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Linux stabilization - 2

The posts that have been put against open source, in response to my first post mainly put forward the following points:

1) Going for free software is going to affect my pay.
2) Free software is not good enough.
3) There is not enough support for free software.

I would like to place my views on the points

1) Going for free software is going to affect my pay. Its bad for the economy.

This is the most commonly put up argument by us ** SOFTWARE PROFESSIONALS **

Now, can someone give me guarantee that if we stop using free software our jobs will be safe. Our salaries wont be cut.

No, never can such a argument be valid. If companies need cost cutting they will lay you off. They will send your jobs to cheaper destinations. You simply cant stop it.

So why not use free software. It helps to keep the down the overall operating cost. I would not like to get into a discussion on TCO, every party has its own views.

BTW no product can satisfy all your needs. Win / Mac all are complete products but then we still need to hire programmers to write/maintain software to satisfy our needs. This is the basic purpose that there are so many software companies around.

Computers aid us to be more productive, they don't produce goods for you. So why do you want to pay such exorbitant prices to few companies to improve your productivity when same can be achieved for free. A major percent of money from manufacturing companies is diverted as licensing fees to these organizations.

It is in the general interest of the these institutions, which are major deployers of software to use open-free software. It is these companies which are actually important for the society. They are the major employers. If they are able to keep their costs down, they wont have to resort to layoffs and stuff like that.

Once institutions start deploying open products they sill start hiring programmers to customize this. Its a cycle. This in turn will start a breed of new programmers / support staff etc. The basic concept being **everyone gets a standard product for free, you want customization, you have to pay**. Services earn money.


2) Free software is not good enough.

The next most common complain is some or the hardware is not supported. Now if you have been following linux you might notice that the hardware support is continuously improving at a amazing pace.

Linux supports the most number of hardware devices, next only to MS. But to achieve this place MS has taken far more time than Linux. The device support improvement for Linux has just started wait till 2005 and it will overtake MS too. BTW Linux supports a lot many obscure devices MS doesn't even care about.

If you talk about USB devices, Monitors or similar stuff we need to take into account that device manufacturing companies now really make sure that Linux support is provided. (Now they have to hire programmers to ensure one additional OS is supported, i.e. LINUX ;-))

So the concept of Linux as a product needs to be promoted. Once you have a complete product you can ensure that what it lacks can be added to it, in a definite period. But if you keep it as a continuos ongoing developing thing with no cut off date, incompatibilities will remain.

So the statement "Free software is not good enough" is somewhat misnomer. People shouldn't make such a big noise of it in future. If 95% of your devices are being supported it a good achievement. If 100%, then nothing like it. I just have no reason to believe that 95% is not being supported. About 100% (say 98%)wait for another year or so.


3) There is not enough support for free software.

The next big cry:
"free software, who cares about it."
"I don't need it."
"Nobody uses it, its too complex, too techie."

Now, do we not use mail servers that run on Linux. Host websites. Proxies. Firewalls ...

You simply cannot say no one cares. Free software is a boon for people who care the way their money is being spent. Its a really good for small organizations. These are the organizations which otherwise have to resort to piracy, again a crime. Their are a lot many guys out there who earn their living by writing\maintaining software for these small organizations.

Support will be built up based on the availability. Free software needs to be standardized. We need to build good products with necessary features. We definitely need a choice, but then each software must be able to individually help me do all my tasks.

There is support but you need to see it. People make a false propaganda against free software. Can someone tell me why do I need too pay $229 for a word-processor or $499 for a office suite?
This stupid pricing is what is going to buy free software its support.
Support, we have it. Its the way you see it. Everyone wants it, free.

So, big boys who are spending money ensure that while you are spending your money that you generate  a product based on the open source stuff, which can be used by the common man out there. Its a WIN-WIN ;-) situation. **LINUX-2005** (or should i say GNU_LINUX-2005)

Simply_Linux_Fan
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Continually hitting my head with this baseball bat really hurts, but can anyone guarantee me that my head will never hurt again when I don't hit it with this bat?
That's what I thougt, so I might as well keep hitting.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Sir,

Does this mean that you do not agree?

Geert-Jan Thomas
Thursday, September 04, 2003

I was trying to poit out that at serveral instances your reasoning was quite sloppy. You use "if it ain't 100% then it might as well be whathever" several times.

Curshed cockroach isn't yummy, but even the 3 star Michelin restaurant sometimes serves the Brussels Sprouts slightly undercooked, so you might as wel eat crushed cockroach.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"Free software needs to be standardized."

I couldn't agree more.  In which century do you see the standardization occuring.

Mike
Thursday, September 04, 2003

You know, I was watching the Food Network the other day and this woman was cooking a meal that looked fantastic. It has roasted tomatoes with goat cheese and drizzled with oil. Fantastic! My wife says she's going to make it this week and I'm excited. For dessert... WAIT a minute, what thread is this again?

StickyWicket
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Mike,

It really should have said "Software needs to be standardized".
And when will this happen then? Wait... My magic 8-ball tells me to ask again later.

Martin A. Boegelund
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Sir,

You've got a point!

And while you sit around, _not_ being convinced that Open Source will provide you a paycheck, I'll just stand on the shoulders of Open Source giants who have created great solutions, and thereby boost my productivity a 1000-fold, while you will sit and code everything from scratch or alternatively pay some copyright- or patentholder for his closed source software.

Oh, you _are_ the copyright- and patentholder of closed source software? Now I'm even more convinced that Open Source is the right choice for me...

Martin A. Boegelund
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Martin,

I have come to believe that Open Source or Closed Source do not differ so much as far as "making money" is concerned in theory.

As I said in another threat, it is not because I give you source that I allow you to run it.
Take e.g. RedHat. As a business you can't just go and install your copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on whatever number of machines you want. You pay per machine. They do not call it a licence but a service agreement, which is NOT optional and goes at 179$ a year for the desktop/client, 349$ a year for the departmental server and 1499$ a year for the Advanced Server, excluding support . You agree to being licence audited, you have to sign implicit NDA's on technical assistance, ....
Tell me, how exactly does http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_2-1.html differ from Closed Source EULA's?

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 04, 2003

In regards to point one, I believe OSS does have an affect on our pay and the perception of our profession. As OSS has become more accepted (rightfully so as the quality and cost are at par), the value placed on software goes down. If I can get a fully functioning web server for zero licensing, what do you think will run through my head when Oracle wants to charge me several million for their product? Since my perceived value of the software products goes down, then I am less willing to pay high prices. This is good for the consumer, but not good for the manufacturer (i.e. software developers).

m
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"I'll just stand on the shoulders of Open Source giants who have created great solutions, and thereby boost my productivity a 1000-fold"

This is totally nonsensical. One could just as easily "stand on the shoulders" of Microsoft and use Word, and Windows Server 2003, etc, etc, etc. From a programmer perspective, you can "stand on the shoulders" and utilize the massive functionality of the .NET Framework, and the features and functionality of Visual Studio. In your case you are beholden to realistically release your products for free (presuming that you're talking about the GPL, which most open source robots consider the only real open source despite it being constricted by limitations worse than some closed source software), whereas I retain the right to do whatever I want.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Three star michelin restuarants do not serve brussel sprouts under-cooked EVER.
That's the point about three stars. It's supposed to be perfect every time. one and two star restaurants are allowed mistakes but three ain't.
The only exception I've ever been too (Nico at ninety) no longer has three stars (in fact I think it's closed), if it did I would be complaining to the michelin guide.

Peter Ibbotson
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"Three star michelin restuarants do not serve brussel sprouts under-cooked EVER"

"The only exception ..."

Now Peter ...

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Tell me, how exactly does http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_2-1.html differ from Closed Source EULA's?

How about: Don't buy the support? OR the true option:
SUSE
Mandrake
Debian
...

Your logic is like not buying any car because Ford decides to make you pay for the guarantee.

Yourwacky
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Just Sir,

I think you should stop hitting yourself on the head with that bat. Some of your arguments are starting to sound a little crazy to me. It is not projecting the most positive image.

Clay Dowling
Thursday, September 04, 2003

As time goes by, there will be greater awareness that:

1. open source is most popular among the least capable developers, and that it doesn't actually solve 90 percent of problems

2. the best software will continue to be, gasp, proprietary

.
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"open source is most popular among the least capable developers"

Add to that that open source is most popular among _non_programmers_. Of course they'd like everything for free. Hell, I'd like an open-source furnace repair guy to come and fix my blower motor.

Anonymous Cowboy
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"The best software will continue to be proprietary."

Is the best command-line shell proprietary?

Is the best XML parser proprietary?  Is there anything far and away better than Xerces?

Is the best scripting langauge proprietary?  Or rather, is VBScript far and away better than Python and perl?

As certain market niches become more and  more mature, some will become commodities and the open source packages will rule the market.

Open Source may never (and I hope it doesn't) completely replace proprietary software, but it has its place.

Richard Ponton
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Windows has OpenSource BSD code in it.  Let that one sink in for a minute.

christopher baus
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Yes, Microsoft and other proprietary companies love the bsd license because you can take something and tweak it and not give your tweak back.

Microsoft didn't write Kerberos, they "extended" it.

Mike
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Dear Richard,
                    You're spouting reason and common sense and ignoring the danger from  the Al-Qaeeda-commie-pinko-liberal-weenie-anarcho-rapsinging-daugherraping Open Source hordes. You have no place whatsoever on this forum. Go back to your hole on Tora Bora

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 05, 2003

"Tell me, how exactly does http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_2-1.html differ from Closed Source EULA's?"

Sir,

When I talk about Open Source, I talk about Open Source according to the OSI definition:
http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.php .

Your link points to a "Subscription agreement" - I don't see any connection from this "subscription agreement" to Open Source (OSI definition) licenses.

If you have an alternative definition of Open Source, then you will find yourself in many strange discussions with people bringing their own personal definition of Open Source along, and you will end up flaming each other, because you didn't take the simple step of agreeing on _what Open Source actually is_.

Just use the OSI Open Source definition!

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

"This is totally nonsensical. One could just as easily "stand on the shoulders" of Microsoft and use Word, and Windows Server 2003, etc, etc, etc."

Dennis,

You seem to ignore my mentioning of paying the owner of closed source software.

Furthermore, you seem to assume that I'm in the software vendor business. I'm not.

I'm in the "getting stuff done" business. Therefore I don't worry about not getting paid for my software, I just have to get paid for getting stuff done. And if Open Source helps me getting stuff done, then why should my company pay for closed source?
And if they did, wouldn't that make the pile of money, from which my paycheck comes, a lot smaller? So how do you think that would affect my paycheck?

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

Yourwacky,

the support is NOT optional. See http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_2-1.html and http://www.suse.com/us/business/products/sld/license.html

Yes, there are other distros, but in the corporate world they are marginal.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

Dennis,

You wrote:
"From a programmer perspective, you can "stand on the shoulders" and utilize the massive functionality of the .NET Framework,"

I plan on doing that:
http://www.go-mono.com/
"Ximian announced the launch of the Mono project, an effort to create an open source implementation of the .NET Development Framework."
... but with Open Source!

Furthermore, you wrote:
"In your case you are beholden to realistically release your products for free (presuming that you're talking about the GPL, which most open source robots consider the only real open source despite it being constricted by limitations worse than some closed source software), whereas I retain the right to do whatever I want. "

Again, you seem to assume that I want to make a living by selling Shrink-wrapped software. I don't. Software developers can also be employed by companies that make money on ice cream, and use Open Source software in order to make _profitable_ ice cream.

With regards to which license:
When I talk about Open Source, I use the OSI definition http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.php , which doesn't restrict me to just the GPL (so I can't be an "open source robot", right?).
There is a list of approved licenses at
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

Martin,

If we are not seeing RedHat are Suse as part of the OSS, then I believe that the issues are clouded beyond hope.
Everytime a business says it moves to OSS they mean RedHat or Suse.

What galls me is the legitimacy this Open Source Initiative (OSI) thing is trying to get from deliberatly trying to sound like any real standards body. They specificaly seem to have gone out of their way to have people confuse them with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that was involved in defining the Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model everybody knows.

In case some readers thought otherwise (and I am sure some do), this OSI of Martin is just a club of a few Open Source advocates, and has NOTHING to do with any serious standards body whatsoever.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

"If we are not seeing RedHat are Suse as part of the OSS, then I believe that the issues are clouded beyond hope."

RedHat and SuSE are companies, they are not software!

Nobody has ever claimed that when you say that you sell or use Open Source software, you have to sell/use _only_ Open Source software.

If we talk about Open Source, and you bring in RedHat as an example and afterwards say that Open Source and closed source are very much the same because RedHat sells closed source solutions, then your logic is kind of drifting: Are you talking about Open Source in general, or RedHat specifically?

"In case some readers thought otherwise (and I am sure some do), this OSI of Martin is just a club of a few Open Source advocates, and has NOTHING to do with any serious standards body whatsoever. "

Nice try, Sir ;-)

Your efforts to first make OSI look like phoneys, and afterwards make me a "co-phoney" are in vain though, since I'm sure that some readers look right through you when they (re-)read my posting.
I have never claimed OSI to be something that you _must_ comply with.
I just personally use the OSI definition to avoid arguing with people about Open Source definitions that are only present in those peoples heads.

The OSI definition is the best Open Source "standards" definition I know of. If you know a better definition that has a chance to rise to the level of a standard some day, then _please_ point me to it!

For the rest of the audience, I'd like to state that Sir is not an official judge who decides what is a good definition, and what is not. He has gone through a considerable amount of effort to make people call him "Sir", although he has never delivered proof that he has earned this title.
In case some readers thought otherwise (and I am sure some do), this "Sir" is just an anonymous individual, and has NOTHING to do with any serious standards approving body whatsoever.

So, Sir, now that we both know that the other one can kick dirt, should we try to discuss in a respectful way?
Please?

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

I never claimed any "authority". As I said here before, the "Sir" part of the nick is an admittedly poor joke that I have long since regretted but just keep going so as to be reminded that I spend way to much time on JoS according to http://www.usabilitymustdie.com/jos/WW_All_Members.html

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

You as an inner circle member may adhere to a certain definition of Open Source. The majority of IT persons will however not only include RedHat and Suse in the Open Source constellation, but even point to them as the most prominent brands of the OSS business front.

If accepting your Open Source definition means excluding companies such as RedHat and Suse. Fine. But then we seem to have to agree that al the talk of Open Source as a software business making inroads into the corporate environment are, well, untrue, since they are almost exclusively based on the merits of these two companies.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

No, you don't have to exclude RedHat and SuSE.

Again, I feel I have to point out that SuSE and RedHat are not _software_ that can be licensed. SuSE and RedHat are _companies_ that, amongst other things, sell/distribute Open Source (OSI definition) software.

Now if you have your own private definition of "an Open Source company" as being one that _exclusively_ sells/distributes Open Source (OSI def) software, then yes, we will have to exclude RH and SuSE from that particular set of companies matching your definition.
But that's your definition of a set of _companies_.
OSI Open Source definition is a definition of a set of _software licenses_.
Why do you bring specific companies into the picture? I thougt we were talking licenses...?

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

"Why do you bring specific companies into the picture? I thougt we were talking licenses...? "

I assumed since we started from the licences (see above) I thought we could save typing in the later posts.  Read RedHat as an abbreviation of the RedHat Enterprise Linux and its accompanying licence, and Suse Linux Business Products and their accompanying licences.

These are the licences on the products that are responsible for the reported OSS wins. Clearly they are not compatible with your defenition of Open Source. So the Open Source you are talking about, while maybe en vogue in a small circle of intimi, is clearly different from that of the general public's.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

As far as I know, RH's (and maybe SuSE's) Enterprise (or Business) products are a bundling of
1) Open Source (OSI def) Linux distribution (software!)
2) Subscription to a service and support package (_not_ software!)

So when you are talking about RH's Enterprise Linux not matching the OSI def of Open Source then I don't know what you are talking about.

The OSI def does not cover non-software licenses, nor composite products (like bundling of Open Source, non-open source, service, support, cool T-shirts and caps, etc.).
It just covers software. So when we talk Open Source software, could we please _only_ talk about software, since I don't know what an Open Source mug, or Open Source service and support means?

Martin A. Boegelund
Friday, September 05, 2003

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