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Thread: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

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    Exclamation University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    While I was in class, a professor tried to hammer Ubuntu and Open Source with comments that I have added below. Anyone want to help me with some ammo to put a foot in his proprietary mouth?

    The disadvantages of open source are:

    • Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.
    • Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.
    • Poor vertical integration - Open source products tend to be written by people who buy into the "software tools" idea of UNIX whereby one puts together an ultimate application by stringing together smaller applications like pearls on a string.
    • Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.
    • Difficult to use - Open source packages tend to be written by engineers for other engineers and for many of them it is accepted that ordinary function will involve creation of configuration files, writing scripts, or actually editing the source code and recompiling.
    • Higher cost of installation - Commercial vendors are forced by intense competition to configure their products for easy installation. Open source tends to have much higher installation costs because a much greater degree of expertise usually is required for installation.
    • Higher cost of operation - Open source products tend to require a much higher degree of technical expertise to operate and maintain, so they end up costing more.
    • Higher cost of technical support - Open source costs more to support because the software is typically self-supporting.
    • Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.
    • Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.
    • Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.
    • Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.
    • Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.
    • No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.
    • Fraudulent status as 'open' source - If one actually looks at where some of the 'free' open source was developed, one finds that it is not really open source but is the result of an enormous investment of funds, quite often by a poorly-managed public agency. The GIS example would be GRASS, which was developed at immense cost by the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Reference:
    Open-source business, (March 2006), retrieved April 20, 2008 from http://www.economist.com/business/di...ory_id=5624944

    Rotow, Dimitri. Disadvantages of open source: A letter to the editor, retrieved April 20, 2008 from http://www.gismonitor.com/articles/c...903_Dmitri.php

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    although, i disagree with most of what was said, i'd be more concerned about being taught by a professor that's so obviously biased, and more importantly, clueless.

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    Ask him to cite his sources. Also ask him to give specific examples for each case. If he is a professional he will be glad to provide the information.

    Edit: Be careful not to make any claims whatsoever yourself. You can do this by debating his claims without making any yourself so that he will have a hard time rebutting you.
    Last edited by blastus; April 25th, 2008 at 02:11 PM.

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    Commercial software's EULAs also always say there is no warranty.

    Also, tell him that in the last one he's got the definition of "free" wrong. It means "free" as in "you can mess with it and share it" not as in price.

    LinuxChix | Linux User #432169 | Ubuntu User #8495 | IRC: maco @ irc.linuxchix.org or irc.freenode.net

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Almumin View Post
    • Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.
      Come again? Is he stuck in 1996? There are plenty of options for most areas.
    • Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.
      Because the closed source world make it insanely difficult to integrate with their software.
    • Poor vertical integration - Open source products tend to be written by people who buy into the "software tools" idea of UNIX whereby one puts together an ultimate application by stringing together smaller applications like pearls on a string.
      Maybe so. I don't have an opinion on that.
    • Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.
      This I can agree with. But at least most applications have a consistent look. While Microsoft Office 2007 looks really good, it doesn't match anything else on my desktop.
    • Difficult to use - Open source packages tend to be written by engineers for other engineers and for many of them it is accepted that ordinary function will involve creation of configuration files, writing scripts, or actually editing the source code and recompiling.
      I really don't think it's any harder. Sure, compiling monodevelop from source and trying to fill all dependencies might be hard as hell, but for most users this is definitely not a problem.
    • Higher cost of installation - Commercial vendors are forced by intense competition to configure their products for easy installation. Open source tends to have much higher installation costs because a much greater degree of expertise usually is required for installation.
      Installation of major distributions like Ubuntu is super simple. Once the vendors know how to do it, the installation costs should be even lower - since it's faster than installing Windows, and there are multiple ways of installing it.
    • Higher cost of operation - Open source products tend to require a much higher degree of technical expertise to operate and maintain, so they end up costing more.
      Maybe. I have no idea.
    • Higher cost of technical support - Open source costs more to support because the software is typically self-supporting.
      Well at least open source let's you purchase support when you need it, instead of having everyone pay for support when they buy the operating system.
    • Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.
      Hmm, really? Compare Firefox to IE and look who has the least features.
    • Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.
      So that must be why it took Microsoft several years before they discovered that you can have tabs in a browser. It would also explain why even IE8 doesn't conform to web standards - something that web developers would kill for.
    • Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.
      Once again, just take a look at the Mozilla team.
    • Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.
      That was a very wierd statement... What kind of assurance do you have if you buy a close source application? There you can't even access the code.
    • Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.
      You also have thousands of people that can inspect and find potential security holes and fix them. How long did it take before Vista SP1 was out?
    • No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.
      I'm not sure I even understand the statement.
    • Fraudulent status as 'open' source - If one actually looks at where some of the 'free' open source was developed, one finds that it is not really open source but is the result of an enormous investment of funds, quite often by a poorly-managed public agency. The GIS example would be GRASS, which was developed at immense cost by the Army Corps of Engineers.
      Your point?
    .

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.
    The choice of media players for Linux, for example, is breath taking.

    Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.
    I guess the fact the OpenOffice can save and open files in MS Office formats means nothing.

    Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.
    This is opinion.

    Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.
    Firefox > IE

    Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.
    What!? This is completely the opposite. Example: You want a feature added to Ubuntu, you file a bug report on Launchpad as a Wishlist item. Tell me where I can do that with Windows.

    Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.
    Lack of innovation eh? Compiz

    Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.
    MS FUD

    Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.
    But since the source is open, everyone can see it. Would it be easier for someone to commit a crime in a crowded area or in an area where there are very few people?

    No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.
    Ubuntu - Canonical ?
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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSon!c View Post
    although, i disagree with most of what was said, i'd be more concerned about being taught by a professor that's so obviously biased, and more importantly, clueless.
    ding

    whilst you could argue with every point hes made, theres quite frankly no point.


    hes a complete waste of time and i'd be extremely pissed off if that was the quality of teaching he was giving

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    [*] Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.

    Just search the repositories and you will see that there is very often more than one implementation of a particular program. One of the criticisms of F/Loss is that there is too much choice and that the community will often chose to create a new project instead of starting from existing code...

    That's one of the strengths of F/Loss, you get more choice. Much more choice...
    [*] Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.

    F/Loss is as interoperable with proprietary technologies as theose technologies will allow. There is a .net implementation called Mono. Usually, if there is no interoperability with an existing proprietary application, it's because it's a closed format or otherwise un-implementable without proper specs or standardizations. It's Microsoft's fault.

    [*] Poor vertical integration - Open source products tend to be written by people who buy into the "software tools" idea of UNIX whereby one puts together an ultimate application by stringing together smaller applications like pearls on a string.

    That statement is contradictory. The Unix model allows for much better vertical integration and scalability than creating a monolythic and inflexible application.
    [*] Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.

    Ubuntu's desktop is by far a lot easier and functional than Windows. Internet explorer cannot compete with firefox in terms of usability. The list goes on.
    [*] Difficult to use - Open source packages tend to be written by engineers for other engineers and for many of them it is accepted that ordinary function will involve creation of configuration files, writing scripts, or actually editing the source code and recompiling.

    Simply not true. Ever use Ubuntu?

    [*] Higher cost of installation - Commercial vendors are forced by intense competition to configure their products for easy installation. Open source tends to have much higher installation costs because a much greater degree of expertise usually is required for installation.


    Again, just simply not true. You actually get more choice when you use a F/Loss application since many different companies are ususally available to support it for you. This is not so with a proprietary app which is only supported by one company.
    [*] Higher cost of operation - Open source products tend to require a much higher degree of technical expertise to operate and maintain, so they end up costing more.

    It depends. By and large, F/Loss can save you a lot of money. Like all things, it depends on your needs.
    [*] Higher cost of technical support - Open source costs more to support because the software is typically self-supporting.

    I simply don't understand that statement. But the fact is that many companies will offer support for the same software, so that drives the price down.
    [*] Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.

    F/Loss *is* commercial software. There are lots of examples where F/Loss is chosen because there is no proprietary software that is as flexible as a prorietary alternative. Why do you think Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon.com run on F/Loss?

    [*] Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.

    Even a well-run proprietary software company cannot please everybody. And the moment a company runs into financial trouble, the first thing that goes is software development. This is not so in F/Loss. You are not at the mercy of the financial state of one company. The F/Loss community can keep a project alive long after the original author has gone on to do with things. The F/Loss community around a project can add features at any time.


    [*] Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.


    I can barely keep up with the six-month release schedule of Ubuntu. Both Microsoft and Mac have been delivering their new releases late. Go figure.
    [*] Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.

    The same goes for proprietary software. In fact, since those companies have deeper pockets, they are a bigger target.
    [*] Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.

    No so. Security through obscurity has been proven to be a poor model. WHy do you think you don't need an antivirus on Ubuntu but you do for Windows?


    [*] No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.


    Not one single fortune-five-hundred company would have any trouble finding paid support for any F/Loss program. There is no single company to offer this support, there are thousands of companies. That's how it works. You pay those companies to keep your machines running just like you pay the companies that keep the proprietary software running on your machines.

    You just don't have to pay for a software license.
    [*] Fraudulent status as 'open' source - If one actually looks at where some of the 'free' open source was developed, one finds that it is not really open source but is the result of an enormous investment of funds, quite often by a poorly-managed public agency. The GIS example would be GRASS, which was developed at immense cost by the Army Corps of Engineers.


    Bull. Sure most of the code is written by people who are paid to do so. So what? If it's under a free-libre license, what'S the problem?
    I lost a "z". Anyone seen it around here?

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    My take
    Quote Originally Posted by Almumin View Post
    Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.
    Definitely not true, all you need is to look through Synaptic and see the options that you have available with just two clicks. Also, I'd be interested to know how many of those hundreds of options on Windows that he considers to be at all worthwhile. Because I can't imaging that more than one or two of those, in any area of software, are anything more than crapware.

    Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.
    Um, mono?
    Any failure to integrate with MS products is MS' fault anyway.

    Poor vertical integration - Open source products tend to be written by people who buy into the "software tools" idea of UNIX whereby one puts together an ultimate application by stringing together smaller applications like pearls on a string.
    Yes!
    wait, how is this a bad thing? I'd much rather have 10 small apps that do what they do very, very well, than 1 app that tries, and fails, to do it all.

    Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.
    Eh. true-ish for some apps, but not for all of them. Definitely not an inherent attribute of FLOSS.
    I find Gnome, and most GTK+ apps to be infinitely more intuitive than most stuff in Windows.

    Difficult to use - Open source packages tend to be written by engineers for other engineers and for many of them it is accepted that ordinary function will involve creation of configuration files, writing scripts, or actually editing the source code and recompiling.
    True-ish, but, again, not the whole truth. I can think of plenty of FLOSS apps that are aimed at the consumer.

    Higher cost of installation - Commercial vendors are forced by intense competition to configure their products for easy installation. Open source tends to have much higher installation costs because a much greater degree of expertise usually is required for installation.
    Yeah, so? The other way to look at this is that FLOSS oriented jobs pay more, so start learning Unix now.
    Also, this isn't really a limitation of FLOSS software, as it is familiarity with it.

    Higher cost of operation - Open source products tend to require a much higher degree of technical expertise to operate and maintain, so they end up costing more.
    Same as above.

    Higher cost of technical support - Open source costs more to support because the software is typically self-supporting.
    What? It costs more to support because it supports itself?

    Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.
    True for some stuff, not all.

    Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.
    What software company does that?

    Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.
    That must be why Apple decided to use an open source kernel.
    Also, plenty of open source projects have developed practically overnight.

    Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.
    Has that actually ever happened?

    Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.
    Oh dear God. I think we've been over this.

    No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.
    Because Microsoft warranties are at all useful? The community's better.

    Fraudulent status as 'open' source - If one actually looks at where some of the 'free' open source was developed, one finds that it is not really open source but is the result of an enormous investment of funds, quite often by a poorly-managed public agency. The GIS example would be GRASS, which was developed at immense cost by the Army Corps of Engineers.
    Open source =/= programmed by some guy and his best friend in their garage.

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    Re: University Professor Tries to Hammer Ubuntu

    • -
    • I see it from the other way, MS offers poor integration options from oss, while it's true that some oss developers try to stay away from MS, the truth is still that since oss is open, anyone can integrate with it, but MS doesn't, and since MS is closed integration with it is much more difficult, as they are afraid of technology they can't control.
      Examples: Troubles with supporting NTFS, MS's pushing of ooxml when open formats already existed.
    • The bigger desktop environments work to achieve that goal to some extent, but linux in general is all about customisation, instead of having the same app for A and B tasks you can choose what you want for A and independently what you want for B.
    • -
    • When was the last time he tried linux, and what dist on which hardware?
      Make sure you have compatible hardware first and the rest seems to be an extension of the gui vs cli debate.
    • Get the facts?
    • ^
    • ^
    • What? compare a standard windows install, any version, and an ubuntu install.
    • I'm pretty sure most oss developers will listen to paying customers too.
    • 1) If hardware were a little more enthusiastic and released specs drivers would be developed faster.
      2) Some hardware are made obsolete for the only reason that the company wants you to buy the next version.
    • Fear Uncertainty and Doubt
    • I hope he is not a professor in computer security...
    • oss free does not mean the software was developed for free or by who but that the code is open, libre.


    I might fill in some gaps later...

    If he is a professor in anything computer related I have to question his competence, for lack of insight on the subject.
    Last edited by red_Marvin; April 25th, 2008 at 02:47 PM.
    Don't peach linux. Melon it!

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