt it), but does it not concern anyone who is the beneficiary of FOSS that there is nearly no credit ever given to the people who have worked tirelessly for many years to develop the free tools and actual operating system that has allowed Linux to become a platform for enterprise?
I speak of the Free Software Foundation — the GNU project, specifically. Is it not sad that the only time the GNU project ever gets any mention is amidst the controversy of the GPL — where it often attracts criticism from the enterprise market? I am not saying that the FOSS community fails grateful acknowledgement. However, I am deeply concerned with the general failure to attribute FSF/GNU in discussions of Enterprise Linux, wherein such well-deserved attribution would help identify the proper benefactor of the benefits reaped daily by the enterprise — instead of mistakenly being understood to be part of a blanket entity called “Linux”.
Personally, I’d like to thank the FSF, as well as the contibutors of the Linux kernel, for their astonishing accomplishments — the work from which I benefit daily.
Do not click on the link from the anonymous reader who posted a comment on that web page.
I thought you FOSS guys did your work for the love of it, like artists? Why do you want credit, it you don’t like the fact that you may not get credit then only distribute the code to your close friends who probably will give credit. You did it for nothing, the world owes you nothing. Unless you really do want something for what you do?
Thats a very false view of the development
Some people get paid to do this and others may do it for their own reasons.
Anyway its a matter of license requirement and all these free software licenses require credit of some sort
I think it’s not about getting any kind of fame or notoriety — it’s about advocacy.
The FSF develops software (the GNU Foundation) and creates and maintains the GPL and its variants. They don’t engage in much high-profile advocacy or lobbying. The Open Source Institute has been very successful at that, because of their “big umbrella” and corporate-friendly policies.
Most people have heard the term “open source” by now, but acknowledging the FSF is a good way to inform people of the ethical movement that started it all.
I thought you FOSS guys did your work for the love of it, like artists?
You thought wrong.
As an example, I’m working on two GPL applications at the moment. Both will almost certainly be GPL’d.
The difference is that one of the applications is a ‘scratch my own itch’ type application. (For reference, it’s a utility to simply convert between multiple audio types, such as wave, mp3, ogg, flac, monkeys audio, wma, and anything else I can lay my hands upon an API for, while cleaning handling things like file names and info tags). I almost certainly won’t get paid for this. My orginal impulse to write it was due to getting multiple formats off the Internet, when my portable players support only mp3.
The second application I’m developing is commercial. I will be getting paid for this, both for development and support.
However, I have no interest inherant interest in it outside of getting paid for it.
I write applications because they give some sort of utility – either in the shape of usefulness to me, or in the form of monetry gain. The credit is so that I am recognized for what I have done, which helps me when I ask for help, or submit patches with the first type of project, and for getting contracts with the second kind of project.
Also, even if you ignore the monetry gain, credit is very important in determing the usefulness of other peoples software. In the same way that other people will trust Microsoft or Sun, I trust the Linus Torvalds will produce a good kernel, and that Debian will produce good packages. To claim that F/OSS developers only program ‘for the love of it’ is simply wrong. For the most part, we develop for a given utility (in the economic sense of the word), not just ourselves, but also so that others may enjoy said utility.
One of the best articles I have read of late