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Last post Author Topic: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?  (Read 8435 times)

IainB

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Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« on: November 09, 2012, 03:35:36 AM »
I happened to be checking up on the current state of Winguide/"The Guide" (a PIM that I have long been interested in), which seems to have stopped development at version 2.0 in 2008.
On the discussion forum here, there was a pointed comment. I guess I feel much the same way about it.

OpenSource - Winguide Forum.png

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 03:39:33 AM »
The way I look at it, I see the general lack of business model for most developers as the biggest problem. Some OS software has a good business model, and is well supported.

Money keeps interest.
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40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 06:20:22 AM »
It's generally not wise to rely on completely free of charge software from small or unknown developers for mission critical use.

I don't think something also being open source software has anything to do with it.

Of course Microsoft (and others) would very much like people to mentally equate the term "open source" with words such as: inferior, unreliable, infringing, hobbyist, infected, illegal, unstable, and unsupported.

And I think Joel Fannin's semi-snarky comment shows just how effectively they've colored many people's attitude towards "open source" in general.

As Renegade implies in his earlier post, for most software projects, "completely free of charge" is not a good model for long term sustainability. As many successful F/OSS developers have already realized. Not all open source software is made available free of charge. The FSF actively encourages F/OSS developers to charge money for their work. FSF has repeatedly stated that a price tag is not incompatible with the GPL.

Open Source is a product development methodology and philosophy - not a business model.
 :)

mahesh2k

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 07:30:40 AM »
Money is not everything for many people. When I see GNU and Open Source community on diaspora, I see how they are motivated for their contribs on sourceforge and github. It's not about money for them. It doesn't matter how regular software is updated, as long it is safe and functioning as you are expecting. I have seen many paid software developers retiring their software, changing directions and ceasing development, nobody talks about that. People who want to get things done and are likely to pay just switch to another provider.

Capitalism has successfully destroyed mindset of people to such extent, people will not hesitate to charge for almost everything they do in life. This not only destroys creativity but also makes the people at the top thinking about monopoly.  Some people deserve to be manipulated by the people at top and some people deserve to find their freedom, whatever and wherever it  exists.

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 07:54:16 AM »
The more reliability you want, the higher is your urge to pay for software you use. You have the choice between free and quality. Free software coders can never have enough budget to investigate new ways to reach paid software's quality.

One neat exception is, maybe, FreeBSD as Apple puts a lot of effort and money into it.

40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 08:12:22 AM »
Capitalism has successfully destroyed mindset of people to such extent, people will not hesitate to charge for almost everything they do in life. This not only destroys creativity but also makes the people at the top thinking about monopoly.  Some people deserve to be manipulated by the people at top and some people deserve to find their freedom, whatever and wherever it  exists.

Well said. :Thmbsup:

Money is not everything for many people. When I see GNU and Open Source community on diaspora, I see how they are motivated for their contribs on sourceforge and github. It's not about money for them.

I also agree, having been involved in GNU and F/OSS issues for many years.

Unfortunately, the game is rapidly changing due to patent trolling and IP law abuses. And when it comes to legal matters, those with the deepest pockets have a significant advantage due to the way our current legal system's procedural process favors the richest.

I don't think I'm being excessively alarmist in encouraging anybody involved in creating any form of so-called intellectual property (software, books, music, videos, images) to make enough money to be able to hire a competent attorney if they need one. Because, sooner or later, they're going to need one.

It's only a matter of time before Microsoft or some other software giant begins to make an effort to get as much of the GNU/Linux ecosystem declared illegal as possible.

In the case of Microsoft, who has infinitely deep pockets - and a ridiculous portfolio of patents (I heard over 20,000 and growing) covering some of the most basic and obvious of software design concepts - it's a disaster waiting to happen for the Linux community. Because the case won't be decided on the merits or technology - it will be decided for whoever has the best legal stamina and ability to finesse the system. Look at the case of SCO v Everybody else. Even with the most obviously bogus case imaginable, they were able to drag their nonsense out in court for seven and a half years at a cost of millions in legal fees for the parties involved.

So far, Linux has been (mostly) left alone. More I think because it has not posed a significant threat to the entrenched consumer/business software establishment than for any other reason. But that won't last forever. And some of the major Linux players (RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu) are already working out their own legal accommodations with Microsoft.

When (or if) the long awaited Year of the Linux Desktop arrives, it will be celebrated by the F/OSS community with a round of parties. And by Microsoft with a round of court filings.

Hope somebody has some money in the bank when that day finally comes. :tellme:
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 08:23:21 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 08:20:27 AM »
You have the choice between free and quality.

I think it's more correct to say when the only choice is having to pay to get the required degree of quality needed, it's smarter to pay. But that's not always your only choice.

Free software coders can never have enough budget to investigate new ways to reach paid software's quality.

Ah, that old chestnut rears it's pretty head. Where have we heard that before?  ;D

One neat exception is, maybe, FreeBSD as Apple puts a lot of effort and money into it.

FWIW - so do a lot of other businesses and individuals. 8)

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 08:22:23 AM »
Ah, that old chestnut rears it's pretty head. Where have we heard that before?  ;D
At least I backed it up.

40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 08:31:48 AM »
Ah, that old chestnut rears it's pretty head. Where have we heard that before?  ;D
At least I backed it up.

I'm not sure what was "backed up" reading from the link provided.

Assertions, anecdotes, and isolated - or small numbers of carefully selected examples - does not constitute a general proof in my neck of the woods.

Was there another link you meant instead?

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 08:34:51 AM »
I could provide a link to a similar rant about LibreOffice in favor of SoftMaker Office, but it is in German...

Generally I find myself replacing FLOSS by proprietary software rather often as FLOSS disappoints me in terms of quality. The only exception is Firefox. Yet.

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 08:52:10 AM »
It all boils down to "interest". Money is a STRONG interest. Philosophical motivations are also very STRONG interests, and often trump money.

The problem comes when people don't have enough basic resources, i.e. money.

Another motivation is the size of a user base. That's a strong motivator, but usually also goes along with money.

The real question is "what keeps developers' interest and keeps them involved?"

Check IIS vs. Apache numbers. Dead give away that FLOSS can win.

Complaining about Open Office (or whatever) is pretty much a wash. Very few people *NEED* anything more than what Open Office offers. Very few. That just boils down to gear lust.

I receive office documents that have a special kind of internal markup that I am forced to use MS Office for. I'm a very rare exception.

Very few people need something like Samplitude or Pro Tools. Audacity is more than enough for the vast majority of what people need.

Notepad++ is stellar. I don't know of anyone that needs a text editor in the same class that is commercial. I know I don't. (I use a commercial editor because I've used the same one for over 10 years and just don't feel like switching.)

How many more examples can we come up with? Virtually boundless.

How many examples of use cases where a commercial application worked better? Similarly boundless.

Often the question is why use a Porche when a Volkswagen will do the same job?

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 08:57:12 AM »
Very few people *NEED* anything more than what Open Office offers.
Not "more" but "better quality". Including stability, responsiveness and editing files without scrambling their layout.

Notepad++ is stellar. I don't know of anyone that needs a text editor in the same class that is commercial.
You can do quite everything with Notepad too. But would you?
Sometimes N++ just does not feel comfortable enough. (And it has annoying crash bugs in virtually every single version.)

Often the question is why use a Porche when a Volkswagen will do the same job?
Which leads us to the question: Do you want to work at all or do you want to work more efficiently?

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 09:03:45 AM »
Very few people *NEED* anything more than what Open Office offers.
Not "more" but "better quality". Including stability, responsiveness and editing files without scrambling their layout.

Notepad++ is stellar. I don't know of anyone that needs a text editor in the same class that is commercial.
You can do quite everything with Notepad too. But would you?
Sometimes N++ just does not feel comfortable enough. (And it has annoying crash bugs in virtually every single version.)

Often the question is why use a Porche when a Volkswagen will do the same job?
Which leads us to the question: Do you want to work at all or do you want to work more efficiently?

1) I'm going to give Libre Office a shot again then reply on that.

2) For Notepad++, I have no clue what you're talking about. It seems pretty good. What comparable commercial editor do you use? I use EditPlus.

3) The topic of commercial vs. personal use is a very valid topic. When it comes to commercial use, the amount of effort that goes into doing a task is often of no concern whatsoever. If it were, nobody would ever use Oracle. ;) Human resources vs. computing resources are a very real concern. I think that the topic is pretty broad, and don't want to get into it much further though as it's a deep hole to dive down. I'll let others fight that one out. 

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 09:12:02 AM »
What comparable commercial editor do you use? I use EditPlus.
Sublime Text 2.

The topic of commercial vs. personal use is a very valid topic. When it comes to commercial use, the amount of effort that goes into doing a task is often of no concern whatsoever.
OTOH, why would I want to use a non-professional software "personally" when I can use a professional software instead?

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 09:15:41 AM »
What comparable commercial editor do you use? I use EditPlus.
Sublime Text 2.

The topic of commercial vs. personal use is a very valid topic. When it comes to commercial use, the amount of effort that goes into doing a task is often of no concern whatsoever.
OTOH, why would I want to use a non-professional software "personally" when I can use a professional software instead?

I checked out Sublime, and it seemed pretty good, but wasn't compelling enough for me to switch.

For "non-professional" software, that's a bit of a rough thing to say. A lot of FLOSS software is made by professionals. If I create some software, and GPL it, it's still "professional" software.

However, there is another sense of the word there where the software is designed for professional use.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 09:17:46 AM »
Most "professional FLOSS software" lacks a good QA. At least the software I tried so far.

mahesh2k

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 09:26:48 AM »
Quote
Often the question is why use a Porche when a Volkswagen will do the same job?

Very good question.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't want single desktop to dominate, be it linux (unix or whatever), apple and windows. Some people have specific demands from the OS and apps and all they need is getting work done. Some people want to show off and they have specific needs just for that. Let them be but if we lose the freedom to innovate, we are basically living in digital slave era. As for quality, many paid products are priced because developer wants to earn money for development and not because it has quality. This is the reason W8 was not well received. It was odd balance for quality vs experience.

As this capitalism monster will become more hungry eventually will create a lot of opportunity for open source and free software. Nobody in their right mind has resources to keep feeding the capitalism mentality.

I am learning Rails framework these days and noticed that like rails many other open source and free languages or framework has quality. Same applies to softwares built over them. But this doesn't seem to apply to .NET or paid framework world. It may be easy or letting you get things done but it is not quality which we compare with many variables which includes productivity, labor costs and efficiency etc etc. That's my opinion.

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2012, 09:32:54 AM »
I don't think "capitalism" is the problem.

We do not live in a "capitalist" world. We live in a "corporatists" and fascist world. Big difference.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2012, 09:38:00 AM »
I could provide a link to a similar rant about LibreOffice in favor of SoftMaker Office, but it is in German...

I prefer Softmaker Office myself. :Thmbsup:  But that's probably because I thought Word 2000 was the best general purpose WP ever, and that this software category has been going downhill ever since. To me S.O. feels like Word2k. That's enough for me to buy a copy or six.

Quote
Generally I find myself replacing FLOSS by proprietary software rather often as FLOSS disappoints me in terms of quality.

In my case, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Or vice-versa. There's a saying that 90% of everything is crap. ANd software is no exception from what I've seen.

Quote
The only exception is Firefox. Yet.

Hope that was a joke. Because I can't stand what they've been doing with Firefox lately. If I didn't have three extensions I'd prefer not to live without I'd be using something else by now.

Not that the workable alternatives are that much better IMO. :(

40hz

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 09:42:16 AM »
I don't think "capitalism" is the problem.

We do not live in a "capitalist" world. We live in a "corporatists" and fascist world. Big difference.

Yes indeed.

Capitalist will put you in jail or let you starve to death.

Corpo-fascists will destroy your life or murder you outright.
 ;D

mahesh2k

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 09:46:03 AM »
Quote
We live in a "corporatists" and fascist world.


True but the problem of "sucking the resources until the victim is dead" mentality is from capitalism. It doesn't promote any other thought than profit.

Renegade

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 09:51:35 AM »
I'm a bit less cynical (modern sense) about "capitalism". I see farmers as "capitalists". I do NOT see Wall Street as "capitalists". They're, well, I'll drop that there as this thread is about open source software. You already know my loathings there.

Still, I see the ability to earn and produce as a good thing, and the lack of it in some FLOSS as a problem for the people behind it. We need to eat. We need to provide for our families. That's a very real issue, and far more important than any philosophical issue. If you can't eat, you can't think. Game over.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tuxman

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2012, 09:52:29 AM »
In my case, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Or vice-versa. There's a saying that 90% of everything is crap.
Yes, it probably is. A pity that I noticed it so late.

Hope that was a joke. Because I can't stand what they've been doing with Firefox lately. If I didn't have three extensions I'd prefer not to live without I'd be using something else by now.
There is no better browser in terms of functionality. :(

mahesh2k

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 10:06:08 AM »
Quote
Still, I see the ability to earn and produce as a good thing, and the lack of it in some FLOSS as a problem for the people behind it. We need to eat. We need to provide for our families. That's a very real issue, and far more important than any philosophical issue. If you can't eat, you can't think. Game over.


Yes, but the point of FLOSS was not to destroy the economics. It was pure intention of creating an alternative. Let's say you want to listen to XYZ artist and his songs in album are priced at 9bucks. Which in third world can get high as 1000 or so bucks. Result: they either choose piracy or choose not to listen. If you apply this sort of situation to operating system and software, they're basically running behind the world for not using it. Now they have competitive option: linux or whatever free OS out there.

 If you keep on applying this to every product then you'll be left with few people with buying intention and rest of the others either attempting to steal it or working hard to get it or trying to sustain a platform which supports this. Intention of FLOSS was to avoid these type of situations. Nobody calls me pirate for using linux or FLOSS. That's how I see it. There are people in the world, who go with hunger all the time, still manage to think, many world leaders came from poverty. It's the process of pushing middle and upper  class to this "wallet sucking" life is what makes many people not to think without profit.


wraith808

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Re: Sign of the times for OpenSource software?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2012, 10:32:15 AM »
I think in the end it comes down to a simple equation based on the two most limited resources people have - money and time.  Whichever one of those wins out will dictate what they gravitate to- everything else is just framing that argument.