Re: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?

Subject: Re: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?
From: Mitchell Maltenfort <mmalten -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 22:52:08 -0400

Simple take on it:

If lumber is free, then more construction projects happen. Skilled
carpenters expect more business, as do unskilled laborers hired to
cart the free lumber to where it's needed.

Slightly more sophisticated take on it: it's the information economy
equivalent of a barter system.

What people gain from contributing to an open source project is the
potential availability of a new tool, and the networking potential of
making their skills known to the technical community. What they give
up are exclusive rights to the tool they're helping to develop; anyone
can use it. In the cash money world, programmers would expect to pay
money for our tools and for networking opportunities, and to earn
money for selling the code they produce. It's still swapping value
for value, but it bypasses the use of money.

Open source programmers, like other programmers, get money from being
hired by corporations to work on specific proprietary projects.
Contributing to open source just gives them more visibility. Whether
it costs them potential business is debatable. Consumers, academics
and small businesses can get by nicely on open source software. Large
corporations have larger concerns, both in terms of complexity and
security. Note that Red Hat, arguably the most visible Linux company,
has abandoned support of the "desktop" market to focus on the
enterprise-level market.

That's my $0.01, to put a realistic price tag on my opinions.

Mitch Maltenfort, Linux user since 1998.

On 8/20/05, Bonnie Granat <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com> wrote:
> Do the individuals in this endeavor want to have everything in society free?
> What am I missing here? Is the "profit motive" seen as something evil rather
> than a method of providing jobs for many people as well as providing for
> one's own personal needs?
> I recall years ago wondering about this, and I know somebody gave me some
> answer, but I frankly do not remember what it was. I had thought it was the
> answer I found from my research, but now you are saying that's incorrect.
> There's something about this that I just don't understand.
> I don't know why this has to be so mysterious.

I can answer any question.
"I don't know" is an answer.
"I don't know yet" is a better answer.


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RE: Why Aren't Open Source Tools Being Considered?: From: Bruce Byfield

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