The Traps of Linux ...& open source software (1 Viewer)

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,575
#1
The Traps of Linux ...& open source software
Interesting, if flawed piece of rubbish. As one guy has put it:
"When linux products gain even half the market share as microsoft, plenty of developers can and will develop commercial products that work with linux without using any open source code. So that way the cost of maintainence and custom solutions for the users will eventually go down, and in the long run Linux will prove to be much cheaper."
To which I can only add: Amen. :D
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,859
#3
Just read the intro so far and I found one error.

The driving force of this concept is the license, covering the programs with Open source, basically known as GPL (General Public License). In contrast to the various commercial licenses, which generally restrict users’ rights up to what they have paid for, this license warrants full rights for arbitrary usage, with no need to pay for anything, i.e. any program with Open source under GPL can be used freely by any individual or company on the Planet Earth for any private, personal or commercial purpose.
However, it is perfectly legitimate to profit from selling GPL software, the sole requirement is that you enclose the source with every copy. So if you write GPL software and noone else has it, you certainly can demand payment for it but obviously you have to give them the source as well.

This book is for the people, whose common sense is not yet entirely intoxicated with the free wine at the free dinner, and who still have in their minds the safety mechanism, triggering every time when “Free of Charge” is mentioned. This book is basically for decision-makers, such as company managers, top executives, government officials, and board members, currently faced with the need to choose the route for their organizations in the era of the unavoidable total penetration of electronics. As a rule these people are not IT experts, they are under the continuous pressure of their IT departments as to what should be purchased and what should not be chosen. And such people hold their high ranking positions exactly because their demonstrated how to do business and bring money in. And in doing that they have become convinced that business with free stuff is not possible. It may look weird to them, but as the fairy-tale circles around, some of them start to take notice of it. This is how they turn into the target audience of ruthless marketing, which nearly no will later leave them with almost no choice, making them regularly paying customers of some rather far-sighted capitalist.
This whole paragraph doesn't sit well with me. He's trying argue that lots of people involved, developers, have been "duped" into thinking open source is a good thing and they will be cheated out of their money. HOWEVER, he isn't writing this for them (doesn't mention developers in his target audience), instead he's writing it for the "decision makers", which would be seen as an attempt to place the debate in the hands of people who make decisions on open source that affect a lot of people. Instead of trying to "educate" the people, he's going for the CEO, reading that I immediately have my concerns about what motives drive him to this.

Another thing is that his description of what happens to people who go for open source software is frighteningly similar to the consequences of the good old Microsoft vendor lock in. He would make a stronger case if he could avoid stirring up that association in my mind.
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,097
#4
++ [ originally posted by Martin ] ++
However, it is perfectly legitimate to profit from selling GPL software, the sole requirement is that you enclose the source with every copy. So if you write GPL software and noone else has it, you certainly can demand payment for it but obviously you have to give them the source as well.
Then again, what (sane) person would pay for software when the source code is freely available?

Or did I completely miss the point due to insufficient reading of the article?
 

Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,035
#5
Even I understood what Martin said. The source doesnt have to be available on the Internet, but if the developers gives you the code when you buythe program it's still open source, right?

I feel like a :geek:
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,859
#6
Exactly. Richard Stallman, the philosopher behind the GPL, wrote emacs and tons of extensions for it, all of which he charged for. But since it was released under GPL, you and I can use emacs all we want without paying for it. :)
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,097
#7
++ [ originally posted by Zlatan ] ++
Even I understood what Martin said. The source doesnt have to be available on the Internet, but if the developers gives you the code when you buythe program it's still open source, right?

I feel like a :geek:
As I said, I didn't read anything :)
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,859
#8
However, in relative terms the Open source requires a greater number of services.
The reason is quite simple – the commercial software is developed and manages by itself most of the tasks. The non-commercial software is not developed and, conventionally speaking, everything has to be done “manually”. For example, it is well known that the management of a computer network, based by design on Windows, requires considerably less efforts than the corresponding network under Linux. Less staff is needed and their qualification may be lower, they will also take less time to complete the job. A network under Linux requires a staff of higher qualification that is more expensive. It is common knowledge that the salaries of Linux experts are higher compared to those of Windows specialists. This is exactly what difference comes from – tasks under Windows are not so complicated and most of the functions are executed by the software itself. Faced with the choice of whether to save money by taking a free operating and then pay for the people, supporting the work places, the manager usually prefers the commercial solution, provided that his decision is based on common reasoning rather than on emotion.
Ouch.. :D trying to argue that Windows networks are easier to manage and require less expertise isn't untrue but he conveniently fails to mention that a well managed linux network leaves the "experts" much more productive...

...and obviously we all agree that the guy who is running you network, making sure your business can stand on its feet and there is no IT meltdown in your company, should have the lowest qualifications possible and generally the less he knows the better, right? ;)

:howler:
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,859
#9
Eh, he doesn't have a proper case so I can't bother reading anymore. In chapter 2 he goes on to lament how he ordered a redesign of his site from some programmers who only wanted banner ads in return. He was apparently shocked by how much effort it was to do it (even though they used phpnuke as base) and then they got nothing in return from it cause it was GPL. Well then why DID the lamers make it GPL in the first place? Noone forces you to do that. Moreover, he does not mention the cost it would be to him to purchase such a system for his website, nor the advantages his dear friends received from using phpnuke, a freely available system ready for use.

When I saw the cover and the title I was hoping he would make some good points but so far I haven't seen any and all his arguments could easily be mirrored to reflect badly upon closed source development and vendor lock in. Reading this is a waste of time.
 

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