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Study Urges CIOs To Choose Open Source First

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the first-and-free dept.

Cloud 95

littlekorea writes "A new study has urged CIOs to consider open source over proprietary software or public cloud services when replacing legacy gear. But the study's author, Professor Jim Norton, warns that open source won't be a cure-all for some companies. From the article: ' Open source software, Norton said, provides enterprise IT with easier access to innovation via a "great global self-re-enforcing community of shared resources, ideas and development." That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.'"

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95 comments

Publication bias (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358519)

All studies urging CIOs to prefer "professional solutions" -- not published on /.

Re:Publication bias (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358571)

And are probably not published at all.

I wouldn't expect most CIO's to be broadcasting to the world their costing estimates or disclosing the full extent of their IT infrastructure etc.

Besides, it really does matter on a company by company basis - what works for your company may not work for mine, so as much as generic studies like this can be a useful piece of the puzzle they aren't the final word for any specific outfit.

Re:Publication bias (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359149)

Beyond this, there is the code debt to consider... banking and airlines rely heavily on mainframe system backends to this day because of the debt and colossal effort change or migration would take.. many solutions to do so fail, or are lipstick on a pig... I've been pushing for some platform migrations for some time... I wrote a service at work in NodeJS in about 180 lines of code, that would have taken a lot more in most other platforms (Java, .Net etc) ... it's been a bit of a beach-head movement where simple services, and scripts are needed... as JS is an easier sell than PowerShell, (I'm not a fan) and I just don't like creating a compiled solution when a simple script will do the job as well or better.

Logical Fallacy Bias (3, Funny)

oakgrove (845019) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358645)

How about studies of AC first posters with nothing worthwhile to say resorting to the predictably boring ad hominem?

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358737)

I don't think ad hominem means what you think it does.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358795)

Hur dur. Yeah, railing against Slashdot for not showing the studies you want to see rather than arguing against the study highlighted if you disagree is pretty much textbook example of an ad hominem. Keep trying though, sparky.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358929)

A statement of fact is not an ad hominem.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358953)

A statement of fact is not an ad hominem.

Republicans usually act like it is.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358959)

To be clearer, since what I just said makes no sense, this would be a strawman if anything. And to my original post, he's right, even though it still may be a fallacy.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1)

PNutts (199112) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359101)

To be clearer, since what I just said makes no sense,

I don't know why, but this really cracks me up.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1)

hackula (2596247) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361161)

It could be. Whether or not the statement is a fact has nothing to do with whether or not it is an ad hominem.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1)

Kyogreex (2700775) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367855)

Exactly. A fact unrelated to the issue at hand that sheds a negative light on the source is still an ad hominem.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (2)

PNutts (199112) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359091)

His claim is bias, nothing more. Here's a textbook example of ad hominem [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (1, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360525)

You clearly have nothing valuable to say, because you put stock in wikipedia... have you never heard of wikiality? ;)

But yes... as others have said, it's a strawman if anything, but it's a statement of fact, so not really a strawman at all. Slashdot *does* have a publication bias, just as *every* "news" outlet has one. The good ones know they have a bias and admit to it so that you can adjust your perception accordingly. The bad ones claim to be fair and balanced and free of bias. Here, they pander to the fanbois, because pitting the different groups against each other generates page impressions (Apple vs. Android, or Open Source vs. Microsoft, etc.), which they can use to sell advertising space... and given that they let a lot of the older, higher karma posters turn off the obvious ads, this means that some of the stories are themselves ads.

More on topic, OSS is sometimes the right choice, sometimes the wrong choice. There's far more that goes into the decision of which platform to choose than people seem to think or understand. It's well and good to say that you should be sticking to OSS for your enterprise, but people don't seem to understand that there's interoperability considerations too. You need to make sure that your customers will be able to read what you're producing and communicate with you, too. This means that, sometimes, you don't really have a choice about whether to use something like MS Office, or AutoCAD, which necessarily dictates what platform you're running on.... most of MS Office will run on Linux/Wine or Crossover, for example, but if you want to run the latest version of Visio or Powerpoint it's a lost cause... it does not render properly, and Powerpoint is extremely unstable. You need to run Mac or Windows for it render properly. Similarly, if you want to put downloadable documents on your website, you may have no choice about whether to include .DOC or .PDF versions of your documents, even if the web server itself is running on an OSS platform. Likewise, if you want your users to be able to use their phones or tablets for e-mail and have full calendar/contact sync with their desktops, you may have no choice about whether to run MS Exchange, depending on which phone platform you standardize on.

You simply can't say that OSS > Proprietary software for all circumstances. It's an oversimplification of the real issues, and doesn't take into account other factors like interoperability with other organizations. It's well and good to suggest that you should standardize on OSS for the enterprise, but unless you're doing only the most basic office tasks, you will have at least some need for a proprietary system. For my personal use on my laptop, yes, I can easily go with open source for everything. I did, actually... there's not a single piece of closed source software running on my laptop and I have yet to encounter a use case to justify installing it. For Office tasks I have gnumeric and AbiWord installed and have never had a problem... for personal use where I don't need to interoperate with other users, and if I do I can copy to an e-mail or print it out. My desktop/gaming machine, however, is running under Windows 7. It's a different use case, and for that specific example, an OSS operating system is a non-starter. It's not about idealogy, it's about using the right tool for the job, and in business it's the same story.

Re:Logical Fallacy Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359219)

How about studies of AC first posters with nothing worthwhile to say resorting to the predictably boring ad hominem?

Or the ever present counter-trolling which comes as a result...

Re:Publication bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359203)

All studies urging CIOs to prefer "professional solutions" -- not published on /.

Thats as stupid as complaining that "Most people are still alive" when reading a story about 100 people killed by a new airborne AIDS virus. It's news exactly because it contradicts the majority opinion.

Happy Sunday night from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358525)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Sunday night from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358601)

A bot would've gotten first post. A bot would be less sad.

Re:Happy Sunday night from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358631)

Because I post those by hand, not via a bot.

Re:Happy Sunday night from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358647)

You didn't post it. Fuck you!

Commercial support (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358611)

CIOs buy open source tools all the time - and they pay RedHat or Oracle to support them. However - no CIO is going to spend real dollars, dollars which will get him fired, on unsupported software, no matter how cool the user forums are.

Re:Commercial support (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358659)

Real CIOs spend dollars on officially-unsupported software all the time in commercial companies, successfully. They do it by hiring real talent that can manage open source software stacks internally (do their own bug-hunting and upstream contributions).

Re:Commercial support (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358989)

Actually, they do it all the time by keeping outdated and unsupported pieces of software around instead of updating to the latest and greatest for the sake of doing it. This can be open or closed source software. I do not know how many windows XP workstations I run across on a daily basis not because the software running on them will only run on XP or the systems will not support windows 7 (some will not though), but because getting some piece of software to run on windows 7 requires an upgrade that costs thousands and there is no legit reason to justify it until it is necessary (No features needed or wanted outside of working on windows 7 reliably).

Hell, I have two application suits that can be upgraded right now under the existing support contracts (one of which I can get no live support outside of knowledge base articles if I do not upgrade) but it will not happen because the companies will not authorize the budget to do the upgrades. They are in a maintenance mode waiting on the economy to turn up more or something.

It's not just about competent employees or open verses closed source software, it is about saving a buck, backwards compatibility and so on too.

Re:Commercial support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359593)

I do not know how many windows XP workstations I run across on a daily basis not because the software running on them will only run on XP or the systems will not support windows 7 (some will not though), but because getting some piece of software to run on windows 7 requires an upgrade that costs thousands and there is no legit reason to justify it until it is necessary (No features needed or wanted outside of working on windows 7 reliably).

Which is precisely why they should be using Linux instead. MS will end support of XP and force you to either install W7 or be vulnerable to all kinds of unpatched exploits. With Open Source software, like Linux, you have the choice to hire in house team to keep applying the updates if that's cheaper than migrating to the newest version of the OS. With closed source software you don't have much of a choice. Enjoy your golden proprietary handcuffs fool -- It's called Planned Obsolescence, and it's all the rage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bxzU1HFC7Q

Re:Commercial support (2)

SpzToid (869795) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359661)

Just wondering, but wouldn't it be worth it for the sake of oh, I don't know, lower hardware and space costs, energy, backup costs, ongoing risk, etc.) to virtualize those XP workstations to run in a more modern environment? As a small-business linux guy, I personally find the most cost-effective way to run any Windows requirement is by using virtual machines.

To try to answer my own question, I suppose not, because doing nothing at this point is currently perceived as the lowest-cost, lowest-risk option in your shop?

I ask because I don't have the responsibility you do, I'm just a developer and I'm curious what you think. In my own experience, I've learned to virtualize just about anything once I cloned the disk safely using dd on Linux, but I must say I worked for the skill, and broke a few things first; and clearly there's risk and cost creating even a virtual clone from the original HD, following earlier common backups bla bla bla, (and I suppose you must accept use of VMware-or-whatever drivers).

Re:Commercial support (1)

zeroduck (691015) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360703)

This might not be the GPs problem, but in my office, the reason for not upgrading is tied to expensive hardware that doesn't support the newer version of Windows or has known issues on everything except one configuration of Windows and PC.

We're an engineering company, so a lot of the issues have to do with compatibility with hardware that is custom or rare... so, our experience may not be typical.

Re:Commercial support (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41373931)

It's all tied to expense. The companies I work with/for are small shops with less then 50 employees who do not develop in house except for maybe their web page if you could count that. They instead rely on industry specific proprietary software. Some of this software will just work for everything they need so they do not budget the expense of someone upgrading it or the costs of purchasing the upgrades.

Usually after about 2-3 years, they drop the support contracts for it because nothing has gone wrong and they see it as an unneeded expense. Most of the software doesn't include upgrades in their support contracts either. They treat the computers and software a lot like a wrench or a hammer or a Television set, as long as the ones they have work, there is no big reason to buy another. They think buying upgrades is a lot like getting a New TV simply because the screen is 2 inches bigger.

Re:Commercial support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359239)

Real CIOs spend dollars on officially-unsupported software all the time in commercial companies, successfully. They do it by hiring real talent that can manage open source software stacks internally (do their own bug-hunting and upstream contributions).

No, they don't. They purchase the systems/software from a vendor who has a support contract, and who already has an engineering team which specializes in those systems. "Official" support is not always required, and frankly speaking if you had any industry experience you'd know that there are a lot of "end of life" software/hardware systems which will continue to be supported on an individual contract basis. Hell, the ISP I used to work at was running some Cisco IOS code almost a year after end-of-life and it was still supported by Cisco due to the contract which was in place.

Why hire, train, manage, and attempt to retain a highly specialized group that may not fit into your business plan at all when there's already one out there for you which doesn't come with the HR burden? Talk about re-inventing the wheel. In my business I regularly deal with the engineering teams who actually designed and built the hardware and software systems we use.

Re:Commercial support (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359671)

I've had some good success stories being involved in implementing several OSS-based solutions for a client. The model they use is: their own team of hired talent sets up the OSS stack, makes sure the software runs in the company ecosystem and that it does what the business needs it to do. Then they hand the thing over to a specialised OSS support team in India. That way we do not have to deal with yet another support contract or vendor, we use our preferred IT supplier to supply hired talent to support these systems. The advantage is that we get support guys who already know our infrastructure inside out, and are familiar with our organisation. Some systems are now running over 5 years, and we have found that the majority of problems are related to system integration or the infrastructure, not to issues with the software itself. Being an OSS generalist is good enough to support our stuff, and in the one case were we did need an expert, we hired one for a few weeks.

A lot of companies go with "in between" vendors like RedHat because they are a liability firewall. We've had some experience with that as well: if an open source product is found to infringe on some patent, or found to contain proprietary bits of code, the claimant will go after large corporate users of the software. Unless there's a vendor like RedHat, in which case it's them who get sued. Support contracts with such vendors sometimes explicitly stipulate where the buck stops in such cases.

Re:Commercial support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41363905)

I think you have another problem to solve - the outsourced "support" in India needs to be replaced.

And how is that money well spent? (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359647)

I've never understood how some OSS people seem to think spending money on licenses or support contracts is money wasted, but spending money on people to fight with software to make it do what you want is money well spent. No, it is all money either way. The question is what gets you more of what you want and costs less doing it.

There isn't a right answer for every situation. It depends on what your company does, what kind of people you have, how large it is, what your needs are and so on.

For example if you need a custom solution and you already have a bunch of developers, maybe getting OSS code and going that way is the correct answer (though maybe you don't give back, you don't have to if you don't distribute it). However if an off the shelf product meets your needs for a good price then it can well be the way to go.

Re:And how is that money well spent? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361509)

That is easy to explain, because in most cases you need to fight with, euh against, the software to do what you need it to do anyway.

If the existing product fits perfect for your needs, in that case it doesn't matter. But most organisations need software to fit their process.

OSS code just allows you to do it your way, you could ask/pay the vendor to change their code but that is an extra cost.

Re:Commercial support (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360871)

Exactly - not being reliant on a vendor to fix problems and for feature requests is nowhere near as beneficial financially as when you can create your own priority for what you want and execute it merely by having to hire some programmers.

Re:Commercial support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41362275)

An example being Apple's support on the LLVM project

Re:Commercial support (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358671)

You'd be surprised what a CIO in the grip of the development department might do. Or, more to the point, since they are generally free, the CIO might be surprised to find out what is running on his hardware since one only asks the CIO for permission for things if they need it in the budget.

I've seen a few places that will install free software and then hand the execs a bill for "optional" support once it is part of the application. Although I like the initiative and the way they get around the execs, I often want to strangle them because they tend to throw this stuff at production without understanding that just because it is the newest and greatest thing, doesn't mean that anyone really knows how to support it.

Re:Commercial support (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358683)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the author of the study isn't advocating that. Did you even read the article?

Re:Commercial support (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359105)

However - no CIO is going to spend real dollars, dollars which will get him fired, on unsupported software,

If it's Open Source and they aren't paying for support then how are they going to be spending "real dollars" on it?

dollars which will get him fired

Crumbs, I am glad I work somewhere decisions are made based on what makes sense not on avoiding any sort of responsibility.

Re:Commercial support (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361959)

If they're not paying for support, but the thing breaks, and works stops @ the company - they cannot take customer orders, they cannot trigger orders to their supply chain or things of that sort, then it's costing them money. On one hand, the paychecks of employees still have to keep pouring out, but the revenue ain't gonna come in until operations can continue smoothly.

So if a company couldn't work day to day, and the reason was that the computers were broke, the CIO's butt would be on fire until he had everything up & running. So yeah, a CIO might (and should) choose to go the open source route, but in that case, they'd also hire a team of software guys whose job it is to make sure that everything is running smoothly - whether it's by patching code, or advising changes in certain configurations, and so on. Long term, it saves them from having to spend a bundle when a software title wants to do a migration but IT is not ready for it: they can keep running the old stuff as long as it works for them.

That'll work ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358613)

... if there are $100 bills attached to the study.

This article is trivial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358639)

Companies should "consider open source". Well, duh. Some open source solutions, like Linux, Apache, and Hadoop, are best of breed or damn close to it. Others, not so much. Then there is MySql, which is not best of breed but is "good enough" for many purposes and comes free of licensing fees. Nobody needed this study to tell them that.

From TFA:

There are plenty of examples, he noted, of critical infrastructure relying on open source; the London Stock Exchange, Google’s search engine (and tellingly, its rival Microsoft Bing), and many Defence applications are among them.

Tellingly? Bing runs on Windows. Google's engine runs on Linux but the search engine is proprietary. Google developers have written papers describing their MapReduce framework (that's what inspired Hadoop) but the source code is still under lock and key.

Re:This article is trivial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358715)

Google's engine runs on Linux but the search engine is proprietary.

This means jack shit with respect to the article. Their infrastructure makes heavy use of open source software. I'm pretty sure that doesn't necessitate that their search engine be freely available. I see this troll quite often and it is no more valid than the first 127,324,495,231 times it was copy-pasta'd but by all means please continue to bore us with it in the future.

HOW QUICKLY THESE DIE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358825)

99.9% of all open source projects I have seen has or will have, or will soon have, DIED !!, never to phibes again !! And support ?? May as well go stand in a corner and spin round and round, because what comes around goes around !! I'll tell you why !! Because it's free, and in beer !!

OSS == Faster resolutions? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41358927)

That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.

Bwahahaha... yes, that's why it takes Mozilla over 5 years to fix bugs in Thunderbird despite all the user complaints. I guess that's why they chose to "give it" to the community, because they can't be bothered to look after it themselves any more.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359179)

Open source developers typically don't get paid to work on the software. That's not 100% true with Mozilla as they're a non profit and have a few devs on the payroll. Still, they're not your personal bug fixit team.

If I had a dollar for every time someone demanded I fix something...

Seriously, where were your patches?

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359271)

Open source developers typically don't get paid to work on the software. That's not 100% true with Mozilla as they're a non profit and have a few devs on the payroll. Still, they're not your personal bug fixit team.

If I had a dollar for every time someone demanded I fix something...

Seriously, where were your patches?

We're talking about relying on open source software in a business. If that's your response to the executive board on why a failed system couldn't get fixed in a reasonable amount of time, then you'd best be polishing up your resume. Businesses don't just need the applications, they need the "personal bug fix-it team", and that's what paid software gets you that open source often doesn't. A good vendor support contract is worth its weight in gold.
I've seen more than one situation where a major vendor wrote, tested, and released a patch update specifically for my company. Last I checked, when you stumble across a previously unknown bug which is crippling your live production environment, you can't get most open source contributers to wake up at 3:30AM to troubleshoot it.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

bmarkovic (2676593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359611)

What vendor support contract will get you your personal bug fix-it team? You obviously never worked with Microsoft and their support, or you're in a Fortune 500 that can spend couple of millions yearly to get that level of support (i.e. you're one of the reasons why regular users get regression bugs or idiotic functionality since you have the money to make the vendor cut updates to suit your fancy). In the real world (of small and medium companies, you know, where most IT people actually work), your best served by a small vendor, preferably local, that considers YOU an important customer. And provided that he employs some developers himself for him the best model is Open Source since he can tailor it to his customers needs.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359883)

Microsoft/IBM/Oracle and just about every other big name vendor. I have personally used both Microsoft and IBM critical support processes, hell MS even flew in a field engineer to our office to debug the product on site on a sunday.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359799)

I've seen more than one situation where a major vendor wrote, tested, and released a patch update specifically for my company. Last I checked, when you stumble across a previously unknown bug which is crippling your live production environment, you can't get most open source contributers to wake up at 3:30AM to troubleshoot it.

I wouldn't even get up at 8AM if I wasn't get paid for it.

So where's your problem?

With both open and closed source you can contract with a vendor that hires people that might have to get up and fix stuff. But if the vendor doesn't consider you important enough to actually call them, you're screwed.

With open source, you have the additional possibility to hire those guys yourself, if your problem is important enough to you.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359773)

Yes, faster. Bug resolution in OSS will never be slower than fixing them for yourself. That may be slow, but compared to closed source, where there is no guarantee that a bug will be fixed at all, it's definitly faster.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360023)

What user complaints would those be?

I've used T-bird for several years with zero problems on Linux and Windows. The Portable version for Windows is excellent because I can back up the program and emails in one shot, and have a readable backup I can effortlessly load elsewhere.

Re:OSS == Faster resolutions? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year and a half ago | (#41366151)

That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.

Bwahahaha... yes, that's why it takes Mozilla over 5 years to fix bugs in Thunderbird despite all the user complaints. I guess that's why they chose to "give it" to the community, because they can't be bothered to look after it themselves any more.

It depends. If an end-user complains about something that is merely a bug, then it may or may not get done. However, if it is a vulnerability then it typically get closed within 24 hours, with distributions releasing a fix within a week - compared to Microsoft which takes at least 30 days, assuming they even do something about it. (Microsoft still has a lot of old vulnerabilities that they are not doing anything about because no one has "used" the vulnerability yet.)

Is this 2012? (5, Insightful)

nagasrinivas (1700232) | about a year and a half ago | (#41358971)

Most of this article reads like its 1999 now.

“The skilled, motivated staff that grew up with the internet don’t want to work with closed, old fashioned systems,” ...
"Norton cited studies from the London School of Economics which found that investments to deploy open source in-house drives longer-term savings of 20 percent over the alternatives"...
"It advises CIOs, for example, not to separate current support teams from new development teams"

It then goes on to explain the fish that they are trying to fry:

“We commissioned this study to highlight to our customers and shareholders our use of open systems and contribution to open systems,”

Ok great so you have opensource software. Before you propose any solution (any open source or proprietary) you'd think of a large number of factors. ROI is one of them. The capabilities of your staff and the availability of skills in the market would be another. The example of Tomcat and jQuery are lame to say the least. Some of the companies I worked for have use proprietary solutions AND save money in the process. For "enterprise" applications the major costs of running the show arent whether the software is open source or not. Maintenance over the life of the product costs much more (salaries, infrastructure, etc).

In the long term? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359071)

Some of the companies I worked for have use proprietary solutions AND save money in the process.

Really? Over the long term? What I have noticed with commercial vs. open source is that initially the commercial software seems a far better deal. They cut you a great price on the licence, support is included and you get very polished software (usually). However when the licence comes up for renewal the price goes up by well over the cost of inflation - but you got a good deal initial so it's still not bad. However after the 3rd of 4th renewal you realize that you are spending far more than you really should be on the software but the cost of migration is large enough that you decide to continue anyway for another 1-2 renewal until your budget literally cannot support the cost anymore and you are forced to switch to something else.

Compare that with Open Source where you purchase support. The company cannot stick up prices well above inflation because there is competition - if they charge too much it is easy to switch to a different company for support. In many ways, and perhaps somewhat ironically, open source seems to produce a far more open market, capitalist system than proprietary. Of course this is for commercial software aimed at institutes/companies, not shrink-wrapped software for the public where personal budgets are far smaller and the price cannot be negotiated with everyone purchasing the software.

Re:In the long term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359741)

There is something seriously wrong if the software cost is a significant part of the numbers. The company I work in uses a mix of both open source and propriety, even in the MS or IBM propriety solutions the overall cost of the software is a fraction of the total investment, usually the low single digit percentage figure. infrastructure and staff are the expensive pieces and usually the questions we ask a vendor is not whether it is open source or not but how many people and how much hardware in an ongoing basis does it require. Software costs while not irrelevant, they are certainly way down the list.

Re:In the long term? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360891)

What word do you live in? Proprietary software is mega-fucking expensive for any real business. Have you never heard of oracle? People spend millions of dollars a year just to keep that shit working.

Open source is a long term decision and always saves money since you get what you want - as you can do it yourself. You have absolutely no such guarantee for proprietary software - the vendor could ignore the shit out of you, have your own priorities, or other issues.

Re:In the long term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41361827)

What word do you live in? Proprietary software is mega-fucking expensive for any real business. Have you never heard of oracle? People spend millions of dollars a year just to keep that shit working.

Open source is a long term decision and always saves money since you get what you want - as you can do it yourself. You have absolutely no such guarantee for proprietary software - the vendor could ignore the shit out of you, have your own priorities, or other issues.

Whatever proprietary vendor that doesn't offer support for that amount of money will either die (due to open source / other competition) or at the very least lose customers.

What the AC alluded to was merely that yes, software may be expensive, but staff (pay, benefits) and staff supporting infrastructure (office, computer, machinery and so forth) is usually a lot more expensive. YMMV, but take any adobe application for instance (more reasonably than say an oracle db - that stuff is really expensive) will cost a lot less than whoever uses it for the benefit of the company.

There are absolutely a place for OS and if the project is mature enough it can probably be as good as a proprietary alternative - maybe even better. In the real world not everyone can do the modifications themselves so in our not so ideal world it's either a vendor supported proprietary/OS solution or no support at all.

Missing Point (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41365903)

...but take any adobe application for instance...

You are missing the point - I explicitly excluded "shrink-wrapped software for the public". While Adobe might be at the upper end of that scale Photoshop etc. is still mass market software where the price is fixed in advanced (unless you are negotiating a site license discount in which case the box price is still an upper bound on cost). "Industrial" software is not limited in that regard e.g. Oracle DB or Blackboard LMS etc. In these cases the software is not made available to the mass market for a fixed price but instead the cost is a negotiation between the seller and purchaser.

The result is something like a drug pushing operation: low initial prices to get you hooked and then a rapid increase because migration is expensive and costly. I make no judgement about whether Open source is better or worse than proprietary simply that with Open Source you know exactly where you stand because companies providing support do so in open competition (or if you are large enough you can just hire programmers to provide your own support). Frankly whether or not open source is cheaper or more expensive depends primarily on how the company selling the proprietary software behaves which, with changing management, is impossible to predict and not under your control. So proprietary software introduces a cost risk which open source does not have so if you want to get me to take that risk you had better have something more than open source to make it worthwhile.

Re:Is this 2012? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359163)

Most of this article reads like its 1999 now.

True... But you must not actually work in a typical large corporation with chunks of infrastructure that were already growing long in the tooth in 1999, I'm guessing? Otherwise, you'd see that this is in no wise remarkable.

Of course it's the rational solution (1, Insightful)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359113)

Since open source software, at least when you carefully choose it, won't get obsolete as quickly, and even when it does and all fails, you can simply hire some programmers to maintain it for you.

However we are talking about management here. It is not wise to select the most rational solution inside a company. Everybody can find the most rational solution to a problem. If you make rational decisions in a management position you are easily replaced.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359259)

Since open source software, at least when you carefully choose it, won't get obsolete as quickly, and even when it does and all fails, you can simply hire some programmers to maintain it for you.

Yes, I'm sure hiring those programmers will be a lot less expensive than buying proprietary software. We can just pay them in pizza and beer, right?

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359283)

Hmm... just try to buy a new version of Multics, or SCO Unix. Often simply hiring a programmer which makes the minimal changes to keep your old obsolete software running are much cheaper than switching to something new.

Just look at companies still using Windows XP because they need IE6. Switching their old legacy software to something new simply is to expensive.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361437)

And if IE6 had been open sourced, they could have just ported it to Windows 7, independently of MS, but not stuck in the stone age w/ XP.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359837)

Yes, I'm sure hiring those programmers will be a lot less expensive than buying proprietary software. We can just pay them in pizza and beer, right?

Often enough.

I had a few jobs during university that got paid in hardware. Both sides saved money that way. And I'm sure for many small stuff, you can hire some local CS student for little more than pizza and beer. (if quick & dirty is enough. It's documentation, support and other paperwork that drives cost up)

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41360701)

A fantastic way to get really poorly developed software.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360597)

Yes, I'm sure hiring those programmers will be a lot less expensive than buying proprietary software. We can just pay them in pizza and beer, right?

You misunderstood the statement: You buy FLOS-software, it gets obsolete/abandoned/broken by something, you hire someone who fixes it (best case). You buy proprietary software, it gets obsolete/abandoned/broken by something...what are you going to do?

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#41365525)

You buy FLOS-software, it gets obsolete/abandoned/broken by something, you hire someone who fixes it (best case). You buy proprietary software, it gets obsolete/abandoned/broken by something...what are you going to do?

The cost of hiring a F/OSS developer (just one!) will be about $150K per year. This is because the developer's salary ($75K in this example) is only half of the expenses that the employer incurs. The rest is invisible to the employee and includes various payroll taxes, benefits, administration and management, resources, computers... This money can buy a lot of proprietary software and support.

Note that many industrial products became available only as a result of the industrial revolution, when massive improvements in efficiency reduced the price of goods to the level that most people could afford them. For example, Autodesk as a company toils for decades making their AutoCAD. They poured tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars into development. But you can buy AutoCAD LT for about $700 and enjoy most of that value. This is because one group of developers sells to many customers, and the customers share the expense. But here you are proposing to step back and have craftsmen at every customer's office. Even if these programmers share their work, not much of it can be reused because they will only implement what a specific customer wants, in a way he wants it. (Why to pay for features that one does not need?) Autodesk, for example, had to make universal software from the day zero; that's why it is reusable. They threw in AutoLISP also, for special needs. A hacker in an architect's office will not even be able to access enough knowledge to be productive, let alone to produce competitive software. He'd need help - but there isn't any (or not enough) because the niche is narrow and nobody cares about his market.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361421)

In terms of cost of ownership, absolutely! Yeah, they are fully paid employees of your IT group (or however you decide to organize the company), but having them means that you can ignore someone like a Microsoft or an Oracle or an HP forcing you to upgrade to their latest software or hardware or combination of the two. Let's say you were running Windows Server 2008 and @ some point were forced to upgrade to Server 2012 after everything - extended support, etc - had died out. You still have some good iron on which that is running. Chances are that you'd be forced to upgrade not just the OS, but also the hardware, and maybe some of the software as well, since somethings may not run in Server 2012. The company has other priorities and this is a problem they don't need @ this time, but it's tossed into their faces.

With an Open Source approach, you have your own team. Let's say you had an Itanium on which was running, say Centos 5.0, which RH no longer supports for that platform. On top of it is running all Open Source software - be it ProgreSQL, Apache, Sendmail, et al, of which some may continue supporting Itanium, and some may have dropped support. With your own team, since you have the source code, you are not forced to sink those Itanics in favor of anything else, since yuor team can maintain them for you as long as they run. You save spending millions on those servers and software, in return for paying these guys a salary to keep the stuff you bought running just fine. They may even port some other open source software that you may need to the platform, even if it happens to not be supported. What's more, whenever the company is ready to spend cash on new stuff - they can do a thorough analysis on what's still good and what needs to go, and plan accordingly, within that Quarter's corporate objectives

So no, you don't buy them pizza or beer. You pay them a proper salary, and in return, they save you from sinking a few million here or there whenever vendors like HP or Microsoft or Oracle feel like it. You don't even have to bitch about other companies' support, since you are doing it on your own, and they depend on you not for customer satisfaction ratings, but their own performance reviews.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359505)

This is very true. For instance, think of people who bought Itaniums, and what might happen to them the day HP finally gives up on it. Had they only run Open Source software on it - like Debian or FreeBSD, ProgreSQL, Apache, et al, they at least have everything they need and not need external software support, since they could hire their own to maintain it as long as it's needed.

Even if an Open Source project gets abandoned, the company can continue to maintain the version it has, including patches, and thereby avoid forced obsolescence by vendors (like happened w/ the Alphas by HP) and be in control of its own migration, if and when it wants it. That is the biggest selling point for Open Source, not that it is free, or copylefted, or easily downloaded, or whatever. Incidentally, it would be a good idea of the OSI to deemphasize the first point - that Open Source must be freely distributable. I think that it should instead be that a company is at liberty to restrict downstream distribution, but if the software is distributed, it should include the source code w/ it.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

Casandro (751346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41363293)

One should note that in fact large companies already have the source to their software, simply because they developed it themselves. If you are an Airline in the 1960s you couldn't just go to a store and buy a seat reservation system. You bought a computer, and hired some programmers and operators and wrote it yourself. The idea of going to a store with your lawyers and buying some software is actually fairly new.

Re:Of course it's the rational solution (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41363401)

That is true, but what's being discussed here is companies which do have the choice of buying off the shelf software or getting/buying software that is open sourced, and then maintaining it. Yeah, the people who can write code & maintain that software can be asked to develop add-on solutions custom to their employers

Someone please find the author and deep fry them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359363)

That is all really. Basically, this author sounded like "herp derp derp, open sores! loonix rules! haaaaar!"

Re:Someone please find the author and deep fry the (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359877)

Our CEO calles Linux "linex". Not bad for a technology company which has approximately 200 Linux servers...

yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359499)

(snore)

shock horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41359701)

An open source advocate publishes a study that recommends Open Source. This is about as credible as Microsoft publishing a study recommending Windows or Apple publishing a study recommending OS.X. Whether the study is accurate or not is made irrelevant by the authors known bias, just as it would from MS or Apple or any other vendor.

Reluctant to change - fear of shared services (1)

Timtimes (730036) | about a year and a half ago | (#41359979)

I found that most companies are afraid to use cloud services because they fear for the safety and integrity of their internal documents. This is whack in so many ways since the majority of the clients I dealt with had worse back-up and security in place than the cloud providers they feared. Enjoy.

CIOs - Outsource your software development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41360253)

to geeks who will work for nothing, or maybe a beer or two.

The case for Open Source (0)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360353)

- greater innovation

- faster responce to change

- the ability to support a wide range of heterogeneous systems

- better access to skilled, motivated and innovative development and support staff

- faster exploitation of new technology developments

- the ability to draw on a global community for specilist knowlege and problem solving

- avoiding dependency on monopoly suppliers

- reduced total cost of owndership

- full visibility of, and thus confidence in the source code used Open for Business [amadeusblog.com]

Re:The case for Open Source (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year and a half ago | (#41362133)

Open source is free only if your time has no value. How many cases of packages being abandoned have we seen in the open source community, or the software updates forking in a direction that you don't want it to go? At least with Microsoft crap you've got a plethora of trained and experienced staff or contractors on which to draw upon who can work with your software systems. Choosing open source is a crapshoot at best, the odds only in your favor if you hire a few capable programmers. Last software development company I worked with chose open source to save money, and ended up with less-than-capable programmers supporting the product because they were cheap with their employees too.

Open Source licenses .. (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41360375)

There are three key types of license under which OSS may be released:

- the GNU General Public License (GPL) requires that altered or extra code added to GPL software be also licensed under the GPL. This ensures the propagation of OSS but can cause licensing conflicts if GPL and proprietary software are combined.

- the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license gives anyone the freedom to release updates or modifications of the software under any license they wish.

- the Lesser GPL (LGPL) is a compromise between the restrictive GPL and the permissive BSD. Altered LGPL software must continue under LGPL, but extra code can be added under almost any license the author wishes. Open for Business [slashdot.org]

Re:Open Source licenses .. (3, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41362207)

Actually, there is a whole bonanza/plethora (depending on how one looks @ it) of Open Source licenses out there [opensource.org] , and so there is quite a variety. The above are just some of the more popular ones. As for GPL, there is a whole mess of issues about combining it w/ any licenses - not just proprietary licenses. The FSF really muddies the waters by having all the categories os copyleft/non-copyleft, Free/non-Free, GPL-compatible/GPL-incompatible and so on

Re:Open Source licenses .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41374189)

[...] As for GPL, there is a whole mess of issues about combining it w/ any licenses - not just proprietary licenses. [...]

However, this is completely irrelevant for in-house solutions that you never want to distribute to third parties, and internal IT is what the article is about.

Re:Open Source licenses .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41362401)

Apparently not (exactly) so. If software is accessed only via websites, or web services, GPL and LGPL do not cover these use cases, as this is not "distribution", so no modified source code has to be released. The only type of license is relevant in clouds - AGPL (Affero GPL).

Get your facts straight.

Re:Open Source licenses .. (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41362649)

That's true, but not terribly important for a lot of the stuff CIOs deal with. For example, if you have a need for a web application, you could write it in any number of languages (JSP, ASP.Net, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, etc), run it on numerous web and application servers (Tomcat, IIS, Apache, etc), hosted on several OS platforms (Windows, Linux, big iron Unixes), and not one of those decisions is in any way affected by Tomcat being under the Apache license.

Here's my reasoning for why, if I were in their shoes, I'd go for open source where possible: Good techies on average have a strong preference for open source over closed source. That means that if I choose open source, I'll be better able to find and keep great employees. One great admin or developer is often worth 3-5 mediocre employees, so being able to hire those great employees saves me money, and because they're good at their jobs saves me lots of headaches, and (if I do a decent job of managing them) tend to recruit other great techies to work for me. This all leads to a virtuous cycle in which my employees are happy and creating a culture of excellence, that excellence aids in recruiting more excellence, and in the end my company is happy with me because I have a department keeping things running smoothly and solving problems while not being too expensive.

By contrast, if I choose a software stack that nobody really wants to work with (e.g. MUMPS [wikipedia.org] ), it's much harder to find great employees, especially anyone who knows anything about the platform. This leads to a vicious cycle where I have to hire either lousy developers who can't get work elsewhere, or old-timers who've utterly refused to adapt to changes in the industry.

Is open source a programmer job killer? (0)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year and a half ago | (#41361747)

Think about this for a second. How many people here have jobs in developing software? Who wants programming as a career to conist of writing code without being paid? Now, I suspect that open source software is going to lead to fewer paying programming jobs.

I know that there are efforts to monetize open source software. However I think the tendancy is for a larger number of open source software users to not pay for software than those who would of proprietary software. its not legally required of them to do so.

The fact that open source software probably generates less revenue than proprietary software can only mean fewer programming jobs, its a job destroyer. Add the fact that the software can be so easily and legally copied being open source, it is likely that the programming jobs would be reduced even more since one or two open source projects would replace what may have been 5 or more proprietary products in the market, leading to less job creation.

I am certainly not opposed to the idea of source code being made available to users. Another model is a commercial shared source licence whereby access to the source code is provided when the product is purchased. This can include access to a revision control system, even, so that users of the software can contribute their own improvements back to the developers.

Originally in the old days of computers much software was made available for users. In those days in the 60s, software and hardware was sold as a bundled package, companies like IBM made their money by selling that package, including the hardware. This bundling however was challenged in court and as a result IBM was later required to stop doing this and charge seperately for the software, so software only companies could enter the business. The rise of software only companies meant software had to be monetized alone, it became harder to use hardware revenue to fund its development. As a result, companies became more protective of source code and did not licence it for free use.

Unfortunately the pendulum swung far in the other direction and instead of setting on a shared source model where paying users could access the code, the code was completely blocked off from users.

Re:Is open source a programmer job killer? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41363263)

Richard Stallman has actually answered this question several times. Here are some of the counterarguments:
1. The vast majority software developers aren't paid to develop software that is sold on the open market. For example, a major bank or insurance company typically has a large staff of developers who are writing software that not only is specific to their business, but also contains trade secrets. Because they're so specific to their businesses, and have to be kept secret, OSS doesn't have any effect on their need for developers.

2. Companies that sell ancillary services to OSS pay developers to improve OSS packages. Red Hat and IBM in particular hire lots of people to work on Linux, because they sell more Linux-related services if Linux is better. This remains the correct business move regardless of the fact that everyone else also benefits from their improvements.

3. When businesses encounters an OSS package that does almost what they want, they can pay people (either as employees or outside contractors) to add in a new feature. Again, if this isn't part of their core business, then giving it back to the community in no way harms the business. An example of this: I worked for a small cell service provider for a while, and we wanted to use an OSS package to improve our service. The trouble was that it had been written for GSM phones only, but we were using CDMA, so we paid a developer to add CDMA features to the package. The developer got paid, we got a solution much cheaper than any of the proprietary options, and the community got a significant new feature.

Here's some of why commercial shared source models don't offer the same benefits as open source:
1. Pay-to-play means that not all developers and users can get in on the act of improving the software. For example, if the OSS cell phone package described above were shared source, somebody would have to pay in order to find out whether we could modify it to do what we wanted it to do at a reasonable price.

2. Shared source models don't generally allow somebody with a contract to fork the project. Forking is critical to improving software if the organization behind the original package gets to be a roadblock rather than a help (e.g. Oracle and OpenOffice).

3. You can't use shared source code as a teaching tool in the same way as OSS code.

Re:Is open source a programmer job killer? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41364351)

You are conflating Open Source & Liberated Software. RMS would gag. As he says, the former is a development methodology, while the latter is a philosophy. What you described is the former.

At any rate, dkleinsc is correct in his/her concerns, but as I pointed out below, that concern should be about liberated software, not open source. Companies should be free to restrict downstream distribution of their software to people who haven't paid for it - deep sixing the 'help your neighbor' clause of the GPL is needed. All that should be encouraged is that whenever a company sells/gives away its software, the source code should accompany it, so that the customer/user can see how it works (or pay somebody to do it) and modify it to their needs. The example you mentioned is a good case of Open Source in action.

However, the demand that software should not have owners, or that one must be free to distribute software that one has bought to those who have not paid for it, is fanaticism of the FSF, and a thinly disguised anti-business agenda. Take out the 'Free redistribution' clause of the OSI definition, and Open Source is absolutely perfect.

Re:Is open source a programmer job killer? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41365395)

Companies should be free to restrict downstream distribution of their software to people who haven't paid for it - deep sixing the 'help your neighbor' clause of the GPL is needed.

1. You've clearly missed (or utterly ignored) my point about the need to be able to fork something, which is all about doing something that an organization with the ability to restrict downstream distribution would most likely do everything they could to prevent. In my example earlier, the upstream package owner could have said they didn't want the modification, and without the ability to say "Fine, I'm just giving away my version on my own", the modification gets lost, and the next company that comes along wanting to do the same thing has to pay for the same modification again.

2. OSS and Free Software are not really competing ideas: Free Software is by definition open source, and there are other open source licenses besides GPL that meet the FSF's definition of Free Software. Generally speaking, RMS and and an open-source guy like ESR will advocate doing the same things for different reasons. And that means that their answers to practical questions for one are thoroughly relevant to the other.

What I think is going on here is that you and I have different goals: My goal is to make sure we have the best software we can muster. Your goal seems to be to make sure that somebody can make money by selling software. I've put forth an argument that my goal is not incompatible with developers making a living. If companies come and go, that's normal in business, and has nothing to do with whether we have good software.

Re:Is open source a programmer job killer? (0)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41363309)

Open source is not a programmer job killer. Free software, or better described as Liberated software is. Open source is a software philosophy that encourages source code distribution w/ binaries w/ the goal of producing either better software, or owning all the tools needed to fix any problems that come up, or build in any new solutions to address new requirements as organizations grow. It is a better approach for a company over proprietary software, since typically, the company would hire its own developers to maintain those solutions instead of being dependent on outside companies that have different goals (that may in fact be in direct conflict w/ that companies own goals), and those developers would have full time jobs, being paid on in-house customized solutions that may do thngs from keeping all computers running to developing workflow solutions that address the requirements of every department within the company, and be the hub for all IT solution requirements. That also helps the software developers diversify their skills in producing solutions that are useful, as opposed to simply scratching their itches, as many projects tend to do. Result being that they are more likely to develop more useful software once they move on.

Liberated software (euphamistically known as 'Free software' or 'Software Freedom'), otoh, is all about getting rid of software development as a paid profession. Freedom 2 of the GNU - the freedom to 'help your neighbor' - prevents software developers from restricting downstream distribution, thereby automatically capping the market after a certain number of paid customers have bought theirs. Yeah, there is that eternal argument that there is no guarantee that someone who didn't have the thing for free would have bought it, but essentially, what it does is ensure that nobody would be stupid enough to buy something that they can get for free.

In the same vein that I'm a big believer in Open Source and support the OSI, I'm also a big believer that Liberated Software is just a way to get rid of all the income generated by software development (even if that's not their goal, it follows from the laws of unintended consequences, just like Marxism), and am completely opposed to the FSF.

Ans: No (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41366273)

Open Source makes it possible for a team of programmers to add much more value with their work. When your work adds more value, you have more job possibilities and often, highter average wages.

That maxima is almost always true. But it plays out in complex and unintuitive ways at the real world. Don't try to emmulate an economy within your brain, it is a losing proposition.

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