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The right cliche for OSS

Planesdragon (210349) writes | more than 8 years ago

PHP 3

(Why oh why isn't there an F/OSS icon?)

It occurs to me, after reading CyranoVR's latest jorunal, that the right axiom (or "cliche") for OSS isn't "you get what you pay for" or "beggars can't be choosers", but rather the following:

Scavengers must make do

(Why oh why isn't there an F/OSS icon?)

It occurs to me, after reading CyranoVR's latest jorunal, that the right axiom (or "cliche") for OSS isn't "you get what you pay for" or "beggars can't be choosers", but rather the following:

Scavengers must make do

So, the right guidepost for free computing is "scavengers must make do." Or, to translate: if you're not paying for it or writing it yourself, make do with what you find.

3 comments

No... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180513)

OSS is more like "choose, right, choose wisely". What you have chosen will come to haunt you.

I only chose OpenBSD and it never came to haunt me. That is because it is a popular and well supported OSS project. For example: I deployed OpenOffice in my family and I get complaints, but I do offer solutions, if they ask the correct questions.

Open source, is not just about free, it is about what you are willing to invest. Alas, depending on the product, your investment must go beyond "installing and testing". That is what our dear CyranVR hasn't undestood yet. (And, yes, I alread modified OSS projects, and no, my modifications weren't taken)

Re:No... (1)

arb (452787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180733)

Open source, is not just about free, it is about what you are willing to invest. Alas, depending on the product, your investment must go beyond "installing and testing".

Which is why F/OSS is far from ready for prime time. While off-the-shelf commercial software has bugs and security issues (see Microsoft) it pretty much works out of the box. Mom and Pop can usually figure out how to install and use the software with little hassle. In the corporate world, IT departments don't want to futz around with re-compiling apps, finding necessary (but not included in the main trunk - see Cyrano's complaint) patches and the like. Enterprise IT departments typically don't want to have to deal with recalcitrant F/OSS dev teams - their own users are bad enough.

And as George pointed out, most F/OSS "developers" seem to be more interested in working on "qool" skins rather than fixing functionality.

And you also run the risk of the developers getting tired of the game and just dropping their projects, leaving you high and dry.

Until things change drastically, F/OSS will remain the play thing of the techno-elite - people with more time than sense who can afford to piss-fart around trying to make this crap work.

Not every user can write code. Not every user wants to write code. Not every user should write code. One of F/OSS's rallying cries is "you've got the source, so you can modify the program how you want" is complete bullshit. First of all, assuming you are a programmer and happen to know the language the software's written in, just try finding any useful development documentation. Then try to figure out how the thing works and where your changes belong. Next, consider the difficulty of getting your changes into the main trunk and if you can't do that, you've now made your life infinitely more difficult because you have sole responsibility for future support and maintenance of your new patched version. As new features and bug-fixes are added to the project, you will need to work out how your patch(es) apply to these changes - a major PITA. This is a false economy.

For many organisations, it is cheaper and easier to simply buy off-the-shelf than it is to pay for in-house developers (which they may not have on hand) to fix and maintain their F/OSS software.

Re:No... (1)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14181120)

Alas, depending on the product, your investment must go beyond "installing and testing". That is what our dear CyranVR hasn't understood yet.

And what is one supposed to do, "dear" JtS, when use of said half-baked OSS software becomes a business requirement for reasons beyond one's control? I'm open to suggestions.
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