Editorial Archive

Software Innovation is Dead

"Software innovation is dead. All that's left is compatibility fixes, security patches, and minor-version-number incremental improvements. The problem isn't a lack of ideas; it's a lack of motivated developers. The next generation of software engineers, who will be producing software in the next twenty-odd years, are simply not able to produce innovative software. Thirty years ago, programming was a niche area, an art, under constant evolution and requiring intellect and ability. New software was really just that -- completely new." Read the editorial at NewsForge.

Intellectual Property in the Real World

Information has been regarded as property in Western society for hundreds of years, but can it really be owned? If you’re a movie studio, a software company, or a record label, the answer has to be "yes." Russell Peterson submitted the following editorial contribution to osViews, which proposes that information can be too valuable to be privately owned, and discusses open source as the means of bringing it into public ownership.

Free Software and Open Source Advocacy: Is Microsoft An Issue?

KnowProse discusses a story revisited from 1999 which sounds as current today as it did five years ago. Here's the full story and here's an excerpt: "Most of the people now using GNU/Linux never heard of VisiCalc. A few probably heard of Lotus 1-2-3. They may even crack jokes about OS/2, though they may never have actually seen it. Wordperfect and Wordstar are alien words to many computer users now - including the younger generation of advocates of Free Software and Open Source. But the history Tom writes of is very important - because every single application he mentions that was squashed by Microsoft was, in fact, squashed by Microsoft. Some call it business. Others call it War. And recent world events seem to prove that neither is mutually exclusive."

Editorial: Following the Consumer Software’s Market Status

Computer users around the world while might be using different applications to do their paying job (e.g. a proprietary chemistry or biology app, or a high-end astronomy app etc) they all use the same "basic" applications in their daily lives: email clients, web browsers, IM, calculators, media players, image viewers, system utilities etc. Now these applications come for free with the operating system and there are plenty of completely free alternatives on the web too. But (especially younger) consumers should realize that once upon a time these "basic" free apps were costing real money. So, what happen to this software market of (basic today) applications?

The Future of Linux is Proprietary

Linux can be made profitable and it can be made so without going the enterprise route or by relying on the traditional services an support model-- as long as technology companies are willing to sell the operating system on their own highly optimized and performance enhanced proprietary hardware.

Cooperation by Standards in a Diverse World

They say that "diversity is the key of survival and evolution in any domain. In software world though, variations are so big that they have started to prevent cooperation between software users and developers." Diversity is the key of survival and evolution in any domain. Because of variation, individuals from same species will react differently in the same environment, some surviving and becoming stronger, others disappearing. In software world though, variations are so big that they have started to prevent cooperation between software users and developers.

The programmer as (starving) Artist

"Discussions about code as poetry and how code and art differ from each other are not new, but the growing popularity of free software among both developers and users may make software developers more like artists than they have been in the past in one very important respect: A majority of programmers may end up writing code without getting paid directly for their work. Perhaps, before long, "starving programmer" will be as familiar a phrase as "starving artist" is today." Read the editorial at NewsForge.

Customer Services: OSS, Grasp The Concept

Commercial software companies across the industry have an often well-deserved reputation for poor customer service. Unfortunately, companies that sell Open Source Software are well on the way to establishing a reputation for being even worse than commercial firms. I believe I know why. The reason has its' roots in the origin of the free software movement, and in the cultural bias of the geek world. Here is my take on the subject, for whatever it might be worth.

The Old GNU

Microsoft's new version of the Windows operating system, code named Longhorn, is scheduled for release in 2005/2006. I believe that this new version of Windows is Microsoft's trump card in its, yet early, battle against Linux on the desktop and the Open Source Software (OSS) movement in general.

On Longhorn’s Long Delays

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." Bill Gates, 1981. "64 bit is coming to desktops,there is no doubt about that, But apart from Photoshop, I can't think of desktop applications where you would need more than 4 gigabytes of physical memory, which is what you have to have in order to benefit from this technology." It seems to me that by the time it ships, Longhorn will need 4 gigs of RAM.

In Praise of the Internet Refrigerator

A Siliconvalley.com article notes that the application of networking technology in the home can be silly and frivilous, but if applied correctly, could really be beneficial. A refrigerator with a flat panel display on it to check your email in the kitchen is truly silly, but a home that can notify the out of town owner that there's been a power failure can prevent that owner from coming home to a fridge full of rotten food.

Why Wait for Utility Computing?

"Back in the 1980s, the folks at Digital Equipment had a problem. While their VAX systems were selling like hotcakes, the systems still couldn't deliver the kind of scale found on mainframes. Digital, which had no plans to build big iron, set out to find a way to use existing equipment to increase capacity--a search that led to the development of the VAX cluster and the concept of horizontal scaling." Read the editorial at ZDNews.

Security: Taking Some Responsibility

We all know about the recent virus that is floating around, the W32.Blaster.Worm. Obviously, this worm was major threat--Symantec raised it from a level 3 to a level 4. You can't help but read about it on sites like osnews.com or Slashdot.com. But I noticed that one thing that seems to be missing a lot of times, at least with this latest worm. People don't want to take the responsibility for updating their computers when the update was available a month ago.

Introduction to “Open”

The word open gets thrown around pretty gratuiously in the tech world, resulting in a lot of confusion. A very detailed article in The Rational Edge examines the phenomena of open computing, open standards, open source software, and proprietary commercial software, how they differ, and how they're similar.

Why Windows Isn’t Hell Or Why Linux Isn’t Bliss, Part II

Misinterpreted. I think that is about the best word around to describe the reactions to my previous article. Whether it has been misinterpreted due to people only reading what they want to read, due to an unclear choice of words on my behalf, or other factors, I am going to try it again. I will try to explain my position, again. Now, more stable, the code has been rewritten from scratch!