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Open source from a different angle

It is kind of funny.  The Unix/Linux/Open source people all love standards they achieve them through long drawn out processes and then get around to developing products base on those standards. 

Meanwhile MS decides to make a product that gives x, y and z features and simply makes it, standards be damned.  Then the users look and say, why a product that meets my needs is already available.  "I'll buy it instead of waiting for the standard bearers to quit arguing and produce something of value. "  They don't really say that, my point is the standards followers are late to the party.  Or following Albert's logic, the West is already won by the time they get the app done.

Case in point Exchange server.  There is no standards based open source application that can compete with this.  You have imap and ldap.  Do they offer anything that configures easily and fits into an existing windows environment?  No. 

Did it ever occur to open source people that the bigger market for software was making products that seamlessly integrate into an MS envrionment is a much better way than trying to save the world from MS and convert the masses to Linux?

You would have an easier time destroying MS by playing on their field than insisting everyone must come to yours.  After you capture the application market, then say, hey customer, we have made some changes to our product, it
runs even better and more reliably on Linux.  The apps make the world go 'round, not the OS.

Just my 1.5 cents worth.  Feeling cheap tonight.

Ryan Ware
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

You must remember that its is mostly a matter of ideology. Most oss evangelists (AFAICT) wants oss to spread because they want the ideology to spread.
To sacrefice the ideology in order to acheive wider acceptance would be pointless.

Eric DeBois
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Eric, would the ends justify the means?

Ryan Ware
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

I think you're picking on a specific and narrow, though visible, facet of OSS developments.

You point out how OSS likes to take its time and establish standards and *then* implement.
Two things:

First, this is not entirely a bad thing. The Internet Software Consortium's projects, i.e. DHCP client and server, are very successful and standard. Their implementations may not be used all over, but the standard is.

The theory here is largely that if a good standard exists it helps to prevent vendor lockin or to prevent a large set of competing standards. Competition can be good, but at the same time, having two non-interoperable standards for something can be worse than having none at all. Or at least bad. Idea being that if they do get it right (Which has happened!), it will be good and people will like it, use it, sacrifice goats to it, etc.

Secondly, this is just something that standards bodies and generally some high-profile projects & organizations get into. There's a lot of other players in the community too, who don't follow this philosophy.

Case in point, yEnc. Rather than write an RFC and go through the formality, its author just wrote a better ASCII-armor widget and put it out, and now it's used. It's not really standard (that is, yEnc is yEnc, but AFAIK it's not 'official' like DNS is official).

Mike Swieton
Thursday, January 02, 2003

"Unix/Linux/Open source people"

Unix and opensource people are different people, with very different politics.

"You would have an easier time destroying MS by playing on their field than insisting everyone must come to yours."

Is this the motivation of anyone who works on free software, or is it just what one reads on /.?  Really, Microsoft clearly wants to destroy free software, if the chairman and ceo are any indication.

"Did it ever occur to open source people that the bigger market for software was making products that seamlessly integrate into an MS envrionment is a much better way than trying to save the world from MS and convert the masses to Linux?"

Linux is not the best OS ever made; there are hundreds of opensource OSes.  It is mainly Microsoft's desire for a single OS to exist.

Anyway, it's impossible to reply to this topic, because there ARE projects which follow their own ideas, as well as those that clone MSFT api's for interop, and those which follow existing standards.  One thing I doubt is often done, is them participating in standards-setting committees, because they're expensive and often opensource-hostile.

Tj
Thursday, January 02, 2003

don't blame opensource.
what you pay is what you get

Sergey Lyubka
Thursday, January 02, 2003

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Did it ever occur to open source people that the bigger market for software was making products that seamlessly integrate into an MS envrionment is a much better way than trying to save the world from MS and convert the masses to Linux?
------------------------------------------------------- Ryan Ware

Personally I'm using Python, Perl, PHP, Apache, Scite, DevC++ and a host of other open source products in my MS environment.  They all seem to integrate OK.

I'm trying to think of an open source product that isn't available as a windows port.  The only one I ever had trouble with was the Gimp, but that was several years ago.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, January 02, 2003

"""Unix/Linux/Open source people"
Unix and opensource people are different people, with very different politics.""

I lumped them together because of instistance on standards more than philosophy about the rights a user has regarding the software.  If your listen to Scott McNealy for more than a minute straight you will hear the word standard about 8 times.

Ryan Ware
Thursday, January 02, 2003

"I lumped them [Unix/Linux/Open source people] together because of instistance on standards more than philosophy about the rights a user has regarding the software. " -Ryan Ware

Ryan, could you expand on what you mean by the  "philosophy about the rights a user has regarding software"?

Steve Scarfone
Thursday, January 02, 2003

I do not think OSS people are especialy fond of standards. Where is ANSI Perl or ANSI PhP? If anything the code first ask questions later mentality seems even stronger there.
The sole reason you see a selective "standards love-in" party there is that in most areas they are late to the party, and want to boggle down the leaders. This is a universal phenomenon. Smaller players demanding adherance to standards (especially if the standard is decided upon in a non-marketshare equivalent process), so as to undermine the advantages of the market leaders. As a good example one can note the rise of Linux standards championed by the smaller distros to counter RedHat leadership in this space.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, January 02, 2003

You must never installed more than one linux distro. To call any of them "standard" is a joke. I have to download one RPM for my SUSE box then go get another one for my RH box. When I ssh into the freeBSD machines I'm lost at how to do x, y, and z because they works just a leetle bit different than my other *nix boxes. I wish they would come up with a standard.

But sometimes standards arise out of innovation. For example, Instant Messaging was started long before any standards came about and now it's finally making its way through the RFC process with a variety of proposals. This seems to be a trend - various efforts trying to accomplish the same thing get together and create a standard because they realize that making the platform ubiquitous works to the programmer's advantage AND a lot of users are calling for it. People on MSN want to talk to people using AIM. People using AIM want to talk to people using Yahoo Messenger. People using Yahoo Messenger want to talk to people using Jabber... Eventually they agree that a standard must be created and implemented. So sometimes the standards arise out of innovation.


BTW, there are plenty of Open Source applications for windows and to lump all Open Source/Free Software developers into one group is unfair. The world is made of people and each one is different.  AND the most important point I would like to make - Open Source is not restricted to "them". If you want to make a change to Open Source open up that IDE and start cranking out some code because you got your work cut out for ya ;-)

Ian Stallings
Thursday, January 02, 2003

""Ryan, could you expand on what you mean by the  "philosophy about the rights a user has regarding software"?""

Rights as far as redistribution, the right to use as I see fit, to benchmark and post results without permission, the right to see and modify source code.  Proprietary Unix products usaully are more restrictive in some of the areas I mentioned.
        

Ryan Ware
Thursday, January 02, 2003

>Case in point, yEnc. Rather than write an RFC and >go through the formality, its author just wrote a
>better ASCII-armor widget and put it out, and now >it's used. It's not really standard (that is, yEnc is
>yEnc, but AFAIK it's not 'official' like DNS is official).

Unfortunately, yenc is no good. See http://www.exit109.com/~jeremy/news/yenc.html for a discussion of that topic. The lengthy standardization process has the advantage of a higher likelihood of at least someone pointing out errors in the design.

Anon Ymous
Friday, January 17, 2003

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