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View Full Version : A note to proprietary software users. Something to think about



irv
August 1st, 2009, 09:42 PM
It's time to start teaching our kids about open source and the GPL which stands for “General Public License”. This is going to be the future of software. Any kid who want to get into the field of computer software needs to learn about these things and our schools need to start thinking about teaching them in the classrooms.

This concept of GPL licensing has grown rapidly around the globe and is now just starting to take on the movement here in the United States. I believe the problem in the US is because we are a rich nation and people are in the habit of spending money and look down on somethings that are free or carries a very low price tag. We call it cheap, and when we think of cheap we think of lower quality. This is just not true when it comes to open source and the GPL.

The GPL is new to our way of thinking. First, it has a Copyright 2007 by the Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/> When you think of free software you have to start by thinking of a free Operating System on your computer. From there you then can think of all the other software on your computer as being free also.

The reason I am talking about this is because of a statement I read: “Free software is the foundation of a learning society – where the tools we all use are free to share, study and modify.” What a concept!

Maybe I never looked at it this way before, but it really make the user of the computer/software free to do what ever he or she wants. And to make there life better and easier. And while doing this it will make other users benefit also. Think about what we are doing now. We use proprietary software which denies users these freedoms and benefits. So when I talk about free, it is much more then money we are talking about. We are talking about total freedom to learn, share, and help others along the way. I love it!

A little note to those who are still using proprietary software; if you chose to stay where you are, you are not only going to miss our on all these benefits but look where you will be at in the future when it comes to knowledge, and this knowledge or lack of, will leave you in the dust of those who already have made the steps to using the Operating Systems and software that is licensed under the GPL.

SuperSonic4
August 1st, 2009, 09:43 PM
ew, poor white space :(

Agree with the concept though

Nevon
August 1st, 2009, 09:49 PM
And then there are people like me, who use both open source and proprietary software - depending on which works best for me. Also, I tend to release my stuff under the LGPL rather than the GPL, because I don't want to limit the freedom of my users - even if that means redistributing my work under another license.

irv
August 1st, 2009, 09:51 PM
ew, poor white space :(

Agree with the concept though

Sorry about the white space, I did a quick edit. Hope it helps.

Viva
August 1st, 2009, 09:59 PM
In 20 years, proprietary software model will be dead. Proprietary software will always exist, but it won't be as common as it is now. IT Giants have already started to see the benefits of the Open Source development model. I agree that its time to start educating our kids about the benefits of sharing software.

aesis05401
August 1st, 2009, 10:04 PM
Hello Irv and others -

I was thinking of doing some posts along these lines as well, glad to see I am not alone.

I started a thread that I was gonna let fade away, but I wonder what your thoughts would be on this: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1227983

I think there is a lot of opportunity for individuals that want to derail UF conversations to amplify threads like this very quickly. If the mods think we can make Recurring discussions our base for these threads then we will have less impact on the Cafe community.

What do you think? It would make life simpler in the rest of the forum if people posting about long standing FOSS issues can be redirected to Recurring. Of course, there will be no benefit if old timers like ourselves don't show up to post productive comments there.

Mateo
August 1st, 2009, 10:16 PM
Proprietary software users will have less knowledge... please explain this statement. It makes no sense to me.

irv
August 1st, 2009, 10:25 PM
Proprietary software users will have less knowledge... please explain this statement. It makes no sense to me.

In this case I am talking about users, not programmers. My knowledge was increased at least 50 fold since I started using Linux OS' and the many many software packages that was under the GPL. Also the fact that I learn how to do things at the command prompt and how to edit config files, do scripting etc etc. I hope this answers your question.

BuffaloX
August 1st, 2009, 10:36 PM
The GPL license is the main reason I use Linux. it is pure genius.
Ubuntu is better than Windows, the only thing that keeps Windows relevant is 3rd party applications and drivers.
Unfortunately Linux is behind on application and driver development, but that will hopefully soon change.
In fact it is already changing, driver situation is much better today, than it was just a couple of years ago.

aesis05401
August 1st, 2009, 10:36 PM
Sometimes a particular wording has obvious meaning to the writer but not the reader. We may as well bring up that many proprietary agreements include disclosure of source to the buyer, escrow provisions should the source maintainers fail to meet contractual obligations, etc...

The OP is assuming by 'proprietary' that the readers will fill in between the lines that we are talking about some specific proprietary packages/agreements. This is an honest mistake in these forums (usually).

It does not invalidate OP args, but here is an example of a different type of proprietary setup for comparison to standard MS argument:

I began professional life babysitting ancient proprietary code inside AIX compat layer - My duties were limited to monitoring error logs, and my career would have ended quickly if I had ever touched source on the production servers. That being said, I had access to source for everything we were using on the production server printed out in large format high speed dot matrix printer paper. If we did not have this, the company would have needed to upgrade all systems across three states, because the original software was so old that they did not trust it until it could be reviewed for correctness.

The code was reviewed and it was found to be correct, and my employer had no desire to reinvent a working wheel, so they signed the contract with the company that inherited the old codebase from a company they assimilated. The contract gave rights to the proprietary code if the maintainers failed to meet conditions...

In this setup everything worked beautifully during my three years on the job, and code written before I was born was still running beautifully and securely inside Unix environment on the day I left.

Proprietary is not evil. This is the first conversation to have... that the world really is not black and white (this is not a racial term in my culture, only a saying to exhibit opposites of a spectrum).

wrtpeeps
August 1st, 2009, 10:43 PM
It's time to start teaching our kids about open source and the GPL which stands for “General Public License”. This is going to be the future of software. Any kid who want to get into the field of computer software needs to learn about these things and our schools need to start thinking about teaching them in the classrooms.

This concept of GPL licensing has grown rapidly around the globe and is now just starting to take on the movement here in the United States. I believe the problem in the US is because we are a rich nation and people are in the habit of spending money and look down on somethings that are free or carries a very low price tag. We call it cheap, and when we think of cheap we think of lower quality. This is just not true when it comes to open source and the GPL.

The GPL is new to our way of thinking. First, it has a Copyright 2007 by the Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/> When you think of free software you have to start by thinking of a free Operating System on your computer. From there you then can think of all the other software on your computer as being free also.

The reason I am talking about this is because of a statement I read: “Free software is the foundation of a learning society – where the tools we all use are free to share, study and modify.” What a concept!

Maybe I never looked at it this way before, but it really make the user of the computer/software free to do what ever he or she wants. And to make there life better and easier. And while doing this it will make other users benefit also. Think about what we are doing now. We use proprietary software which denies users these freedoms and benefits. So when I talk about free, it is much more then money we are talking about. We are talking about total freedom to learn, share, and help others along the way. I love it!

A little note to those who are still using proprietary software; if you chose to stay where you are, you are not only going to miss our on all these benefits but look where you will be at in the future when it comes to knowledge, and this knowledge or lack of, will leave you in the dust of those who already have made the steps to using the Operating Systems and software that is licensed under the GPL.
Source?

Personally, I think A LOT of people are in for a huge shock when Windows 7 releases. FINALLY microsoft have got their act together and this is easily their best version yet (yes, better than 2000).

In my opinion, Microsoft are going to claw back some of the % share they lost thanks to Vista, and that's just one huge kick in the crotch to open source.

tsali
August 1st, 2009, 10:48 PM
irv, I don't think most users care at all about whether software is GPL, LGPL, or proprietary.

They only care about what it lets them do and for what price.

If the proprietary software delivers a superior value for a particualr user, then that's probably what will get used.

I think your school students will be non-plussed by the GPL...

aesis05401
August 1st, 2009, 10:49 PM
Source?

Personally, I think A LOT of people are in for a huge shock when Windows 7 releases. FINALLY microsoft have got their act together and this is easily their best version yet (yes, better than 2000).

In my opinion, Microsoft are going to claw back some of the % share they lost thanks to Vista, and that's just one huge kick in the crotch to open source.

An honest question: Can you spot the parts of your post that will needlessly inflame inexperienced Ubuntu advocates?

Maybe an obvious place to start is with this little insight - any time you find yourself referencing a groin area on a family friendly forum you may be drifting.

wrtpeeps
August 1st, 2009, 10:53 PM
An honest question: Can you spot the parts of your post that will needlessly inflame inexperienced Ubuntu advocates?

Maybe an obvious place to start is with this little insight - any time you find yourself referencing a groin area on a family friendly forum you may be drifting.

Indeed, cause crotch is such a crude word right enough. :rolleyes:

Back on topic, I do expect some people to be inflamed, though I also expect the more intelligent ones on this forum (and thats who my post was directed at), who are actually capable of debate, to be able to discuss the post logically without resorting to childish "zomg m$ suckz" drivvle. Capeesh? ;)

schauerlich
August 1st, 2009, 10:55 PM
You sound like you're trying to pass down "The Open Source Relgion" to the next generation... no thanks.

wrtpeeps
August 1st, 2009, 10:59 PM
You sound like you're trying to pass down "The Open Source Relgion" to the next generation... no thanks.

Well said sir, well said.

CharmyBee
August 1st, 2009, 11:01 PM
Well said sir, well said.

Ditto.
I don't find a harm in using proprietary software. It's not like it's smoking.

Dad1985
August 1st, 2009, 11:07 PM
While Open Source Software is great, I do have to disagree with you. The fact is, somebody has to write the code and those people need to have necessities like a home and food. Open Source Software provides none of these necessities. While some programmers are fine having a regular job, then coming home to contribute to a open source project. The majority don't do this and really wont. We cannot expect people to forgo other parts of their lives to create free software. Whether it be families, kids, relationships or friends, all of these are much more important than Ubuntu or other projects.

MS hires nearly 90 K people to create what they have. The truth is while you may not like MS and its products. Windows is a better OS than all the others and its market share shows this. A OS is simply a tool and all the applications are also tools. Windows and its fleet of applications simply provide a better experience for the majority. You can bring up as many small windows exploits as you want, just know it doesn't matter.

Proprietary software has its place and rightly so. It will never go away, and you can be sure of that.

Viva
August 1st, 2009, 11:07 PM
Source?

Personally, I think A LOT of people are in for a huge shock when Windows 7 releases. FINALLY microsoft have got their act together and this is easily their best version yet (yes, better than 2000).

In my opinion, Microsoft are going to claw back some of the % share they lost thanks to Vista, and that's just one huge kick in the crotch to open source.

He may not be talking about the immediate future. And right now, Microsoft has so big a desktop market share that neither the % or users lost due to Vista nor the users supposedly going to be gained from 7 are going to matter. Open source, as a development platform is gaining a lot of fans in the IT companies and while it may not have an immediate effect in microsoft's desktop market share, it will be an important factor in the future.

Importantly, lets not forget that the FOSS Vs proprietary debate is not exclusive to the desktop market. Open source owns the web and server market. So, the effect of Windows 7 on open source in general is going to be minimal.

Viva
August 1st, 2009, 11:14 PM
While Open Source Software is great, I do have to disagree with you. The fact is, somebody has to write the code and those people need to have necessities like a home and food. Open Source Software provides none of these necessities. While some programmers are fine having a regular job, then coming home to contribute to a open source project. The majority don't do this and really wont. We cannot expect people to forgo other parts of their lives to create free software. Whether it be families, kids, relationships or friends, all of these are much more important than Ubuntu or other projects.

MS hires nearly 90 K people to create what they have. The truth is while you may not like MS and its products. Windows is a better OS than all the others and its market share shows this. A OS is simply a tool and all the applications are also tools. Windows and its fleet of applications simply provide a better experience for the majority. You can bring up as many small windows exploits as you want, just know it doesn't matter.

Proprietary software has its place and rightly so. It will never go away, and you can be sure of that.

Where did you get the idea that Open source cannot generate money? I've recently read that Free and Open source market is a 40 billion dollar industry. It is not just hobbyists that make open source software, companies like IBM and google contribute a lot of code to the existing open source projects as well as ship their own products. Only a small percent of programmers work on proprietary software that is sold to the regular user. And don't get me started on the market share thing. Market Share need not always indicate the quality of a software. IE has the highest share in the browser market, but it is most definitely not the best browser out there.

aesis05401
August 1st, 2009, 11:18 PM
*snip*... Importantly, lets not forget that the FOSS Vs proprietary debate is not exclusive to the desktop market. Open source owns the web and server market. So, the effect of Windows 7 on open source in general is going to be minimal.

Further on this note: These guys (http://www.top500.org/project/introduction) have been compiling supercomputer stats since 1993. Here (http://www.top500.org/drilldown) is an index of data they have gathered.

zoom zoom.

Viva
August 1st, 2009, 11:31 PM
This is a good read too
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/policy/doc/2006-11-20-flossimpact.pdf

irv
August 2nd, 2009, 12:20 AM
You sound like you're trying to pass down "The Open Source Relgion" to the next generation... no thanks.

I ran a poll on the ages of those on this forum and over 23% were under 19 years of age, and 40% between the ages of 20 and 29. That says a lot.

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 12:25 AM
I ran a poll on the ages of those on this forum and over 23% were under 19 years of age, and 40% between the ages of 20 and 29. That says a lot.

About what?

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 12:36 AM
You sound like you're trying to pass down "The Open Source Relgion" to the next generation... no thanks.

It's not a religion, it's a philosophy.
Like people once had to fight for democracy, (Power to the people).
FOSS is power to the user and developer, removing power away from one single vendor.

One very recent example of possible abuse of such power by a too powerful vendor is this story:

http://www.maclife.com/article/feature/how_google_voice_debacle_hurting_thirdparty_develo pers

To someone else:
About developers needing to live, MS only use about 10% of profits from Windows sales on actual Windows development.
No one is forced to develop for GPLed software, those that do are either paid by a company with an interest in it, or they do it for fun.

PurposeOfReason
August 2nd, 2009, 12:37 AM
I ran a poll on the ages of those on this forum and over 23% were under 19 years of age, and 40% between the ages of 20 and 29. That says a lot.
So 63% of users were raised in the computer generation. Big surprise.

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 12:39 AM
It's not a religion, it's a philosophy.
Like people once had to fight for democracy, (Power to the people).
FOSS is power to the user and developer, removing power away from one single vendor.

Really? You're going to compare the FOSS movement to fighting for human rights and democracy? Sounds a BIT presumptuous.

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 12:41 AM
About what?

Seems the percentage under 19 is quite a bit higher than what could be expected from demographic numbers.
That is if we assume that not too many of them are below 10 years old.

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 12:47 AM
Really? You're going to compare the FOSS movement to fighting for human rights and democracy? Sounds a BIT presumptuous.

Not really it's actually part of what it's all about.
Democracy is about freedom and so is FOSS.
Human rights is a very questionable term, so I won't go into that.

quazi
August 2nd, 2009, 12:53 AM
Not really it's actually part of what it's all about.
Democracy is about freedom and so is FOSS.
Human rights is a very questionable term, so I won't go into that.

Poor comparison. Democracy is about personal freedoms and self-government; not free property. In this sense, FOSS is more akin to communism.

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 01:05 AM
Not really it's actually part of what it's all about.
Democracy is about freedom and so is FOSS.

I would argue that the right to self determination, the right to vote and the right to free speech are slightly more important than the right to redistribute software without restriction.

aesis05401
August 2nd, 2009, 01:07 AM
Poor comparison. Democracy is about personal freedoms and self-government; not free property. In this sense, FOSS is more akin to communism.

I disagree completely - FOSS is about public goods. Democracy is founded on the concept that social cohesion requires a certain level of mutual investment in infrastructure. There would be no point in voting if this were not the case, because the act of communal ratification is a recognition of common interest. Common interest is best satisfied with public goods.

The key to public goods is the fact that a true public good cannot be reduced in utility value purely by the consumption by one individual. A good example is a highway.

Wikipedia overview of the concept:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_goods

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 01:08 AM
FOSS stands for FREE and open source software.
You may also have heard of FSF Free software foundation, which is closely tied to GPL philosophy. Again note the FREE!! term.
The fact that it is free as in freedom, makes it not about property.
But freedom in the same sense as democracy.

Free is not about price, but the freedom to view use and modify the code.
This is not Communism but rather democracy.

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 01:09 AM
FOSS stands for FREE and open source software.
You may also have heard of FSF Free software foundation, which is closely tied to GPL philosophy. Again note the FREE!! term.
The fact that it is free as in freedom, makes it not about property.
But freedom in the same sense as democracy.

Free is not about price, but the freedom to view use and modify the code.
This is not Communism but rather democracy.

But putting Free as in FSF next to Free as in Freedom and Democracy is insulting to the latter. Your software means nothing next to your rights as a citizen.

23meg
August 2nd, 2009, 01:12 AM
I would argue that the right to self determination, the right to vote and the right to free speech are slightly more important than the right to redistribute software without restriction.

Nobody is scaling software freedom against the broader spectrum of freedoms that may be worth fighting for in terms of importance, which is obviously relative. The argument is that free software is comparable to autonomy, free speech etc. in terms of its values and spirit, and that is not relative; it's factual.

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 01:15 AM
I would argue that the right to self determination, the right to vote and the right to free speech are slightly more important than the right to redistribute software without restriction.

I meant the principles are the same, or if you prefer similar.
I didn't mean to postulate they are of same importance.
But I argue that for software FOSS is of the same importance as Democracy is for government.

CharmyBee
August 2nd, 2009, 01:18 AM
Yeah well, if you're going to argue about freedom, please remember that users have the freedom of choice if they don't want to use your FOSS software for something they prefer to use. Don't argue against choice.

days_of_ruin
August 2nd, 2009, 01:19 AM
Poor comparison. Democracy is about personal freedoms and self-government; not free property. In this sense, FOSS is more akin to communism.

-1 ANALOGY FAIL.


Sharing ideas (which is basically what code is) is not the same as sharing physical property.

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 01:29 AM
I didn't mean to postulate they are of same importance.
But I argue that for software FOSS is of the same importance as Democracy is for government.

These two sentences contradict each other almost directly.

Viva
August 2nd, 2009, 01:33 AM
These two sentences contradict each other almost directly.

He's saying that FOSS is to the software industry as democracy is to governments, I don't understand how that contradicts what he said before.

BuffaloX
August 2nd, 2009, 01:33 AM
These two sentences contradict each other almost directly.

Oh like this:
Water is as important to a boat as roads are to a car?

Yeah really self contradicting./sarcasm

schauerlich
August 2nd, 2009, 01:34 AM
He's saying that FOSS is to the software industry as democracy is to governments, I don't understand how that contradicts what he said before.

Ah, I misread the second sentence. Mea culpa.

coldReactive
August 2nd, 2009, 01:44 AM
But wine nor ReactOS are stable enough to run all those good windows games and software! (IE: MMORPGs such as Runes of Magic.)

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 01:46 AM
In 20 years, proprietary software model will be dead. Proprietary software will always exist, but it won't be as common as it is now. IT Giants have already started to see the benefits of the Open Source development model. I agree that its time to start educating our kids about the benefits of sharing software.

I would argue that proprietary software is already dead. Well maybe not in the FSF sense, I mean "shrinked wrapped software". Other then video games, there is very little new proprietary software made. All the big proprietary software companies are from the 70s and 80s. The big software companies of today utilize SaaS, see Google, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I don't see any big billion dollar companies being made with the Microsoft model anymore. It just doesn't work anymore, as a new business concept.

So proprietary software is dead.

You can still make money with software, you just have to bit a bit more creative that shrink wrapping it and selling it like any ordinary product. You got to sell it like it is a service, or part of a service.

Mateo
August 2nd, 2009, 01:54 AM
In this case I am talking about users, not programmers. My knowledge was increased at least 50 fold since I started using Linux OS' and the many many software packages that was under the GPL. Also the fact that I learn how to do things at the command prompt and how to edit config files, do scripting etc etc. I hope this answers your question.

It doesn't answer my question. The premise of your thread was that you wanted to give proprietary software users something to think about. This is that they will be less knowledgeable in the future, and therefore at a disadvantage, for using proprietary software.

This followup doesn't answer my question. Are you suggesting that in the future the use of linux command-line will be the norm, and that it will in fact be a marketable skill? I'm just not following the logic here.

Mateo
August 2nd, 2009, 01:58 AM
I would argue that proprietary software is already dead. Well maybe not in the FSF sense, I mean "shrinked wrapped software". Other then video games, there is very little new proprietary software made. All the big proprietary software companies are from the 70s and 80s. The big software companies of today utilize SaaS, see Google, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I don't see any big billion dollar companies being made with the Microsoft model anymore. It just doesn't work anymore, as a new business concept.

So proprietary software is dead.

You can still make money with software, you just have to bit a bit more creative that shrink wrapping it and selling it like any ordinary product. You got to sell it like it is a service, or part of a service.

All of the companies you mentioned make most (or all) of their money on proprietary software. SaaS is how software gets delivered. But the software is still proprietary.

Salesforce - proprietary
Twitter - proprietary
Facebook - proprietary
Google - proprietary (or at least 99.9% of what makes them money).

Nautilus112
August 2nd, 2009, 01:59 AM
On my Ubuntu computer, the only proprietary software I can think of is my nvidia driver, which I kinda of need to run compiz and other effects.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:03 AM
Free software is just like enlightenment science. Proprietary software resembles medieval guilds or alchemy.

Science depends heavily on government grants to achieve the level of disclosure we have academia for the past few hundred years. So free software needs the same exact kind of funding.

The #1 issue with free software is lack of money. You can not expect people to write software all day for free. Some people do it for a hobby but it's hard to keep a full time job and write good software. You'll see the most successful free software projects have funding.

I am strong proponent of using tax money to build free software. I think having a strong base of free software is important to the rest of society just like fundamental science research is. We need to fund it. With billions of dollars.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:04 AM
All of the companies you mentioned make most (or all) of their money on proprietary software. SaaS is how software gets delivered. But the software is still proprietary.

Salesforce - proprietary
Twitter - proprietary
Facebook - proprietary
Google - proprietary (or at least 99.9% of what makes them money).

Yeah I didn't mean it in a FSF sense.

None of those companies make money selling shrink wrapped software, they make money though SaaS (Software as a Service), via ads or subscriptions.

Microsoft's business model is much different. But I really doubt you'll see any future successes using the Microsoft business model. The Microsoft business model is dead (IMO). Don't copy Microsoft if you are an entrepreneur. :)

The software business of the future is marked by heavy reliance on free software. Free software in the new entrepreneur's dream and savior.

You'll find all four I listed use it heavily. Free software operating systems and libraries are usually used to build SaaS products. This makes the whole thing possible, and saves them money.

Viva
August 2nd, 2009, 02:18 AM
All of the companies you mentioned make most (or all) of their money on proprietary software. SaaS is how software gets delivered. But the software is still proprietary.

Salesforce - proprietary
Twitter - proprietary
Facebook - proprietary
Google - proprietary (or at least 99.9% of what makes them money).

We're talking about software that is being distributed, aren't we?


Free software is just like enlightenment science. Proprietary software resembles medieval guilds or alchemy.

Science depends heavily on government grants to achieve the level of disclosure we have academia for the past few hundred years. So free software needs the same exact kind of funding.

The #1 issue with free software is lack of money. You can not expect people to write software all day for free. Some people do it for a hobby but it's hard to keep a full time job and write good software. You'll see the most successful free software projects have funding.

I am strong proponent of using tax money to build free software. I think having a strong base of free software is important to the rest of society just like fundamental science research is. We need to fund it. With billions of dollars.

It is a common misconception that all free software programmers work for free. Even the Free Software Foundation paid/pays programmers to write their code.

I'm not too fond of the tax money idea tbh. One of the reasons the open source guys forked from the free software movement is to appeal more to the suits. The software industry should sustain itself. Put it this way.

*Companies like google need software that runs on thousands of machines
*They don't want to buy this software from companies like microsoft because it is not cost effective and they can't modify the software because the source code is not available.
*They don't want to create their own because it takes a long time
*They use the code from open source projects and modify it to their needs
*Since this process is very effective, they fund open source projects, contribute patches and pay developers to write free/open source software.

Mateo
August 2nd, 2009, 02:23 AM
Yeah I didn't mean it in a FSF sense.

None of those companies make money selling shrink wrapped software, they make money though SaaS (Software as a Service), via ads or subscriptions.

Microsoft's business model is much different. But I really doubt you'll see any future successes using the Microsoft business model. The Microsoft business model is dead (IMO). Don't copy Microsoft if you are an entrepreneur. :)

The software business of the future is marked by heavy reliance on free software. Free software in the new entrepreneur's dream and savior.

You'll find all four I listed use it heavily. Free software operating systems and libraries are usually used to build SaaS products. This makes the whole thing possible, and saves them money.

It's not dead. Many companies still make money this way. Microsoft only makes part of their money that way, they also make money in SaaS and in hardware. Adobe is one company that still makes a lot of money mostly in software.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:27 AM
It is a common misconception that all free software programmers work for free. Even the Free Software Foundation paid/pays programmers to write their code.

I'm not too fond of the tax money idea tbh. One of the reasons the open source guys forked from the free software movement is to appeal more to the suits. The software industry should sustain itself. Put it this way.

*Companies like google need software that runs on thousands of machines
*They don't want to buy this software from companies like microsoft because it is not cost effective
*They don't want to create their own because it takes a long time
*They use the code from open source projects and modify it to their needs
*Since this process is very effective, they fund open source projects, contribute patches and pay developers to write free/open source software.

I don't think it's fast enough.

It doesn't have to be much money. Hell, with the amount of money the US federal government spends on proprietary software, they could have probably recreated everything they purchased.

The fact is, much science/academic research is funded by government, I don't see why we can't do the same for software. In fact we already are funding some FOSS (BSD was funded by DARPA), I just think it should be increase.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:29 AM
It's not dead. Many companies still make money this way. Microsoft only makes part of their money that way, they also make money in SaaS and in hardware. Adobe is one company that still makes a lot of money mostly in software.

Adobe and Microsoft are companies from the 80s and 70s. If you notice I was talking about that. I don't see any modern examples.

Is there some modern examples of huge software company selling shrink wrapped software? Or were all these companies started when shrink wrap was viable?

Mateo
August 2nd, 2009, 02:33 AM
It's not the trendy thing and not where the money is heading.. but it's still a profitable business. There aren't a lot of upstart grocery stores either, but you can still make money selling food ;) Software as a product was a major business for many decades. I don't think it makes it "bad" that this has subsided. It's normal for industries to come and go.

Dad1985
August 2nd, 2009, 02:33 AM
Free software is just like enlightenment science. Proprietary software resembles medieval guilds or alchemy.

Science depends heavily on government grants to achieve the level of disclosure we have academia for the past few hundred years. So free software needs the same exact kind of funding.

The #1 issue with free software is lack of money. You can not expect people to write software all day for free. Some people do it for a hobby but it's hard to keep a full time job and write good software. You'll see the most successful free software projects have funding.

I am strong proponent of using tax money to build free software. I think having a strong base of free software is important to the rest of society just like fundamental science research is. We need to fund it. With billions of dollars.

Then what ya get is govt controlled science. Like we have now. Nowhere in the constitution nor any states constitution is their a mention of free software or science funding. I say scrap it all.



A lot of people here are negating the downfalls of open source software and forgetting to mention the superior benefits of proprietary software.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:37 AM
It's not the trendy thing and not where the money is heading.. but it's still a profitable business. There aren't a lot of upstart grocery stores either, but you can still make money selling food ;) Software as a product was a major business for many decades. I don't think it makes it "bad" that this has subsided. It's normal for industries to come and go.

"You"? Who is this "you"? I am not Adobe or Microsoft, so no I can not make money selling shrink-wrap!

Good for "them" that they are still in business, but if "you" want to be the owner of the NEXT Adobe or Microsoft, I would advise you avoid shrink-wrap. It's dead, Jim.

swoll1980
August 2nd, 2009, 02:39 AM
I would argue that the right to self determination, the right to vote and the right to free speech are slightly more important than the right to redistribute software without restriction.

It really depends on who you are. While I agree with you, there are many people with strange priorities. For example, the animal's rights organizations. These people spend millions, and millions of dollars rescuing animals, while children live in their own excrement.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:40 AM
Then what ya get is govt controlled science. Like me have now. Nowhere in the constitution nor any states constitution is their a mention of free software or science funding. I say scrap it all.



A lot of people here are negating the downfalls of open source software and forgetting to mention the superior benefits of proprietary software.

Why?

If it wasn't for this government funding you wouldn't be replying to me on the Internet. You can thank DARPA for that.

Why even stop there? Without government funding might have died from Malaria 10 years ago.

People like to take this for granted. But without a healthy, collaborative scientific community we'd all be living in the medieval ages still, burning witches for causing smallpox.

jrusso2
August 2nd, 2009, 02:40 AM
I was very surprised when my friends 12 year old daughter brought back homework on open source. It talked mostly about apps like firefox and open office but I didn't think they taught that in grade schools.

quazi
August 2nd, 2009, 02:45 AM
-1 ANALOGY FAIL.


Sharing ideas (which is basically what code is) is not the same as sharing physical property.

So you're saying Democracy is a mandate to share intellectual property? Democracy is about choice, and some developers (ie. Microsoft) CHOOSE not to share their I.P." Just because purported Communist governments such as the USSR were notoriously closed does not mean that idealized Communism does not support the sharing of intellectual property to a much greater degree than a capitalist Democracy.

While free software is great, it's somewhat unreasonable to suggest that in a Democratic society all intellectual property should be free.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 02:51 AM
So you're saying Democracy is a mandate to share intellectual property? Democracy is about choice, and some developers (ie. Microsoft) CHOOSE not to share their I.P."

While free software is great, it's somewhat unreasonable to suggest that in a Democratic society all intellectual property should be free.

We live in a world where there exists technology to enable every single human on this planet can have access to sum of human knowledge. You, quazi, can "own" all the imaginary property in the world today. And so can everyone else in the world. What exactly is the point of restricting the utilization of amazing technology? Why restrict access to knowledge, when we as humans can have access to all of it?

Katalog
August 2nd, 2009, 02:56 AM
Then what ya get is govt controlled science. Like me have now. Nowhere in the constitution nor any states constitution is their a mention of free software or science funding. I say scrap it all.

The first part I can agree with, to a point. However, cutting off funding for research would be extremely detrimental IMO. I can't cite any specific examples, but I'm sure there are some technologies we all take for granted t=right now that wouldn't exist if the projects hadn't had a little help from the government.

On the other hand, as far as phrostbyte's point goes, he is correct that the most successful FOSS projects out there are the ones that have the best/most funding (Ubuntu/Canonical being an excellent example). However, I don't think there should be gratis money put aside just for FOSS. They should have to apply for grants for funding just like any other scientific projects and either granted or not granted funding based on the merits and potential benefit of the project itself. Besides, there are many other sources of funding for FOSS projects out there already, i.e. Google's Summer of Code. I'm just afraid of federal money blanketing too many things already and we need to choose very carefully where that funding is directed before we end up headed down a slippery slope that leads to who knows where. We're facing tough economic times as it is and now more than ever we need to be very choosy about where our tax dollars go.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 03:04 AM
The first part I can agree with, to a point. However, cutting off funding for research would be extremely detrimental IMO. I can't cite any specific examples, but I'm sure there are some technologies we all take for granted t=right now that wouldn't exist if the projects hadn't had a little help from the government.

On the other hand, as far as phrostbyte's point goes, he is correct that the most successful FOSS projects out there are the ones that have the best/most funding (Ubuntu/Canonical being an excellent example). However, I don't think there should be gratis money put aside just for FOSS. They should have to apply for grants for funding just like any other scientific projects and either granted or not granted funding based on the merits and potential benefit of the project itself. Besides, there are many other sources of funding for FOSS projects out there already, i.e. Google's Summer of Code. I'm just afraid of federal money blanketing too many things already and we need to choose very carefully where that funding is directed before we end up headed down a slippery slope that leads to who knows where. We're facing tough economic times as it is and now more than ever we need to be very choosy about where our tax dollars go.

Google Summer of Code is a great example, A LOT of cool stuff came out of that little thing, and students love it. It's something like $10 million per year. What about if it were funded with $10 BILLION per year?

I am not worried about spending. You are thinking of money from the perspective of yourself.

Money is a fabrication. Especially to the government, they fabricate it! It's another form of imaginary property, which the Fed does a decent job of making look realistic, it's really paper or digital bits in some banks computer system.

The real "currency" is value, is product, is services, is labor. Money going to value is NEVER wasted money.

I think we can create A LOT of value by funding free software. Funding welfare and unemployment checks people sitting at home watching TV or playing WoW, these are the true drains on the economy they create no value. Funding science and funding free software, these create value. This will help the economy regardless of what is spent on it.

irv
August 2nd, 2009, 03:06 AM
It doesn't answer my question. The premise of your thread was that you wanted to give proprietary software users something to think about. This is that they will be less knowledgeable in the future, and therefore at a disadvantage, for using proprietary software.

This followup doesn't answer my question. Are you suggesting that in the future the use of linux command-line will be the norm, and that it will in fact be a marketable skill? I'm just not following the logic here.

No I am not suggesting that using the command-line will be the norm for future user of Linux. I am suggesting that learning about the underline operation of a OS helps one understand what is going on deeper down and you don't learn that by just clicking on buttons in a GUI. The knowledge that one gains from using Linux will benefit in learning computer skills far more that just using a GUI. I found I can do a lot in a GUI, but if I want to get serious I will use the command line and in doing so I learn much more. And these are the skills we should be teaching our kids in school.

Mateo
August 2nd, 2009, 03:21 AM
"You"? Who is this "you"? I am not Adobe or Microsoft, so no I can not make money selling shrink-wrap!

Good for "them" that they are still in business, but if "you" want to be the owner of the NEXT Adobe or Microsoft, I would advise you avoid shrink-wrap. It's dead, Jim.

i was referring to the 2nd noun usage of "you". Are you not a native speaker?

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 03:34 AM
i was referring to the 2nd noun usage of "you". Are you not a native speaker?

You can learn from older business models but do not learn too much. They are there in the museum, their engines are rusty. The modern airplanes are on the runway.

Whatever your definition of "you" is: the fact that Microsoft or Adobe is making money, is little real interest to me, I don't own either company.

How do I become Adobe or Microsoft? This is more interesting idea. Can you become as big as Microsoft by emulating Microsoft? No I do not agree with this.

What thing everyone should care, or at least anyone who wants to start a business should care, is what the trend is now. The trend is away from shrink-wrap, away from full on proprietary, and into SaaS, into open source. This is the way to go today.

Perhaps in the future I will get to define the trends on my own terms, but not without seeing the present trends can one predict the future and guide that future in directions of your requirements. The gentlemen who started this thread can see this. We can make our own future.

stwschool
August 2nd, 2009, 03:54 AM
Well I'm educating the kids at my school by letting them use linux, and windows, and MS Office and OpenOffice, and letting them make their own minds up. Lots have asked for Linux CDs.

MasterNetra
August 2nd, 2009, 04:04 AM
Do tell, with open source how do you expect developers to make money other then support? I mean after all if you open source a game, couldn't some else make a free version of that game and kill the developers profit? I think in societies that use currency, open source may not be the optimal idea...for at least gaming and other such software, where selling support doesn't make sense.

Dad1985
August 2nd, 2009, 04:04 AM
Why?

If it wasn't for this government funding you wouldn't be replying to me on the Internet. You can thank DARPA for that.

Why even stop there? Without government funding might have died from Malaria 10 years ago.

People like to take this for granted. But without a healthy, collaborative scientific community we'd all be living in the medieval ages still, burning witches for causing smallpox.



Id be content without all of that. I also think its foolish to assume we would be living in the middle ages if it were not for govt. It is also just as foolish to assume certain technologies would not have been created if it were not for its original creator. Should we also assume the mouse and GUI would have never been created if it were not for Xerox.

Its all subjective opinion. I am of the position that the govt restricts.




Also the notion that the govt should fund open source software seems counterproductive, as the software not free anymore. Now instead of it being free and open, the majority is taxed and we again pay for software. Not just the people who use it, but everybody. While the software may very well be better due to this funding, I see no difference between govt funded free software and proprietary software we pay for. Seeing how the vast majority of proprietary software needs to be paid for and is as a result simply better software.

phrostbyte
August 2nd, 2009, 04:06 AM
Id be content without all of that. I also think its foolish to assume we would be living in the middle ages if it were not for govt. It is also just as foolish to assume certain technologies would not have been created if it were not for its original creator. Should we also assume the mouse and GUI would have never been created if it were not for Xerox.

Its all subjective opinion. I am of the position that the govt restricts.

Okay, well I would consider your opinion somewhat extreme and probably not worth trying to change. :)

JDShu
August 2nd, 2009, 04:12 AM
Do tell, with open source how do you expect developers to make money other then support? I mean after all if you open source a game, couldn't some else make a free version of that game and kill the developers profit? I think in societies that use currency, open source may not be the optimal idea...for at least gaming and other such software, where selling support doesn't make sense.

You would have the copyright to your graphics, your story, your music, and everything else that makes the game a game besides the engine. Main developers get paid by the company to improve the code in the game and the company can sell the game to consumers because they retain copyright of their material.

frup
August 2nd, 2009, 05:01 AM
As FOSS becomes more pervasive the way we look at software will change. Things will happen that can't happen with proprietary software.

If FOSS was the norm, an app doesn't need a name, it doesn't need to be separate from everything else. It just needs to be a process that does its task successfully.

As far as paying developers etc. The way the big companies like IBM, Intel, Oracle utilise FOSS is exactly how that FOSS can survive is proven.

Oracle is a database company. Their customers want Linux, Oracle too like Linux (The reasons are up to each different requirement they may have). Because Linux is FOSS they can pay their employees to edit it to make their databases work better, to provide the customers they support with a better experience. This has lead to them funding Btrfs. They have their own linux distro too. They bought Sun. FOSS is working for them.

IBM is similar.

Intel has the other side of the FOSS environment. The hardware. They want their hardware to be the hardware of choice. They want their hardware to run as well as possible. They support FOSS to ensure that they are themselves well supported. This has also lead to them taking more interest in the software side of things through the production of projects like moblin.

Intels focus on FOSS performance may be a reason why they are used in over 80% of the top 500 super computers (Linux too dominates here). That kind of performance creates prestige and reputation that filters down the line to their other products.

Proprietary software is an entity (as in Something that exists as a particular and discrete unit or The existence of something considered apart from its properties) One piece of proprietary software is not compatible with another, not long term. FOSS is an ecosystem all it's properties are able to be linked to each other, they enhance each other.

FOSS allows competitors to cooperate on their common ground and focus on competing where it really matters. Less time spent reinventing the wheel means more time improving the wagon.

We also no that open source, long term is a better development model. Many eyes etc....

So maybe proprietary makes money,

FOSS creates value.

JordyD
August 2nd, 2009, 05:01 AM
And then there are people like me, who use both open source and proprietary software - depending on which works best for me. Also, I tend to release my stuff under the LGPL rather than the GPL, because I don't want to limit the freedom of my users - even if that means redistributing my work under another license.

Why not MIT or BSD?

lykwydchykyn
August 2nd, 2009, 05:15 AM
I should probably not get into another Free software debate, but I can't help myself. But rather than argue all-or-nothing I just want to add some perspectives.

First, regarding the "how will developers make a living/developers have to eat to" argument. Someone has already probably mentioned RedHat, Novell, Sun, and numerous other companies whose strategies center on FOSS and continue to rake in millions every quarter.

But apart from that, you have to understand that the MAJORITY of people employed in software development are not creating shrink-wrapped for-sale software that you see in stores. Many developers work for large companies/governments/academic institutions developing applications and systems for internal use. Many of them create vertical market solutions which typically require a lot of support and customization for each customer. In other words, most developers make money by providing SERVICE rather than PRODUCT.

Very few companies make money selling software. Nearly every company of any size makes money by (in part) using software. The idea behind a great number of FOSS projects is for companies who use (not sell) the software to get together and create software they can all use to further their businesses. Not only is it often more economical than purchasing software licenses, but they have direct control over development of the software -- if they need a feature, they just write it. If there's a security flaw, they close it. If there's a bug, they fix it. No waiting for a third party to act.

Second, if making comparisons of "software freedom" to democracy/human rights/etc seems over the top to you, then let me ask what comes to your mind when you think of "software"? Maybe games, maybe your OS, maybe your browser or productivity software? Ok, it seems trivial in these instances, hardly worth discussing (and many people pan these sorts of debates on those grounds -- "It's just software, after all!").

But let's shift gears a minute. How about the software that calculates your property taxes, or your mortgage payment? How about the software that stores and processes your benefits or payroll information? The software that holds your medical records? What about the software that tells the person at the airline counter whether you might be a terrorist or not? Or the software that will determine the outcome of the next election?

Are you able to audit, or hire an independent 3rd party to audit, any of the source code for these programs? Do you have the freedom to make sure it is producing accurate results and storing information securely?

I am not saying there is a black-and-white answer here, or that all code should be forced to open, so please don't try to put such words in my mouth and argue that strawman. I'm simply saying, before you dismiss software freedom as some hippy geek freeloader issue with no bearing on the lives of "normal people", broaden your perspective a bit and consider how much of your life is impacted by software whose inner workings you are not privy to.

23meg
August 2nd, 2009, 05:24 AM
Second, if making comparisons of "software freedom" to democracy/human rights/etc seems over the top to you, then let me ask what comes to your mind when you think of "software"? Maybe games, maybe your OS, maybe your browser or productivity software? Ok, it seems trivial in these instances, hardly worth discussing (and many people pan these sorts of debates on those grounds -- "It's just software, after all!").

But let's shift gears a minute. How about the software that calculates your property taxes, or your mortgage payment? How about the software that stores and processes your benefits or payroll information? The software that holds your medical records? What about the software that tells the person at the airline counter whether you might be a terrorist or not? Or the software that will determine the outcome of the next election?

Are you able to audit, or hire an independent 3rd party to audit, any of the source code for these programs? Do you have the freedom to make sure it is producing accurate results and storing information securely?

I am not saying there is a black-and-white answer here, or that all code should be forced to open, so please don't try to put such words in my mouth and argue that strawman. I'm simply saying, before you dismiss software freedom as some hippy geek freeloader issue with no bearing on the lives of "normal people", broaden your perspective a bit and consider how much of your life is impacted by software whose inner workings you are not privy to.

I'll second that sentiment, and take the opportunity to float my favorite quote from Mako (http://mako.cc):



Geeks support groups like the FSF and EFF because, as people who understand technology, they understand just how powerful technology is. Geeks know that control of our communication technologies is control over what we can say, who we can say it to, and how and when we can say it. In an increasingly technologically mediated age, control over technology is not only the power to control our actions; it is the power to limit our possible actions. Our freedom to our technology is our freedom, full stop.

This message fails to resonate with non-geeks but it does not fail because non-geeks are happy to hand over their freedom. It fails to resonate simply because the vast majority of people do not understand that technology, and control over it, is powerful enough to impact their freedom. Most people fail to see the power because, quite simply, most people fail to see technology. While we all see the effects of technologies, the technologies themselves are frequently hidden. We see emails but not mail transport agents. We see text messages but not the mobile phone network. Before one can argue that such systems must be free, one must reveal their existence. Technologists are keenly aware of the existence of these systems. To everyone else, they are completely invisible.

papangul
August 2nd, 2009, 05:24 AM
But putting Free as in FSF next to Free as in Freedom and Democracy is insulting to the latter. Your software means nothing next to your rights as a citizen.
Actually it is insulting to the former. It appears to you so because you don't know that there can be a freedom which is higher than democratic freedom.

Democracy is the middle ground between anarchy and dictatorship. Anarchy is associated with highest levels of freedom and dictatorship with the lowest, democracy is in the middle of the spectrum.

There's a lot of retarded\unruly elements out there in the masses, and in whichever society this group is more active, the only way that society can be managed is by having a dictatorship.

Democratic principles are followed in societies with predominantly mediocre people.

The future belongs to anarchy and meritocracy. You don't need governments and police forces/military to manage people in a society in which anarchy reigns. Even if there is some kind of administration, it is going to be only minimal and run on strictly meritocratic principles.

The open source ecosystem is a glimpse of the future, as to what is coming. It is all about moving towards a freer world.

frup
August 2nd, 2009, 05:38 AM
The future belongs to anarchy and meritocracy. You don't need governments and police forces/military to manage people in a society in which anarchy reigns. Even if there is some kind of administration, it is going to be only minimal and run on strictly meritocratic principles.


Society will always need Police. There will always be those who abuse others. There are things like alcoholism and drug addiction that ruin the souls and minds of people. Their addictions remove their self control and free will.

A software project will always need a project manager (or groups of them).

The FSF needs the SFLC to make sure that the GPL etc. are adhered to.

Society needs some form of standards in place and people to manage those. Maybe one day all humanity can overcome the need for this but it is highly unlikely.

There are some people who do not have the motivation to work or behave independently. They require a boss, mentor or police officer to keep them in check.

For most of us that is a sad fact, but it is necessary.

Once technology makes human effort redundant, we as society can be free to pursue greater purposes but that too requires no patents and open source. Otherwise we are left at the stranglehold of cartels and dictatorships of those who claim imaginary property.

The only places where anarchy essentially exists are 3rd world countries, destroyed by war, in no circumstances are those happy places nor are the people Free. Anarchy where we are Free, is a long way off.

irv
August 2nd, 2009, 01:58 PM
Well I'm educating the kids at my school by letting them use linux, and windows, and MS Office and OpenOffice, and letting them make their own minds up. Lots have asked for Linux CDs.

Love your post. This is what I am talking about.

A year ago I made a trip to Africa and setup a bunch of computer for a school that was run by people who really care for the kids. The government run schools are so corrupt they bribe the parents or there kids will not pass, so these private run schools are poping up all over. There are so many kids flocking to them they have to be turned away.

All the computer I setup had Ubuntu Linux installed on them running open source software. If I would have had to load proprietary software this project would not have happen. By the way every computer I shipped over was given to me free from companies that just upgraded to bigger and better. It was to their benefit to just give them away then to pay someone to get rid of them. This is what Ubuntu is all about. Humanity for others.

Like you, I would of love to put Windows, and MS Office on them also but I just didn't have the money to do so.

I have nothing against proprietary software, but it might just fade by the wayside as Open Source grows-up.

wirepuller134
August 2nd, 2009, 02:36 PM
We use both, our work stations are all Ubuntu now, our field laptops are running either Windows 2k and Debian, or Windows XP and Debian. We have to use Windows on our field laptops for insurance reasons and to keep a UL rating on our panels. Rockwell software and Seimens cannot support their products if the program is compiled onto their processor outside of a Windows environment. The liability issues are huge on our part and thiers. We build systems that automate food processing plants, operate ammonia refrigeration, and have recently deployed several CCC systems at the request of customers. In the last year we have standardised to Redlion touch screens and their software is open source, but still ported to Windows. We have also been talking with Seimens to make a Linux port to their software, and have made the commitment to them that if they actually finish it we will standardise our panels to their products, this will still be a few years in the making though.
Changing from a Purely Windows based business to a mixed environment was the difference between stagnation and growing, and we are growing.

Grishka
August 2nd, 2009, 03:15 PM
Society will always need Police. There will always be those who abuse others. There are things like alcoholism and drug addiction that ruin the souls and minds of people. Their addictions remove their self control and free will.

A software project will always need a project manager (or groups of them).

The FSF needs the SFLC to make sure that the GPL etc. are adhered to.

Society needs some form of standards in place and people to manage those. Maybe one day all humanity can overcome the need for this but it is highly unlikely.

There are some people who do not have the motivation to work or behave independently. They require a boss, mentor or police officer to keep them in check.

For most of us that is a sad fact, but it is necessary.

Once technology makes human effort redundant, we as society can be free to pursue greater purposes but that too requires no patents and open source. Otherwise we are left at the stranglehold of cartels and dictatorships of those who claim imaginary property.

The only places where anarchy essentially exists are 3rd world countries, destroyed by war, in no circumstances are those happy places nor are the people Free. Anarchy where we are Free, is a long way off.

you're mostly right, though the police is not meant to serve the society. it's meant to hold the society under control, to enforce the rules. not to propagate freedom, but to take it away. sometimes this is for the good of the society, this I have to admit. also, alcohol and drugs are not the reason of people's weakness. you don't blame a knife for a murder. people themselves are to blame. and, I dare say, without alcohol and drugs, we wouldn't have any true artists. ;)
a 'good' anarchy, at this point, is a mere utopia. but a true democracy is an utopia as well. this is also not necessarily bad, really, it's naive to believe that everyone should be able to decide about everything, at this point. this 'might' change for the better, but it'll only come with education and 'enlightenment' of the masses. :) as is, 'democracy' is a slogan, an empty term, that only serves to support the illusion of freedom, for the benefit of those in power. it's easier to control people who are not aware of their bonds. to have them fight their leaders' wars without doubt, and 'for the common ideal'.
now, FLOSS is a step forward, in this regard, but FLOSS is not a democracy as well. it's partially a democracy, a technocracy, and an anarchy as well. GPL etc. are necessary to protect the rights of a developer, but it's not a perfect solution. it's only necessary, because people don't behave ethically, and would often attribute others' achievements to themselves, if given the choice. I hope for the world where such measures are no longer necessary, though it's unlikely any of us will live to see it with our own eyes, if it's ever realised.

praveesh
August 2nd, 2009, 05:49 PM
As far as the users and hardware companies(those who don't make revenue out of selling softwares and those who want it to be improved at low cost), free software is the best model. But as far as the software companies are concerned, proprietory softwares are the best for making maximum profit. Free software becoming popular means the end of the now existing software companies(minus redhat, canonical etc.) . Since there are a number of huge software companies with tons of money, they will do their best to prevent free software getting popular. That may be one of the reasons why adobe is not porting photoshop to linux. More over an ordinary person considers a computer as an instrument . He/she may not be interested in the ability to modify the code. However , in every moral sense, proprietary software is the evil.

In my place, the students are studying linux and free softwares in their high school classes. It's a modified version of debian with apps like openoffice, gimp etc. But I have heard some students(including my brother) saying that xp is awesome(they only bother about the look and feel). (they should have used Ubuntu instead of debian).

irv
August 2nd, 2009, 07:32 PM
Some good stuff in this thread.

I remember many years ago someone saying that if you make a bag sealing machine and give it away, and then sell the bags to work with it, you will become rich. The saying can be said about software. Design and code good software (and I am talking about industrial strength), give it away, and sell support for a renewable price and you will become rich. Just a thought.

irv
August 2nd, 2009, 08:36 PM
The philosophies in some of the posts in this thread is boarding on Political or even Religious Beliefs. Wow some deep stuff in here.

I almost see a belief in a utopia where we all live in harmony and unity. Where everyone just loves his neighbor more than him/herself. This is great and I wish it could happen, but don't look for this until the next age. But until it happens we can do our part in looking out for the next guy and not get greedy and screw our neighbor before they screw us.

I want to think more highly of my fellow man, but I have to live in reality and Know the heart of man which is say to be evil and not to be trusted. We all have to make a living and support our families, but let us not make so much money that we will leave to our family to fight over when we die. Look at the Michal Jackson thing and you will see what I mean.

I am turning 71 this month, and believe me my kids have nothing to fight over when I am gone, in fact they might even have to dig in there own pockets to bury me. Or maybe they won't.

The point being I love FOSS and the GLP and it is something that show me that man can help his fellow man by leaving him something that no one can fight over when they are gone. Point said!

praveesh
August 3rd, 2009, 04:40 PM
Some good stuff in this thread.

I remember many years ago someone saying that if you make a bag sealing machine and give it away, and then sell the bags to work with it, you will become rich. The saying can be said about software. Design and code good software (and I am talking about industrial strength), give it away, and sell support for a renewable price and you will become rich. Just a thought.

I wonder what the now existing software companies and their employees do. Won't a lot of people lose their jobs. And one doubt: which can bring more money ? Softwares or services. I believe that people do business only for getting more money and not because of their interest in technology. I really love the freedom Iam getting out of the free softwares but I don't think a proprietory software as an evil as many free software extremists do.

benj1
August 3rd, 2009, 05:43 PM
I wonder what the now existing software companies and their employees do. Won't a lot of people lose their jobs. And one doubt: which can bring more money ? Softwares or services. I believe that people do business only for getting more money and not because of their interest in technology.

its been mentioned in this thread before, alot of developers aren't employed to write of the shelf programs, theyre employed by large companies to maintain code, write software internally for the company etc etc,
i still dont think its a legitimate argument to say FOSS cant work because people wont be able to earn money.
first they already are.
second it isnt as if the software industry is going to turn around 5 years after they decided to all go open source and realise 'oops', we cant make any money from this, if it doesnt work there will still be prorietary companies around to pick up the pieces, it isnt as if we have anything to lose. example: airlines were until recently were trying to introduce business class only transatlantic flights, those efforts have failed, the business model didnt work, nothing was lost, non of the big airlines failed because of it, fair enough they lost some money, a few startups failed but the industry is no worse because of it.
finally if we took that view we would still be using horse drawn carts (cant make the horse breeders and wheel wrights redundant), the uk would still have its (loss making) coal mining and textile industries, etc, etc, etc. progress unfortunately is painful


I really love the freedom Iam getting out of the free softwares but I don't think a proprietory software as an evil as many free software extremists do.
proprietary software isnt inherently evil, nothing proprietary is. its a question of motivation, as you mentioned previously a companies motivation is to make money, unfortunately that isnt always aligned with what a consumer wants.

Dr. C
August 3rd, 2009, 05:48 PM
Some good stuff in this thread.

I remember many years ago someone saying that if you make a bag sealing machine and give it away, and then sell the bags to work with it, you will become rich. The saying can be said about software. Design and code good software (and I am talking about industrial strength), give it away, and sell support for a renewable price and you will become rich. Just a thought.

With FLOSS the is situation is more like, licensing the bag sealing machine design at zero cost, making a copies of the machine at zero cost, and then making some minor improvements to the machines. The only thing you have to pay for is the minor improvements, while your propriety competitor has to pay for the design, or develop it from scratch, pay for every copy, and of course pay for all the improvements. The difference in cost can be a factor of 10,000 or more. Both can then try to become rich by selling the bags, but the propriety competitor also has license the machine at a steep price in order to recover some of the production costs.

It gets even worse for the propriety competitor since the improvements are now available to all manufactures of bag sealing machines also at zero cost, thanks to RMS and his copyleft licensing. The FLOSS licensees can then repeat the cycle again. Pay only for the additional improvements and get rich on the bags.

This is why FLOSS will slowly but surely kill propriety software licensing since propriety software will not be able to compete with the ever growing collection of copyleft FLOSS available for licensing and improvement in the marketplace at no charge.

benj1
August 3rd, 2009, 06:00 PM
With FLOSS the is situation is more like, licensing the bag sealing machine design at zero cost, making a copies of the machine at zero cost, and then making some minor improvements to the machines. The only thing you have to pay for is the minor improvements, while your propriety competitor has to pay for the design, or develop it from scratch, pay for every copy, and of course pay for all the improvements. The difference in cost can be a factor of 10,000 or more. Both can then try to become rich by selling the bags, but the propriety competitor also has license the machine at a steep price in order to recover some of the production costs.

It gets even worse for the propriety competitor since the improvements are now available to all manufactures of bag sealing machines also at zero cost, thanks to RMS and his copyleft licensing. The FLOSS licensees can then repeat the cycle again. Pay only for the additional improvements and get rich on the bags.

This is why FLOSS will slowly but surely kill propriety software licensing since propriety software will not be able to compete with the ever growing collection of copyleft FLOSS available for licensing and improvement in the marketplace at no charge.

i think he was more making the point that you make your money from the addons, rather than the core product (a la SAAS), it does happen, gillette doesn't make money selling razors (theyre sold close to cost) the money is in the blades.

Dr. C
August 3rd, 2009, 06:11 PM
The comparison here is selling software support rather than the software itself. You can do this with both FLOSS and propriety software but the relative cost by a factor of 10,000 of the production of propriety software relative to FLOSS is critical to the success of FLOSS.