[K12OSN] OT: Open Source counter-arguments

Les Mikesell les at futuresource.com
Sun Jul 15 01:01:53 UTC 2007

ahodson wrote:

> MOST, not all, of the programs are a generation or two BEHIND their 
> commercial counterparts. That is because the open source community is 
> not so much innovative, rather imitative. They wait and see what the big 
> guys are doing and then imitate it. So, if you want to be a generation 
> behind, then you use open source. So be it. That is not a bad thing. 
> However, I prefer to be on the edge, for the most part.

By 'on the edge', do you mean you are willing to use a product available 
only from a single vendor, and put all of your own efforts at risk of 
the whims of that vendor and whether they will be around next year? 
Since AT&T published the SVID in 1986 (because the government at the 
time sensibly would not take bids for things only available from a 
single vendor), things running on unix-like systems don't have to worry 
about the demise of their operating system or processor type since 
porting across wildly different systems is very easy, if needed at all.

> IN essence, the OS community uses the software companies as their R&D 
> arms, waiting to see what the next innovation will be that they can 
> write into their software. They then copy the innovation, let it go into 
> the open source world, and say "look how good we are at making something 
> that is ALMOST like the original."
> Sounds fair huh?

Your are being very selective about where you start looking for 
innovations and what kind of product is involved.  Go back to the 
beginning when Sun and Cisco were startups and find where the code was 
developed that allowed them to interoperate.  If we didn't have the free 
TCP reference code, we couldn't be having this conversation right now. 
If we had any networking, it would be isolated sections controlled 
separately by different vendors.  And if you are talking about 
Microsoft, what were they selling in 1984 as Cisco started to connect 
the world based on this free standard protocol?  A very limited single 
user, single user OS that sort-of emulated the even more limited CP/M 
system - was that innovation?

> I always go back to the book [], the Cathedral and the Bazaar: A book 
> about how paying for software was so bad...
> Cost of the Book: $18.00.

As I recall, the book was about software design methods, not so much the 
cost.  As in, is it better to have many contributors adding parts that 
work the way they need them to work in practice, or someone isolated 
from the program's real use building something he thinks might be flashy 
  enough to make a sale?

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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