You are absolutely right. I thought yours was an argument against BSD licenses.Originally Posted by Hoodlum
So, focusing correctly this time: the point of the BSD-like license is clear. You need such a permissive license to close parts of the project without worrying about legal consequences. I think your concerns about the proposed model are valid, although there is nothing suggesting that those problems would always and automatically arise. This is, it would be perfectly possible to have a project delivered in this way that didn't have the majority of its development behind closed doors, but only critical parts that have the potential to generate revenue. This doesn't automatically translate into a useless piece of code with all the goodies closed (the article mentions 50-80% of the source to remain open at all times, which I find on the low side). As long as a usable part of the code is open, I don't see any fundamental problem here. The time gap between the commercial release of the code and its source, as mentioned in the article, doesn't have to be huge, and it can be adapted to the particular rate of progress in the field of application. Sure, you have reasons to be wary about such promises, but it all depends on who is doing what.
It is not a black or white situation. You say you don't see this as a way forward for free software, although you acknowledge it could work. Most of us agree there are some gaps in the open source application universe. I don't discard a general change of paradigm in the future, but so far it seems software companies are not dying to fill those gaps for free. If this, or other development model, can help to expand the number of open source applications, the delay between the release of the code and that of the source is, in my opinion, a small price to pay. If Id software released the code of Q3 in 1999 it would be, well, astonishing (it would also mean that Id wouldn't be what it is today). That they released it in 2005 was only awesome.
Well, I was arguing something the original post wasn't arguing, as you read above. However, within what I wrongly assumed it was being discussed, let me clarify a couple of points.Originally Posted by Apopas
First, I don't get what you are trying to say about KDE and Gnome not being applications at all. Of course they are. The distinction between "applications", "sets of applications", "desktop environments" or whatever you had in mind when you wrote that is irrelevant. I named the first two open source projects that came to my mind and compared their success to that of Firefox. Firefox is a killer application and the other two are not.
There isn't any problem. There are facts. Like the developers of Firefox didn't start from scratch to write a browser. Like when the first version targeted for general use was released, a giant company provided millions of dollars due to their own strategic reasons (despite the browser having less than 4% usage share). Like the fact that this flow of cash continued year after year until today, representing 90% of Mozilla's revenue. So, given all this, I find it amusing that you somehow are able to make a neat distinction between cause and effect, explaining Firefox's sucess on their ability to find a good sponsor or the quality of the application. I don't, and that's why I don't consider Mozilla a representative example of how to make money from open source software or how to create a top notch application.
You say that "The fact is that a FOSS app was able to sign a good deal getting a certain income like that. RedHat sells colsulting and support etc. It's obvious that there are ways for FOSS to get income". Please, don't stop at the et cetera. I want to hear about all those successful projects that are making money of which Mozilla is a representative example.