[K12OSN] OT: Open Source counter-arguments

Rob Owens rowens at ptd.net
Sun Jul 15 01:19:10 UTC 2007

Off the top of my head, here are 2 pieces of open source software that
are superior to any closed-source software I've seen:

BackupPC and LTSP

I won't pretend to be an expert on backup software, but I can tell you
that 3 different paid consultants to my company (my day job is doing
mechanical engineering) recommended closed-source backup software that
is clearly inferior to BackupPC.

Then there's LTSP.  Is there even a closed-source competitor to this
software?  Yeah, there's Windows Terminal Server, but doesn't it require
a local operating system to be loaded before you connect to the server?
(I'm really not sure, so somebody speak up if I'm wrong here).  Does it
let you boot a diskless client over the network?  Does it let you take a
"junk" P2 machine and turn it into something usable?  Like I said, I'm
not an expert on the functionality of Windows Terminal Server, so
somebody please speak up if it actually can do all of these things.

I should also mention rsync.  I've spoken w/ 3 different paid
consultants who specialize in supporting commercial software, and they
were astonished when I told them that Linux and rsync could transfer
partial files.  One guy didn't even believe me.  Is there an equivalent
in commercial software?  I'm not aware of one, but maybe it's out there.


On Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 12:25:27PM -0600, ahodson wrote:
> Hi fellow k12osn - hope you have a few minutes to read and contribute in 
> helping build a counter argument to the post below. I am looking to see
> 1) has anybody seen these arguments before (authenticity)
> 2) are you in a position to share counter-arguments 
> (data/experiences/logic)?
> 3) Do you know of scholarly sources to accomplish #2?
> ========================== post ============================
> "Here is what I have seen from the Open Source Community:
> 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.
> 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?
> Look at GIMP for instance. Whenever Adobe comes out with the latest 
> Photoshop, THEN the GIMP community comes out with an update that tries 
> to match the feature set. Sometimes they do, sometimes they do not. But, 
> GIMP is NOT Photoshop. That is because Photoshop, like many other 
> commercial programs, have an ecosystem built around them that simply 
> cannot be  matched by the OS community. Plug Ins, peripherals, books, 
> training video, websites, all revolve around the commercial products.
> I can get something that MAY be like the plug in I want to use in 
> Photoshop, but to say a program IS JUST LIKE another program is in fact, 
> a terrible misstatement.
> Is a Steak at Ruths Chris Steakhouse the same as a steak at Golden 
> Corral? No, it is not. Yes, they are both steaks, but they are not the 
> same. The experience is different, the taste is different. Yes, they 
> will both fill you up, but...
> Finally, you cannot be in any conversation with an OS person without 
> these words being uttered: "Why should we pay Microsoft for this or 
> that?" Interesting. Why pay for anything? Why pay Dell for hardware? Why 
> pay AT&T for connectivity? Why pay EXXON for gas? I don't understand the 
> aversion to having to pay for something. The entire economy of the free 
> world is based on this. You pay for goods and services.
> 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.
> It seems paying for something is okay, as long as it is OS stuff..."
> ====================== end of post ===================================
> Thanks for the help
> Alan
> El Paso TX
> -=o=-
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