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Towards A Real Business Model For Open-Source Software

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  • Apopas
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    I don't agree either, but let's not fool ourselves, Mozilla takes a huge amount of cash from Google, distorting any judgment we can make about its success in the desktop market.
    I'm not sure that I understand what you mean here.
    Isn't a measure of success to find good sponsors?

    Leave a comment:


  • yotambien
    replied
    I saw nothing relevant there, although I skipped a lot of it. In any case, a video documentary is not the preferred media to convey information. Please provide links to useful text documents or expand on the arguments yourself. You could start cutting down on the "BSD promotes stealing" idea. Only a dishonest interpretation of the wishes of the original authors, as well as a complete contempt for their intellectual abilities can lead to that conclusion.

    A couple of quotes I picked up from the thread:

    Originally posted by Hoodlum
    Firstly, the general point that you are moving away from software freedom to create this model from the very start. While BSD licences give you more absolute freedom (imo) this model would create a situation where the practical freedom (of the code, users etc) is less. A majority of the interesting development would be closed. Closed development processes and reduced transparency. This would certainly add a new dynamic to the BSD vs GPL debate (which I personally don't care about, just making the point).
    I'm not sure about whether the scenario you describe does necessarily follow. On the one hand, there is no lack of examples of important projects that used and use some sort of BSD-like license with much success, effectively increasing--as you said--the "absolute freedom" available. So what "practical freedoms"--I don't quite get what you mean with this--would be gained if, say, X or Apache were licensed under the GPL? The second part, about where the interesting development takes place, is quite debatable. By using BSD-like licenses you certainly promote development in the first stages of the chain, since there are no strings attached. In this way, potential funding bodies, perhaps with an interest in seeing monetary profit at the end of the process, would not be put off by any complications that may arise due to license limitations. Thus, BSD-like licenses are perceived as a way to promote research and creation of standards, which can then be implemented by whoever is interested, making profit or not.

    Originally posted by o0max0o
    I also don't agree with your statement that Open Source software cannot even break the server/consulting ghetto. I'll make just one name to prove you wrong: Mozilla.
    I don't agree either, but let's not fool ourselves, Mozilla takes a huge amount of cash from Google, distorting any judgment we can make about its success in the desktop market.

    Leave a comment:


  • crazycheese
    replied
    This is directed to anyone, who thinks BSD licensing is good.
    It is not. It creates idea stealing. It creates basis for NDAs. It makes a programmer dependent from corporations,both in physical survival and in copyright recongition, this is contrary to independance.

    Listen to the wise old man.
    He has uncovered the real devilish sense of BSD.
    GPL is the only true option at protecting intellectual property in the meaning of information and not something physical.


    -- 11:06 - 11:40 --


    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...rch&plindex=0#

    Leave a comment:


  • Hephasteus
    replied
    Originally posted by Sprewell View Post

    In the last 4 quarters, Red Hat brought in $750 million in revenues, Microsoft brought in $60 billion: that is almost two orders of magnitude more. Red Hat isn't some new startup either, it's been around 17 years. If there were so much money in open source, they'd be making it by now and grabbing huge market share.
    Ya ya. Microsoft had 23 billion cash on hand at the start of the downturn. Yet it still goes to the market and bonds out 3.5 billion dollars last year. You know what the closed source model has that the open source model doesn't. Big fat lies. Until you grab micorosft by the throat and shake it till it fears for it's own life it won't tell you the truth. Until you actually learn what deception is and how it's employed. You will never understand how workable business models fail while unworkable business models succeed. You read charts and study data that is lies every day of your life. It doesn't make sense and it will never make sense till you learn to call it out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hoodlum
    replied
    I'm responding to the article rather than the comments.

    The business model seems viable. I think it certainly has potential for profit. However it does not seem desirable if software freedom is a concern, for several reasons:

    Firstly, the general point that you are moving away from software freedom to create this model from the very start. While BSD licences give you more absolute freedom (imo) this model would create a situation where the practical freedom (of the code, users etc) is less. A majority of the interesting development would be closed. Closed development processes and reduced transparency. This would certainly add a new dynamic to the BSD vs GPL debate (which I personally don't care about, just making the point).

    Secondly your suggestion of the code being closed for years; this results in closed solutions being unavailable to many and free alternatives being developed before they are opened, massive redundancy. There is already a lot of redundancy in FOSS, we don't need more. This presents other problems too. For example after 5 years the newly opened code, even if it wasn't obsolete, would be dumped out as a "finished" project. The code released would be completely foreign to everyone outside of the closed developers, who have likely moved on to other projects. This prevents you taking advantage of the beneficial aspects of open development. This issue alone has killed otherwise excellent projects in the past.

    Reading the article I get the impression this is a band-aid fix for a problem inherent with open source development. I applaud your attempt to improve the situation, especially for smaller projects such as the BSDs and for them maybe it would work. For bigger FOSS projects, with rapid development I don't see this as viable. Free alternatives to any closed project would be created and improved before the code could ever be released. If the BSDs became more successful this same situation would probably occur there too but then again, maybe that's enough? Just to get into a position where the service model is viable for you?

    Leave a comment:


  • ABBY
    replied
    This is a really excellent read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

    Leave a comment:


  • nanonyme
    replied
    Originally posted by kraftman View Post
    If someone uses GPL and shares he must be a contributor. It's, so simple
    This is a bit unclear.
    If someone shares the original piece of GPL code, they are redistributing. (covered by license)
    If they are making derivative code and sharing it, they are contributing. (also covered by license)
    If this was what you meant, I agree.

    Leave a comment:


  • timrichardson
    replied
    Why is Linux not a success on the desktop?

    No one has challenged the definition of success. The original author seems to equate success with making lots of money. By this definition, Linux is a complete failure, but if you have to wonder if software based on copyleft open-source licensing would even consider this to be the applicable benchmark.
    Based on the criteria of providing a modern operating system which is open source, Linux is not only a success, it has completely dominated its competitors. Linux market share is tiny, but so is BMW's market share. Both are products that skilled users go our of their way to use.

    People contribute to copyleft opensource software for lots of reasons, but one of them is that they see a system where co-operation is guaranteed: where they have their contribution exploited. Subscriptions models are not open-source and don't encourage users to become developers. Don't call it open source. It's not very unusual actually; lots of products have "community" versions which are open-source and enhanced versions which are closed source. I personally would steer away from such products if there was an open source equivalent; open-source projects only need a couple of good developers to do amazing things, and I'd much rather support real open source. But that's just me.

    In the app-store world, we see that a lot of small developers can make a good living by selling a $2 app and it seems that open source is not making much impact here. For niche products, open source may not be the way to go.

    Leave a comment:


  • perpetualrabbit
    replied
    Why linux is not a success on the desktop?

    Why is Linux not a success on the desktop?
    ------------------------------------------

    * To begin I would like to counter with saying that for many people Linux _IS_ a success. I gave my parents an older computer, and put ubuntu on it. It does anything they need: web, internet banking, word processing, printing, burning CD's, etc. They had a windows computer before, but it was so slow and so full of viruses, it was just frightening. Then they got a macbook, but after a few years it broke down, and was out of warranty. On their pensions they cannot afford another Mac. So Linux is a big success for them actually, and in no way are they held back in doing the things they want. In fact, they can do lots more then they ever could with windows or the macbook.
    * Millions of people around the world use linux as a desktop system, but they are hard to count. How can you count them without clear sales figures, right? Only statistical methods apply, but they are unreliable.
    * Linux is not pre-installed on computers like windows or mac, and 95% of people (statistic made up, meaning only the vast majority) will never put a new OS on their computers. This means that most people never get to choose to install Linux. The only way most people start using a new version of Windows or OS X is when they buy a new computer. Half of the people even never update their OS within a major version, i.e. they do not install Microsofts' service packs. With OS X this is somewhat easier, and Mac users will update more often, but still I bet that over half of them have no plans to run Snow Leopard. The only way that Linux will ever be mainstream is when it comes with the computer you buy. Only 10% or so will ever consider doing anything else than what other people are doing. We are a species or mostly stupid sheep, followers, don't ever forget that people.

    But Linux is doesn't have many games, proper open source 3D drivers, multimedia gadgets etc.!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    * The graphics and sound infrastructure in linux is a big mess. Way too many developer groups not working together enough is the biggest problem, followed by not having access to necessary documentation for programming the hardware.
    * Here I think is an opportunity for a concerted effort by a few big teams of experienced programmers, with proper funding and a good plan. This will need to be funded, because people like that are scarce, therefore not cheap. Linux needs something like OS X corevideo, coreaudio and coregraphics. The many little projects there are, like for instance Gallium3D, DRI, and ALSA, Pulseaudio and all the others that overlap or leave gaps need to be consolidated and work together. Following a good plan with clear milestones, and with proper funding.
    * To get there, the Aladdin license it not such a bad idea at all. You either pay for the latest and greatest driver infrastructure that works for the latest and greatest hardware NOW, or you wait half a year, or one year, but not more, and you get it for free under the GPL. I find that very reasonable, I having spent say 300 euros on a new videocard or high-end soundcard, I would not mind to spent say 50 euros on the driver infrastructure. Not at all. And neither should you mind, or you should just use the slightly older version. The half-year (or so) delay of releasing the code under GPL might also be enough to get nvidia to give their hardware documentation under NDA.
    * When important driver infrastructure and software libraries for sound, graphics, video etc. are in place, games are easier to port to linux, so they will come. Linux can be a gaming platform. The video library mess and audio mess are reasons given by Adobe why Linux still has no proper working 64 bit Flash plugin. The one there is now really sucks, as you all know.
    * There are other areas lacking in Linux land: wifi drivers, printer drivers, easy color management support (it exists, say lprof, but it is not easy like in a mac), gimp not close to being a photoshop, compatibility with iPhones, digital cameras, lots of other gadgets. These things could also be developed in the same way, or by the same as yet imaginary company.
    * Once gaming comes to linux because the infrastructure for it is there, Linux is mainstream. Gaming systems get used as normal PCs by the parents of those gamers, say, and Linux will gain more and more users. Once it gets market share, all the stupid little gardening, bookkeeping etc., meaning the tens of thousands of applications that windows has but Linux lacks, will come too.
    * And with becoming mainstream the viruses and other malware will come to Linux too. Linux may be less vulnerable a priori, but that only means that malware creators for Linux will need to work harder, be more sophisticated. With mainstream use come lowering of the collective IQ of the Linux users, and the stupid masses are the targets of the organized crime that are after the identities, banking passwords, money of those masses.
    So be careful what you wish for.

    Patents will destroy Linux/open source long before it becomes mainstream!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    * They will not. They did not destroy Apple, Microsoft, Sun, IBM etc. Worst case it means that you will need to pay royalties for using a distro.
    * There almost certainly is going to be a fight, with Apple, Microsoft, this `mpeg-la' on one side, and Google, Redhat, maybe IBM, Canonical, Redhat on the other. Oracle hopefully sides with the bright side.
    * With this Bilski lawsuit, and lots of criticism on the patents systems of USA and EU, there is bound to be a reform in that area too. If only because big and upcoming tech producing countries like India and China are never going to abide by these patents. Asia generally does not respect copyright, let alone software patents. And they shouldn't. The same goes for copyright on music and movies. Sooner or later the corporates are going to loose, because sooner or later there will be a system like bittorrent which cannot be traced back to an individual or IP number, will be completely encrypted, cannot be blocked because simply working at port 80. A system that can only be blocked when shutting down the internet completely, or forbidding all encryption. Some file sharing system that is totally dark and can be used with total anonymity, not distinguishable from normal ssl traffic (to https:// sites). It will come if the MPAA and RIAA will keep doing what they are doing.
    * So the market will change and a sane way of getting pay-for content to users and still get paid. Like some kind of flat fee system that does not exclude the little indie record companies. This will make DRM and things like h.264 obsolete sooner or later.

    In the mean time, it is really important to get the Linux software infrastructure for 3D graphics, video and audio in a good state. At least as good as Windows and OS X, preferably a lot better. It is possible, with good leadership and proper funding, and a good plan. Not even that much funding, but still probably somewhere in the tens of millions. And a strong legal arm, to shield the programmers from patents lawsuits and stuff like that. It can be done in a year or two, and I think Google, Redhat, Canonical, Novell, IBM, Oracle and more are the companies that will gain enormously from it, and should therefore fund this idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • kraftman
    replied
    because it mast remain available for community and BSD does not
    must* of course.

    Leave a comment:

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