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Feature: Open Source

Why do programmers write open source software?

By on April 25, 2003 (8:00:00 AM)

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- <SLASH HREF="http://roblimo.com" ID="d6ce25c2cc3b127d06ee7072e4e96563" TITLE="" TYPE="LINK">Robin 'Roblimo' Miller</SLASH> -
"What motivates people to participate in the open source community? Is it creativity, or what? There's a lot of work involved, and the remuneration must be minimal. What do open source developers do for a source of income?" These questions were recently asked on a journalists' email list I belong to. Here is an edited version of my reply:

Creativity is an important factor, but it is far from the only reason programmers "participate in the open source community."

A majority of people who write open source code do it as part of their jobs. Apache was originally written and is still maintained primarily by network admins and programmers who need reliable, low-cost Web server software and believe it's better to pool their efforts than go it alone. Many Linux kernel improvements come from programmers who work for companies that depend on Linux in one way or another, ranging from small consulting firms up to multinationals like IBM, HP, and Computer Associates. Intel and AMD have helped the Linux kernel scale to multiple processors and support 64-bit CPUs. DARPA has partially funded development of the ReiserFS journaling file system (which I use) and has also provided support for OpenBSD and some OpenBSD-generated security features like OpenSSH (which I also use), but seems to have had some problems recently with public comments made by OpenBSD project leader Theo DeRaadt, and may withdraw some or all of its OpenBSD funding.

There's also a substantial (growing) crowd working on free or open source software that is also the "base" for a commercial product. OpenOffice development is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, and OpenOffice is free, but Sun rolls OpenOffice improvements into pay-for StarOffice. MySQL is available either free or in a commercial version with added configuration tools and other proprietary bells and whistles, and at least half a dozen popular Web content management and ecommerce packages also fall into the dual-licensed, dual-branded category. Think of this as a formalized, legal version of the old Adobe marketing program, where Adobe winked at Photoshop "piracy" by home users and small-time graphics artists because they all got used to using it and, when they got jobs at companies with money, they all asked their bosses to buy Photoshop for them.

Academics also tend to be prolific open source producers. Astronomers write astronomy programs, engineers write engineering programs, economists write economics modeling programs. Naturally, most of this software is used for research in some way and is subject to peer review, so it is usually open source. Students, too, write open source code as practical exercises, and some of it is pretty darn good.

Another big motivation for open source programming is someone saying, "I want a program that does ____," and either one doesn't exist or it is too expensive for him to buy, so he decides to write his own -- and asks other people who want a similar program to help out. This is how Linux got started. Linus Tovalds wanted a cheap or free Unix-like operating system kernel he could run on his home PC -- as a learning tool while he was a college student, no less -- so he wrote one. Many other people around the world wanted the same thing, so they chipped in to help develop it. The GNU tools developed by the Free Software Foundation got added and made the Linux kernel the heart of what we now call the "Linux operating system" even though it is technically "GNU/Linux." Later a whole bunch of corporate users decided it would be a good idea for them to help develop Linux, too. These people and companies weren't developing Linux to benefit mankind. This was merely a synergistic side effect. They wanted the operating system for their own use.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) wants to create free software for everyone. It's the organization's long-term social goal. Some people contribute code. Others, including foundations, corporate sponsors, and individuals (like me) contribute money. Many programmers get paid by the FSF to create free software that is intended to benefit everyone. This is no different from supporting free symphony concerts in the park if you think classical music should be available to all, regardless of ability to pay.

An interesting note about open source programming is that having your name on a project can be a nice resume boost. Open source projects not only give young programmers valuable experience, but give potential employers a way to evaluate their work by looking directly at source code they have written, something they can't do if an applicant has only worked on proprietary software. There is also the possibility that your open source project might spin off a commercial product that will make you a lot of money. Security expert Marty Roesch, for example, has built a successful business based on his open source Snort intrusion detection system, which he originally started writing as a hobby project.

Using an open source license for your software means that everyone to whom you sell or give your program gets access to your source code and is free to modify and redistribute that code. It does not necessarily mean you have decided to program for free all night while working in a gas station all day to pay your bills. And if you have created or have helped create free software that a company like Citibank or a government agency like the Department of Commerce wants to use, but wants to have modified to fit a specific need, there is no reason you should work for them for free.

Proprietary software houses charge corporate and government customers an arm and a leg for program customization, usually much more than the license fee for the software upon which the customized program is based. Smart open source programmers have figured out that they can charge just as much as proprietary software vendors for customization, installation, and support services, and that by eliminating license fees they can easily win most price-based bidding wars against proprietary software vendors while keeping their profit margins more than high enough to support themselves adequately.

In other words, there are many reasons besides altruism or the pure joy of creativity that prompt people to write open source software, and many of those reasons are just as selfish as writing proprietary software because you get a paycheck in return -- which can be (and often is) a fine reason to write open source software, too.

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Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 26, 2003 12:28 AM
I'm the maintainer of the GNU Accounting Utils (last, lastcomm, ac, sa, etc.) and am writing a Free C programming book at the moment (GNU Free Documentation License, no invariant sections).

What motivates me is my amazement at the existence of GNU/Linux.

If somebody proposed the idea today, it would be laughed at. I think we are lucky that a programmer of Stallmans callibre came up with the idea in the era that he did.

I code because I enjoy it, but I enjoy it because I know my software is being used to get a job done rather than just make money for some company. I hope one day to be employed to write Free Software. The existence of "SharedSource" and false companies abusing the term "OpenSource" motivates me to work a little harder and remember to pronounce the first two syllables of GNU/Linux.

Ciaran O'Riordan

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 26, 2003 01:16 AM
> I'm the maintainer of the GNU Accounting Utils

Not a huge package. just in case it sounded like I was bragging<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;)

Ciaran O'Riordan

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 01:57 AM
I enjoy it because I know my software is being used to get a job done rather than just make money for some company

Ahem. Do you think that software can "make money for some company" without getting a job done?

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 03:07 AM
Hoho, I have certainly worked with software that seemed to make money for its company without actually accomplishing any job that I could divine.

Of course, some Free Software is this way. Everything must be considered on its own merits.

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Panagiotis Galatis on April 28, 2003 05:23 AM
Should I mention an OS vendor's name we all know here or not? Closed source'd software that is being written by companies, cannot be controlled by the community. You don't have the source, hence you rely on what it is they're feeding you.

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 28, 2003 07:09 AM
> > I enjoy it because I know my software is being used to get a job
> > done rather than just make money for some company
>
> Ahem. Do you think that software can "make money for some company"
> without getting a job done?

Hello. I was away for the weekend and just saw your post now.

You omitted my word "just" from your selective quote. I have no problem with companies making money off my work, I hope they do. But I would not be happy if the point of my work was *just* to make money for some company.

Hope this clears it up.
Ciaran O'Riordan

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Re:Amazement at the existence of Free Software

Posted by: Void Main on April 28, 2003 09:23 AM
Thank you very much for your contribution! Those are some core programs that we all rely on.

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Not all that amazing...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 03:12 AM
RMS is the Father of free software, by codifying what it should be, and MS is the un-Mother. They created the environment that nurtured the free-software development community, by destroying the markets for their closed-source competitors. If there was still a healthy, competitive software industry, open-source would be a marginal endeavor, kind of like MS's closed-source operating system competition.

To sum up our times in software, it's "the end justifies the means" meets "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". People write OSS because they don't want to have to bathe in a caustic solution to feel clean after they come home from work in Redmond.

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well ciaran let me say

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 05:48 AM
I love typing "last reboot"<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)

Thanks mate!

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Open source programmers

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 01:32 AM
I do it because i love to write code and love Linux. With all this knowledge i have why should i sit on it. Even when i have full time job i still find time to write code. W0ot.

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Its the reason why people goto CS in the first pla

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 02:15 AM


  Computer Science has a mathematical beauty that captures imaginations. So much is possible and there are so few limitations, an engineers dream. Its a flat playing field where extremely complicated products are made that challenges the mind the way other cubicle-based jobs dont.


  Thats why people get into software development way before college. Only in real life, a software developer spends most of his time dealing with managers and customers, and many other things that dont provide that satisfaction. The software he makes so creatively makes money for someone else. Its like a carpenters place, if hes making a brandname table with precise specs in a factory he wont enjoy it. On the other hand, if he has his own shop he would experiment.


  But programmers are too geeky to market their software. There are a lucky few who run their own companies, the rest are just slaves who have to sign in at exactly 8 in the morning and build apps with tools, all of which are someone elses choice for someone elses money. Theres no motivation to create a masterpiece, the sort that students at Berkeley did.


  Free Software removes all those confounds. If the programmer doesnt get paid, noone does. Yet his creations are appreciated by many praising users. And then theres the eternal element of ego. You dont answer to a nicely dressed MBA guy telling you your code is bad. You really compete openly with other developers, opensource or proprietary. The prospect of trying to bring down large profitable companies has the same sense that teenage crackers and phone phreaks have. The sense of power, ability to make a large change, or damage, to larger institutions. That pleasure is continued later in free software developers whose products beat those created by Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SCO and others.


  In a battle of David and Goliath, some want to be David, some want to be Goliath. The Goliath oriented people are insecure, with low self esteem, needing powerful allys (read: Microsoft Employees from Ivy League colleges), while the David oriented people have the kind of ego and pigheadedness than Linus, Eric Raymond, Richard Stallman and Alan Cocks have.

Ghazan Haider

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Re:Alan Cocks?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 02:58 AM
I looked in the OfficeWorld down the road the other day and Adobe Acrobat is $400!
OpenOffice.org's PDFWriter is free.

Writing software requires creativity and creativity is a necessarily insular trait - you can't create by committee and when you do, the results are rarely good. Large software houses will prefer to disagree but in fact creating good software requires brilliant individuals. Inevitably, with brilliant individuals comes a degree of arrogance.

Pragmatically speaking, I'm not aware of any pigheadedness on the part of Mr Torvalds or Mr Cox (Mr Stallman<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... well ok) because I don't know them and I've never met them. However, I constantly find myself asking the question "How does Microsoft want me to solve this error message?" or "Why does the troubleshooting dialogue never actually solve the problem?" and "Why on earth did it do that!?" and in doing so, I'm reminded of the arrogance and pigheadedness of those Ivory League alumnis working in Microsoft you mention.

There's the difference. Free software programmers take their place on the pedestal righteously. Proprietary software vendors just generate demand to appropriate their pedestal.

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Re:Alan Cocks?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 12:10 PM
The reason that open office's pdf writer is free is because Adobe released the specs on a pdf file. Thats why there are so many tools out there. Adobe simply has a monopoly on windows based tools (well, not a monopoly, but a large market share)

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Re:Its the reason why people goto CS in the first

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 10:14 AM
Is Alan Cocks Alan Cox's porn name?

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Re:Its the reason why people goto CS in the first

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 12:18 PM
No, that'd be Alan Cocksucker

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Re:Its the reason why people goto CS in the first

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 05:08 PM
If that's his porn name, ask any woman you like (including your mum) if she would want to biblically get to know this man:
http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson/als98/grumpy-alan-c<nobr>o<wbr></nobr> x.jpeg

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sharing the the great ideal

Posted by: carlton on April 26, 2003 02:46 AM
I think open source is one of the grestest ideals every created by programmers for porgammers. I am a college student and been coding for a long time. I credit open source for teaching me how to code, better then any profossor or book could. The reason I develop open source is to give back to the ideal, that made me the programmer that I am today

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Because I can

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 02:53 AM
After my escape from behind the "digital" curtain, I took up the fight. I believe every line of code I write, even in php and html, I am adding a nail to the coffin of the closed source monopolies. After all, I and I alone have control of my life and what is done with it.

-CIV

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Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anirban Biswas. on April 26, 2003 03:56 AM
Currently I am computer engg B.tech student & will get my degree soon & also having a job.

I started using FS/OSS from 1 st year & learnt that there are many greate tools & think that opning your code is best thing in the world since other can see that & suggest you modidfication so I can learn from my mistake also I can see some codes written by Gurus & so can learn new trciks hacks & skills

Since I am getting all these it is my duty to give back some thing to the community that is why I code for OSS/FS again I like to code (I think it is better to code in C/C++ than flarting with a girl or watching tv) that is why I code for Oss/fs
doing this I can do what I want not what any other one.

Also I can showoff my friends look I have some projects in internet (mainly in sf.net) & people liked them.

there are also many reasons which currently I can not remember or even if I remember them that will make the post so long that most of the people will bore to read it.

Anirban Biswas.
Calcutta
India

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 12:14 AM
"I think it is better to code in C/C++ than flarting with a girl or watching tv".

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL !

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 08:28 AM
How about showing off ur code to a girl by displaying it on a tv (thru the tv-out of ur video card) ? That will impress everybody.

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2003 07:06 AM
I'm sure this guy from India made an effort to express himself... OSS is a WORLD effort, and as demonstrated has engaged people from all over the world. I challenge the writer to say it in bengali or even in spanish...
Pls, let's keep OSS a way to think globally !!!

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 02:11 AM
At least he tried.

I would love to see you write a few words in his language (Bengali by the way, ever heard of it?).

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 11:09 PM
I think it is better to code in C/C++ than flarting with a girl

I would laugh at you for that comment, but I won't because I see that you are in India, where you can meet a girl and decide to marry her in just a few hours.

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Re:Many reasons why I like to code for OSS/FS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 02:08 AM
Wellllll..
The difference is that those few hours mean a comittment for life.

And that girl won't leave you for another guy she met for just a few minutes.

Do you see some kind of parallel in that between fs/oss and M$, or is it just me?

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or like the 3com linux driver guy

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 05:37 AM
i forgot where i read it, but the guy who writes all those great 3c50x drivers, (which leaves my windoze buddies in amazement when i tell them that ONE driver handles every 3c509 card!!!!) says that sure he writes these drivers for "free", but look at the OS he gets in return. interesting...

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Re:or like the 3com linux driver guy

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 10:54 AM
Donald Becker<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;-)

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Re:or like the 3com linux driver guy

Posted by: Tahir Hashmi on April 28, 2003 11:12 PM
Man, did this guy's comment give me a ton of ammo while speaking in favor of Free Software! Visionary, I'd say<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

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Volunteer doing what I like

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 07:08 AM
I was a Boy Scout. Before that, my parents started teaching me to help otheres. As a kid I did things like help mom take food to shut-ins and help dad mow the widow's lawn. I believe in volunteerism to help society.

By doing FS/OSS I can do my some of my volunteering while doing what I like to do anyway. I contribute to society while using current skill and learning new ones. A win-win situation.

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Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 08:13 AM
Many programmers get paid by the FSF to create free software that is intended to benefit everyone.


Yeah, you wish. The FSF does not pay its developers a penny. The FSF is a parasite of the community, claiming ownership over stuff they did not write but where they require contributors to assign copyright to the FSF and to abstain from any rights to the code that this developer wrote himself.

Example: RedHat has a small army of people working on GCC, but the FSF owns *all* the (copy)rights. The FSF does not have a *single* developer working on GCC!!!

Really, there are only two things the FSF did right: They wrote the GPL license family, and they started the whole thing of open source at the scale that we now know (and even that really "just happened" to them and us).

Today, the FSF is a redundant organisation trying to claim credit for things they did not do and owning more software than what they have morally the right to.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 09:27 AM

Example: RedHat has a small army of people working on GCC, but the FSF owns *all* the (copy)rights. The FSF does not have a *single* developer working on GCC!!!

RedHat knows this and yet they still pay this "small army" to work on GCC. RedHat is a business. They must see a financial benefit to working on GCC or they would not be doing it, even though the FSF owns the copyright.

Today, the FSF is a redundant organisation trying to claim credit for things they did not do and owning more software than what they have morally the right to.

They don't own any software. They own copyrights to software. However, because that software is under the GPL, I can do what I want with it (within the licence) and the FSF could not stop me even if they wanted to.

Your arguments are just FUD against the FSF.

What do you really have against the FSF? What did they do to you?

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 09:35 AM
You couldn't be more wrong. The very existence of GCC, which you quote above, is directly attributable to the FSF--they wrote it. It was the FSF that provided the principal funding for, and worked with others toward, the rest of GNU working on the Linux kernel, thus producing GNU/Linux.


The FSF does not "own" any software. Nobody "owns" GPL'd software, not even Linus; that's the point of the GPL, as the FSF itself will tell you. Furthermore, they did not start "open source" development, nor even the concept of "Free Software". That was done decades ago, as RMS himself details on the GNU web site. What Stallman, and later the FSF (founded by him), did was codify it formally. Then, the FSF went to work on the (at the time thought) impossible--the creation of a wholly Free operating system. They achieved this goal with GNU--in two variants, no less--GNU/Linux and GNU/HURD.


Therefore....


Were it not for the FSF, the "Linux operating system" would not exist, because GNU would not exist. I thank them every day I use a computer, and mine happen to be running GNU/Linux and OpenBSD, both at work and at home.


And as for "moral rights" that you mention above, the FSF is, IMO, among the most "moral" and certainly "ethical" organizations on this Earth. The FSF fights for *your* rights, and you may well not even be American. You would do well to join them and help them write some code, thus benefiting all of us. If you don't know how or don't have time to learn how, there are other ways you can contribute. Write some docs. Purchase and use Free Software (it's not expensive). Promote Free Software when you have an opportunity.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 01:03 AM
The FSF does not "own" any software. Nobody "owns" GPL'd software, not even Linus; that's the point of the GPL

I think owning the license to software is the same as owning the software. If you own the license, you could go and change the licensing on future versions of it. This isn't a big problem for GPL'd software, though, because the GPL allows us to just fork an older version.

You can also own the copyright on a name for the software, though. Linus could go try to change the license on Linux, although if his license wasn't compatible with the GPL he'd lose most of his contributions because they're GPL and owned by their authors. However, I think he could enforce his ownership of the Linux name copyright and screw people over if he so desired.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 02:10 AM
Linus could NOT go and change the license on Linux, as he is not the single copyright owner, and he has repeatedly said so. Such a change would require consent from each and every contributor to the kernel, thousands of people who contributed even a small patch. Do you think you could find them all nowadays? There are plenty who have moved on to other stuff, or, like the late Leonard Zubkoff (RIP), are simply unavailable.

So now you know why the FSF wants to keep the number of copyright owners to a minimum.

Also, there is no such thing as a "name copyright". Trademarks are an entirely different kind of beast from copyright. The Linux trademark is handled by the Linux Mark Institute, or somesuch, IIRC.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just brilliant

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 28, 2003 09:01 AM
There is much confusion of terminology here.

> > The FSF does not "own" any software.

The FSF is the "copyright holder" for many pieces of software. Proprietary software companies would call the FSF the "owner", the FSF refers to itself as the "gaurdian, on behalf of the public". When a person assigns copyright to the FSF, the FSF also makes certain promises to the assignee (such as: this software will remain Free always).

> > Nobody "owns" GPL'd software, not even Linus

If I write a piece of software and GPL it, there is one difference between me and everyone else: I can change the license. Linus is the copyright holder for 6% or 7% of the kernel. Tomorrow he could annouce that he's re-licensing his code under a proprietary license. This wouldn't be a big deal, his previous code wouldn't have to be removed since his changes con't take retroactive effect.

The GPL is a software *license*. When you download Linux, you are granted certain rights under the GPL. Linus cannot revoke these rights. He can stop distributing his software under the GPL, but he cannot stop you from distributing a copy that you received under the GPL.

I hope I've clarified some things (I don't think I've done a great job explaining them, I hope I'm wrong;)
Ciaran O'Riordan

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It's helpful to give copyrights to FSF

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 10:40 PM
The FSF generally wants major packages to have a small number of copyright holders. This makes it much easier to enforce the GPL in court.

Basically, if you assign your copyrights to the FSF, they'll politely--but firmly--hassle anyone who violates the GPL. The FSF signs a contract with you, requiring them to always distribute your code under a free license, and you can always get back full redistribution rights for your code.

It's an excellent deal for anyone who wants their license enforced without paying $500/hour for a lawyer.

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Re:It's helpful to give copyrights to FSF

Posted by: Mikkel Elmholdt on April 29, 2003 02:45 AM
That's the theory. But please observe that the FSF has yet to "enforce the GPL in court". You have not seen a single count case, where this has happended (and no, the NuSphere/MySQL case was not an FSF case, was not about GPL, and ended with an out-of-court settlement).

Any GPL case will meet a very firm obstacle: Proving that the GPL has indeed been violated. If someone has snatched your code and is using it in a proprietary product, then how are you going to:

a) Find out?
b) Prove it?

The FSF reminds me of a sneaky insurance company, trying to insure me against events, that are very unlikely to happen.

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Re:It's helpful to give copyrights to FSF

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 03:33 AM
But they continually enforce the GPL. It just never usually gets to court, because they are usually able to convince the developers that they are right.

How can they be like a sneaky insurance company? They don't charge anything for their services!

Anyway, proving such things is no more difficult than proving any other kind of license violation, yet it still occurs. GNU tries to educate, not berate - they try to do everything out-of-court and quietly.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 28, 2003 08:26 AM
> The FSF does not pay its developers a penny

The FSF does not have any developers. The GNU Project has many volunteers (like me). The FSF no longer has to hire developers, other more-commercial entities do that nowadays. The FSF's current contributions are mostly legal and educational.

> The FSF is a parasite of the community, claiming ownership over stuff they did not write

The FSF (and FSF-europe) has excellent legal resources and sufficient financial resources to legally defend software packages. By assigning copyright you get protection from legal threats. This means that hackers can get on with hacking which the FSF take care of the tiring legal stuff.

> Today, the FSF is a redundant organisation

Today, the FSF is as necessary as ever. There is no other body I would trust to draft the GPLv3 (no one even comes close). The essays they produce about patents & copyrights are brilliant: clear and accessible.

I think "trust" is the most important word above. The FSF won't compromise or bend at the wish of an outside investor. IBM donate over $10,000 ever year and loan the FSF servers and laptops. RMS then goes out and gives speeches about patents in which he points out IBM as the worst offender. The reason he can do this is that the FSF does whatever is required to promote software Freedom, if people want to fund them, great, if not, the work doesn't stop.

Ciaran O'Riordan

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 12:33 PM
That's precisely why I can't stand RMS. Companies donate time and money working on GPL software (and GNU software), yet they get no respect from RMS. What have they done to offend him, other than try to make some money? Afterall, the rest of us don't want to live off the government (note: Welfare), so we need to make money somehow, and if selling software, that, by the way, from IBM is some of the BEST software I've seen to date (blows GNU software out of the water in every way), then I'll sell software that I write. IBM is one of the most important companies in existence right now, for 2 major reasons: 1) They're one of the few companies who actually cares about advancing the quality of software in general. Not just their software, not just proprietary software, and not just open source software..ALL software. 2) They're the 1 company with enough resources take out microsoft with little effort. All they need is time.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 11:23 PM
How long have you been paying attention? Only the last decade? IBM hasn't always been a friendly organization (if you can even call them that right now). In fact, people were hoping that Microsoft would take out IBM at one point. The only thing IBM cares about is making money, it is a business. RMS shouldn't have to kiss anyone's ass just because they donate some money. IBM still has offended in the past, what makes you think they won't in the future? And what is this about taking out Microsoft? Why is that so important? If IBM becomes the new Microsoft, do you think they will be any better as a monolopy?

Hell, I wouldn't even blame RMS if he was disrespecting Red Hat or SuSE. They are just businesses and don't really deserve any respect. I'm out to make money, and I don't expect any respect for that. Look at something like Debian for an example of an organization that deserves respect.

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Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: Mikkel Elmholdt on April 29, 2003 02:51 AM
Why is making money not worthy of respect? That's exactly the immature drivel we have come to expect from RMS. I have a much higher respect for someone who earns his/her own money by producing stuff that other people thinks is worth money, than someone who lives off donations.

#

Re:Today, the FSF is just a parasite

Posted by: llanitedave on April 29, 2003 02:59 AM
Anyone living off donations is getting money from someone who obviously thinks they're worth it -- since they're giving the money. Stallman produces something that other people think is worth money. Therefore they donate it.

#

art

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 11:12 AM
programmers are artists.

#

I know that the guy can be a dick but,

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 11:19 AM
It's Alan COX...

ps, I was joking about him being a dick...

#

The cool thing about being Alan Cox...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 09:24 PM
... is posting in<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/. as "AC" and nobody could ever question him about it.

#

I "think"...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2003 09:40 PM
... it's something like playing chess.

You don't play because the pieces are well made, nor because it gives status (although this may happen) and still not because of the rewards upon victory (though this might be the case for some).

I guess the main reasons are love for the dispute (a taste for war, if you will) and, above all, love for the practice of your high skills while doing it (intelligence, wisdom, quickness, ability to deceive the opponent etc.).

Programming (not just OSS), one does get a kick from the process and from a sudden realization about some code accomplished.

This happens more intensely though in Unix -- because it's highly modular and what one does impacts much more than, say, in Windows.

And this is also a much more strong sensation in OSS than in commercial code, because:

a) change (sometimes) occurs at faster pace than in "managed" software environments (it's about one of the Parkinson's laws...);

b) there is a wrong common perception that "professional" means "excellent" -- and it comes as a pleasant surprise that OSS can be better. In fact, the moniker "zealot" may have to do with the almost fanatic obsession for quality -- something that is forbidden in "professional" corporations, where cost/benefit is paramount.

Well, all this is just a theory, of course -- but it is MHO.

LEe. NOo.ks

#

Just to add examples...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 07:17 AM
Why do musicians compose music, specially those underpaid? (and, of course, everybody starts underpaid...)

Is it the fame?

I don't thinks so.

#

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 04:05 AM
Fame.

#

Opensource coder

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 04:30 AM
Im an opensource developer and my biggest motivation is that someone can use what i have created. If just one person uses it it is a success for me<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

#

Re:Opensource coder

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 04, 2003 06:41 AM
i cant imagine any better answer, except maybe in perl but im rusted<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;) you got it man, thats what its all about.

#

Open source motivation last just so long...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 05:55 AM
  • ...as long as your college degree
  • ...as long as your college pays you to pretend to run a department
  • ...as long as your unemployment
  • ...as long as your puberty

    When you get over that you realise the joke that is open source software; Hacked, feature-crowded and ugly software clammering for the mainstream. Mutton dressed as lamb, a turd with a ribbon on it.

    #

  • It _was_ the community

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 06:30 AM

    Looking at technical quality among current offerings, and the motivations of participants, I think you are basically right (though expressing it in strong language).

    I _originally_ decided to write free software for a very simple
    reason: in order to join a community based on friendship, mutual
    support, and shared intellectual development, dedicated to improving
    it's larger environment through hacking (in the sense of "playful,
    forthright, responsible, and creative development and application of
    technical and engineering skill, insight, and ideas").

    In high school, and then later in college, there were all the regular
    faces you'd see around the computer labs. There was a culture there,
    for a time, now largely gone, based on sharing ideas and resources,
    and being friendly. We learned from one another, we egged each other
    on to better and better achievements, and we made our campuses better
    even for people who were outside of the clique. We'd go out for
    Chinese food, order pizzas, and then drop by the basement of the guy
    who had a discarded rack-mount pdp-11 in his basement to see if we
    could still boot the thing. We'd show off our hacks to one another.
    We traded copies of papers and books. We weren't competing in a
    scarce job market. We weren't competing for "who gets the best press
    on<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/.". We weren't saddled with the impossible task of reconciling
    the supposed "business realities" of our non-hacker bosses with the
    essentially mathematical truths that under-pin the craft we were
    learning.

    Around that time, software was becoming a big, mass-market commercial
    product for the first time. There was visicalc and scriptsit, for
    example. There were warnings from faculty members that pirating
    software was against the rules. And a little while after that, there
    were the early writings of and about RMS, and against that: the
    example of unipress emacs.

    In those writings, hacker cultures were pretty well described. The
    fundamental contradiction between such human communities and
    proprietary licensing were clearly spelled out. Free software was a
    no brainer. It was simply the only civilized alternative.

    Resume fodder. Fame. Power of volunteers. A few million bucks to
    line the pockets of RHAT execs. A general mean-spiritedness and
    intellectual dishonesty when projects compete. A shockingly naive
    and dangerous popular outlook on what good programming consists of.
    A commoditization of programmers to the point where they are formed
    into a worse-than-peasant-class. A stunningly uninformed and
    uncritical view of technology dominating<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/. and kerneltrap and 100
    project mailing lists. An FSF whose mission is a jet-setting RMS and
    a completely unfunded, bottom of the page, also-ran "build a
    GNU-system" task....

    The free software "community" these days is decadence. It has become
    divorced from human values. It's in a shameful state.

    The free software movement originated out of the mourning of a single
    individual for a lost community. How ironic that it has evolved into
    a culture that actively resists the formation of community.

    -t

    #

    Re:It _was_ the community

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 07:25 AM
    The free software "community" these days is decadence. It has become divorced from human values. It's in a shameful state.

    What!?!? Your local Linux User Group must suck then! My LUG is great and is exactly the opposite of the above quote. ("decadence"?? That never happens at our meetings...)

    #

    Re:Open source motivation last just so long...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 07:10 AM
    >><nobr> <wbr></nobr>...as long as your college degree

    I plan to study all my life. In fact, I was dumb not to understand this, until someone said it about me: that I love to learn. The fact that I got a degree is just the beginning, not the end. So, yes, it's open source to the day that I die.

    >><nobr> <wbr></nobr>...as long as your college pays you to pretend to run a department

    Not all countries have colleges which promote commercial initiatives; in mine, one has to do academic things openly, or else lose the job. I emphasize 'cause it seems it is the other way around in your country: open source is the only way here... doing commercial gets the guy fired
    at college.

    >><nobr> <wbr></nobr>...as long as your unemployment

    Do opensource and you might a job (if you are competent). Do nothing and people won't hire you. It's that simple. Previous experience is a must.

    >><nobr> <wbr></nobr>...as long as your puberty

    We can always try to extend it...<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;-)

    >> When you get over that you realise the joke that is open source software; Hacked, feature-crowded and ugly software clammering for the mainstream. [text portions omitted due to poor taste at choosing words]

    You're late. The "laughing at open source" phase ended last year; we entered the "fighting open source" stage in 2003.

    Open source: you're gonna use it, sooner or later.
    If not already.

    And you might want to use commercial software; it won't be available, though. This already started to happen.

    #

    Re:Open source motivation last just so long...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 12:11 PM
    Point and click is not a skill.

    #

    Re:Open source motivation last just so long...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 02:31 PM
    You obviously know crap about it.

    #

    Motivated to use commercial word processor ...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 05:59 AM
    there is only one: Word

    Wordperfect is dead or nearly so and besides Open office and (even Abiword in another 18months) is as featureful!!

    Looks like cross platform commercial software is DEAD on the desktop. There aren't that many choices: MS or Adobe are the only things that really run on non Intel and then it's only specific version of the Mac etc.

    If you want a long lasting hihgly customized database client application you're way better served using java, mozilla, a web based solution or *anything* but platform specific commercial solutions.

    I predict tons of apps written for XP will be unusable in 5 years.

    #

    What I have not used MS word in 2 years

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 12:22 PM
    Open office is great I is almost crash proff ie I have crashs MS word all version just with mucking about with images. MS thinks you have to use there other wordprocessor to do that. Strange that microsoft ships 2 word processors when one would do. That is right there a company that is profit hungry.

    #

    Re:Open source motivation last just so long...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 18, 2003 01:26 AM
    A turd with a ribbon on it, eh? A drunk walks into a pharmacy and says, "I want to buy a bottle of gin."

    The druggist says, "We have three types of gin: Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen."

    "Oh," says the drunk, "Trying to by funny, eh? Well there are three types of turd... Mustard, custard, and YOU you big shit!"

    #

    Why do I write OpenSource?

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 10:37 AM
    For the chicks, babe. For the chicks.

    #

    Re:Why do I write OpenSource?

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2003 02:07 AM
    Yeah l thought l would score with the chicks through this as well, but everytime l got one home to check out my freeware they took one look at my Dell called me a lamer and left<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:(

    - Former Dell Owner...

    #

    Why open source you ask.

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 12:13 PM
    Because point and click is not a skill.

    #

    Re:Why open source you ask.

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 07:52 AM
    Yes it is! Ask a sniper

    #

    Re:Why open source you ask.

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 02:36 PM
    That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard.

    Point and click is to make your job easier. You don't like it, that's perfectly fine. Point and click is not a skill, true. It does help, though, in getting serious work done with.

    And what does point-and-click have to do with Open-Source? You have commercial Unixes too. You have DOS. You have a dozen more.

    Point and click is vital, my friend, if you make your money the way I do. I do design. Tell me how I'm to design magazine covers without 'pointing-and-clicking' ?

    #

    Why don't programmers write open source hardware..

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 02:35 PM
    Why can't I use anything other than an overpriced hp multi-function fax in crippled mode on a linux network?

    Why can't I see "linux-compatible" on advertisements for printers, scanners, multi-functions, print servers, and more hardware? TigerDirect.com is guilty of this. So is Quill office products. And Office Depot. And all the others.

    No ego stroking writing hardware drivers?

    #

    Re:Why don't programmers write open source hardwar

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 04:33 PM
    Never thought about this from another point of view.
    That's actually why I like OSS/FS. It's all about hardware: you do NOT need to be compatible with Linux.
    In case of proprietary system - you never know what kind of problem you will have to work on tomorrow.
    With Linux as a hardware manufacturer you have a chance to influence standards. Just choose one or two - and go with them.
    I bet switching from one standard to another is much more easier than switching from one OS to another.
    That makes perfect point: remember that next OS from The Beast is going to be NOT Windows. And sure you will HAVE to upgrade, if you're on XP. And sure all you software/device drivers will NOT run on Longhorn/whatever.
    *BSD, Linux as Kernel, GNU as platform - you do not not need to rewrite from scratch all your software. Why? Because standard is already in place. POSIX probably not perfect - but it is better to have bad one - rather than programming under Windows<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

    #

    Re:Why don't programmers write open source hardwar

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2003 03:26 AM
    There are many programmers who do and will write drivers for hardware. However, if the manufacturer of the hardware will not provide the hard information needed to write a good driver, it is very difficult to do the job. Reverse engineering a hardware interface is very difficult. So, if the manufacturer will not give out the info, the driver does not get written.

    #

    Re:Why don't programmers write open source hardwar

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 01, 2003 11:21 PM
    Actually, the Samsung printer I recently bought had "Linux compatible" on the box and works quite well. The computer I bought two years ago also had "Linux compatible" on it (but the CPU-guzzling winmodem support was hopeless). The hardware is there, but you must support it if that's what you want.

    #

    It's for my long hair and the businessmodel maaan.

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2003 05:36 PM
    1) Do free stuff.
    2) ?
    3) Profit!

    You don't "get it" maaaan!

    #

    Mixing up the means and the end

    Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on April 28, 2003 10:39 AM
    > 1) Do free stuff.
    > 2) ?
    > 3) Profit!

    This is the argument of either a very simple mind, or a person trying to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Probably the latter.

    Is M$ Office really worth $479?
    Is it smart for companies to use back-up software that backs up data in a secret format?
    Is it nice when an application crashes repeatedly and you're not allowed hire someone to fix it?

    Does the fact that a few companys are profitting from this situation change the answers to these questions?

    Software benefits people, the "software industry" is the cost the must be recouped from the user. I'd prefer a much smaller software industry. There aren't many Free Software companies. That's because we don't need companies. If we did, there'd be a gap in the market and someone would fill it. It's very simple economics.

    Ciaran O'Riordan

    #

    Hmm he don't get it.

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 12:20 PM
    Who is this fool I am sick of see it as it is wrong.

    The Business model is up the other way. Programers are for hire there are partical ways of get some thing done in open source. Number one Bonty yep the wild west aproce but effective just the same.

    The doing stuff for free is no a profit if you were not payed to do stuff for free. If you were you have a profit already. Spare time while watching mainframes is another source. Spare time while doing backups. Making stuff that save you time profit again so basicly there is plenty for the programmer.

    Basicly let say that you could say to microsoft we want feature XXXXXX and we will pay for you to write it XXXXX amount. Basicly in opensource the code is bought once. The big question to microsoft how do there programmers get payed. You will find the same way in most cases. Basicly a vampire. So since the programer no longer has licence on his own code he can not use it else where. Now this is the big advange of open source you write something and if it fits somewhere else you dont have to throw away what you did. Ie you are still the master copyright holder.

    Very soon I might be puting a bonty on the name of this person who keeps on saying this fooling thing.

    There are more ways of making a profit without selling stuff. WineX is a good example of this it is a bonty system that expands wine.

    This give open source a lot better feed back then what microsoft is getting. Open source need no secrets so development can be really open.

    Basicly it fits the programer it does not help companys like microsoft.

    #

    Re:It's for my long hair and the businessmodel maa

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 14, 2003 06:52 PM
    mhm i like south park too

    #

    Society

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 06:30 PM
    I think we all want to live in a society typified by sharing, openness and co-operation, rather than hording of secrets. Stallmans original motivation for writing free software was to encourage this type of society, and today that's still a major motivation for why I work on it.

    Plus I get paid to do it sometimes<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) Hopefully more in future.

    #

    Why I did it...

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 07:10 PM
    To qualify my comments - I have written one open source application and have contributed several perl modules to CPAN, with more to come. I am an active member of the perl and linux communities, having started a LUG and contributed on many mailing lists about perl, apache and linux.


    I wrote my first free software as an exersize in programming - I hacked up a version of a public domain search engine from dr dobbs and played with it, extending, and modifying it until I got a grasp of reverse indexing and how far you can push it with different types of backend. It was downloaded by about 5 people but I didn't care because I learnt a lot, and while at university this matters - its nice to be able to show people real code when you graduate.


    I wrote my next piece of free software several years later - it started as a quick hack as part of an internal company project - the company later folded and I continued working on it as a hobby while looking for work.


    That was about 2 years ago and since I started I have been in fulltime employment almost continuously since. Now the application has been downloaded about 20,000 times and has absorbed some smaller projects and will absorb another project soon - it has pretty much reached the point where I will have to hand over total control and start using a public CVS with some other authors working directly with the code rather than just sending me patches.


    Its a strange feeling - it means the project is obviously a success, other people like it and use it enough that they want to code it.


    The reward I have got from this projects have been


    • emails from people all over the world saying hi, your software is cool - I nearly printed and framed the first I got, it was a great moment.
    • emails from people with patches and fixes and text data - these make programming so much easier and more effective as I get more done with less work and headaches.
    • satisfaction - every now and then I can sit back and think - hey this is quite cool
    • Finally - I scratched my itch - when I need to get a quick handle on a load of source code or a database a just point my tool at it and I get a handy document or diagram.

    #

    And another thing

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2003 07:57 PM
    Well if we want software to be something everybody can enjoy, we have to make it affordable.

    I personally think, that when the software we are using now will be a commodity, we can move on to the next level. Since almost everybody will have a computer, business will start to invest more. Banks will want better and better home banking applications, governments will want to make it easy for people to do all of their administration from home.

    In other words, the money that is not spend any more on huge prices for licenses in basic software, can be invested in some innovating programs. At least I hope it will be like that.

    But you have to admit, the free market place does a lousy job when it comes to making software even slightly compatible. In my mind, a free market place will never ever make software that works together over different vendors. Unless they need it for market penetration, and when that 's no longer needed, they just don't care any more. I, as a programmer, find that really annoying, I feel like a idiot being manipulated by somebody who studied marketing.

    besides all of that, it 's what Linux said: "Software is like sex, it's better when it 's free"

    #

    Making something cheaply

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 30, 2003 01:34 AM
    Definitely a good point that you can often write your own version of a commercial program in a lot less time than it would take to earn enough money to buy it. Can't say it helps your resume. At my job it's instant termination to have a subordinate doing big software projects on the side.

    #

    Paybacks are Heaven

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 30, 2003 07:41 PM
    I write open source for a simple reason - to pay back into the community that I have taken from!

    I count on open source to learn new technologies and languages; and to make doing everyday tasks easier. When ever I write code on my own, I try to return the favor!

    #

    because I don't like most open-source software

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 01, 2003 12:59 AM
    I write open-source software because I don't like how difficult / time-consuming it is to use the Linux platform and most (not all) open-source software that runs on that platform.


    I write open-source software because I don't like the GPL. How can you call the GPL "free" when it doesn't allow you to take GPL'd code and use it in closed source software? It doesn't sound much like freedom to me.


    I write open-source software because I don't like commercial software's adoption of "activation" features. I shouldn't have to contact Microsoft so they can allow me to run software that I legitimately paid for.


    I write open-source software because I don't like my job and want to make a name for myself so that I can get a programming job that I would enjoy.


    I write open-source software because I need a challenge and get bored quickly.

    #

    Re:because I don't like most open-source software

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 01, 2003 11:24 PM
    Maybe your current challenge is to troll on these boards? I'm sure you know that free software is software with the freedom to use, study and redistribute modified or original versions. Ability to distribute modified versions without giving others those rights is the division between copyleft and non-copyleft, not the split between free and proprietary software.

    #

    yes, yes but what about Professional OpenSource?

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 02, 2003 11:06 PM
    Fine, OSS/FS is great for people working part-time, studying or have some -Other- source of income.

    My question is, after I graduate, what are my chances of becoming a Professional OpenSource Developer AND surviving the market/world with my New FS Company?

    If you look at the OSS guys, they give the following business models for professional (read: money earning) OSS/FS development:

    1. Support Sellers (otherwise known as "Give Away the Recipe, Open A Restaurant"): In this model, you (effectively) give away the software product, but sell distribution, branding, and after-sale service. This is what (for example) Red Hat does.

    But you can't really do that till your software is big/complex (or at times with bad help and documentation). And selling Distributions? C'mon! you want to make a business out of selling CD's and mailing? This model is only applicable if my software/company is big enough

    2. Loss Leader: In this model, you give away open-source as a loss-leader and market positioner for closed software. This is what Netscape is doing.

    Again, this isn't from a startup position. But would anyone please elaborate on this one?

    3. Widget Frosting: In this model, a hardware company (for which software is a necessary adjunct but strictly a cost rather than profit center) goes open-source in order to get better drivers and interface tools cheaper. Silicon Graphics, for example, supports and ships Samba.

    I dont really understand the full implications of this, anyone care to elaborate as to how this could be useful to me as a new company starting up on OSS?

    4. Accessorizing: Selling accessories books, compatible hardware, complete systems with open-source software pre-installed. It's easy to trivialize this (open-source T-shirts, coffee mugs, Linux penguin dolls) but at least the books and hardware underly some clear successes: O'Reilly Associates, SSC, and VA Research are among them.

    A business model? selling coffee mugs? Linux Penguin Dolls? This is not what I as a software developer want, Not at all!!

    All in all, how can I, start a OpenSource Software house and earn a living. Or is the fact of the matter that OSS/FS only a hobbyist domain and any attempts to live off it are shot down.

    People above have mentioned that they get to write "OSS projects on our CV" and that looks impressive. Impressive to get them into Software Houses which end up making them Closed Software Developers?

    -Muhammed "Nash" Nasrullah

    #

    Re:yes, yes but what about Professional OpenSource

    Posted by: Anonymous Coward on May 13, 2003 04:00 AM
    Whether you want to sell licenses or service, you're not going to be able to pay your programmers without ongoing service or product availability. The cash for whatever your business is has to come from somewhere. If you're a start-up, either you're going to have to front the money yourself, or get a bank or venture capitalist to support your goal.

    Assuming you've not procurred funding, you're at the mercy of nearly anything to build capital to build what you want to sell, so if you market Accessories and hype, that is potential income that you don't have during start-up development stage. If you can sell licenses for Closed Source product, then that's your market. You have to determine what your product's market is and how you wish to provide support. If your product is a niche product, then focusing on service, customizations, and modifications to the product would be a key factor. If it's a general purpose util, perhaps you would be more interested in licensing. One thing you could be sure of: a license doesn't necessarily keep a customer loyal. Good customer relations and service will keep a customer loyal, and that may be more valuable than a license anyway. If you are good friends with your customer, you make a stronger bond based upon loyalty and trust that may be able to withstand pricing and competition.

    People are very fickle. But they still have the same desires: fulfill their needs, feed their egos, make them feel important.

    As for loss leader: Sun has OpenOffice and StarOffice. Both are very capable suites, but service and support are (suggested to be) higher quality and availabilty in StarOffice. StarOffice is closed source, and because it's set for (arguably) even more stabilty than OpenOffice, it is counting home users who have OpenOffice to ask their employers to license StarOffice.

    Generally speaking, it makes sense to have the proliferation of a *base* product into the hands of as many people as possible, and charge for changes, add-ons, and support.

    A real start-up needs to be sure of a source of income, to be sure. If it's your business model to charge for licenses, you run the risk of fewer license purchases and more potential piracy. Also, you run the (possible) risk of less acceptance because of initial startup costs.

    On the other hand, if your business model is primarily value-add and/or service/support oriented, your overhead can potentially be greatly reduced, and your income can be almost pure profit (and in some states, not taxable).

    I think the main idea is that unless you get your software into the hands of users, you won't see any money anyway.

    #

    Love coding, learning, meeting people,

    Posted by: kobit on June 05, 2003 04:26 AM
    There are my reasons for creating open source.
    1. I love coding
    2. Have an opportunity to meet worthy people
    3. Have an opportunity to learn a lot.

    Artur Hefczyc

    #

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