Re: And more on open source...

Subject: Re: And more on open source...
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 19:36:35 -0800 (PST)


--- Paul DuBois <paul -at- kitebird -dot- com> wrote:

> I don't share Andrew's generally negative and pessimistic view of Open
> Source (though I suspect Andrew would characterize his view as "realistic"
> rather than as I have).

I suspect you see my attitude as negative because I take a administrators'
perspective of software rather than an users' perspective. I don't always see
software as a tool for ME to get a job done, I see it as a tool that must be
integrated, supported, secured, paid for and managed along with other tools.

As such, what appeals to users, isn't always a good choice for an environment
as a whole. Most users want unlimited Internet access at work. Yet from a
security and business perspective, unlimited Internet access is bad idea.
Users' Internet access should be restricted to legitimate business use and
closely monitored to ensure confidential material doesn't leak out and hackers
don't get in.

This is important to consider next time your IT admin says no when you want to
install WriterMasher 2000 or whatever OS software you just discovered. To the
IT admin, he doesn't need and can't afford to support yet another software
platform. Not to mention the bugs and worms that can accompany those products.
(Yes, OS products get infected too. A recent build of winpcap had a worm in
it.)

> However, I do agree with his comment about
> opportunities in his final paragraph. One thing that can help bridge
> the gap is the availability of high-quality documentation. And companies
> don't mind paying for this -- think commercial publishing if you're looking
> for opportunity.

Exactly. There is a big market for *understanding* in the OS community. People
want to understand these technologies.

I encourage everybody to go pickup a commercial book on an OS technology. Pay
CLOSE attention to the organization, delivery, and content.

You will quickly notice that most of these books are very heavy on conceptual
information and thin on procedures. That should tell you something about the
readers and the expectations of OS technologies.

Andrew Plato

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References:
Re: And more on open source...: From: Paul DuBois

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