×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Open Source Community's Double Standard

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the wax-fecund-and-celebrate dept.

Linux Business 336

AlexGr writes to point out a really good point Matt Asay raises in his CNET News Blog: Why do we praise closed source companies who open up a little bit, but damn open source companies who close down a little bit? "Deja vu. Remember 2002? That's when Red Hat decided to split its code into Red Hat Advanced Server (now Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and Fedora. Howls of protest and endless hand-wringing ensued: How dare Red Hat not give everything away for free? Enter 2007. MySQL decides to comply with the GNU General Public License and only give its tested, certified Enterprise code to those who pay for the service underlying that code (gasp!). Immediately cries of protest are raised, How dare MySQL not give everything away for free?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

336 comments

Human Nature (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215721)

This is human nature and it does not just apply to computers.

Example: If a girl is a real bitch then people expect her to be a bitch and if she is suddenly nice one day, then people say "Wow, she's so nice today". But if someone is nice all the time then one day gets angry people say "What's wrong with her, sheesh."

Its not a double standard, its human nature. Nuff said, discussion over.

Re:Human Nature (4, Funny)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215749)

Well put! (Note to self, lower others expectations of me...)

Why do we praise slave states (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215807)

who open up a little bit, but damn free states, who begin forced servitude little bit?

The issue is not a "double standard" unless you use the current "mainstream media" Orwellian definition of "fairness."

The predjudice is for freedom, openness and opportunity. When you compound closing of source by the inclusion of earlier community contributions, testing and evangelism - you then reduce freedom to a marketing tool.

Re:Why do we praise slave states (4, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215981)

If you ignore the stupid /. editoral and read the blog, its actually questioning why its ok for some companys to have some open and closed source but not others. The example in the blog was SugarCRM, which was 100% closed, and opened PART of its code. Counter that with RH taking its code and closing it (but complying with the GPL still in all its releases).

Its not that SugarCRM will ever totally open, nor will RH totally close... the author seems to imply that both will continue with some open, some closed source. I think its a valid question... why not continue to critise SugarCRM for not opening the rest, and praise RH for not closing more?

Re:Why do we praise slave states (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216149)

If you ignore the stupid /. editoral and read the blog

Wouldn't that be cheating? I bet you're the kind of guy who reads the instruction manual before putting the widget together.

The blurb is actually pretty accurate (5, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216163)

(I normally RTFA before posting)

The problem here is: IMHO (and RMS's opinion) non-free software is unethical, because it's basically a scam: making software is a service with value; making copies of software is of (marginally) zero value. So, the GPP is right on the mark.
If a company that makes (unethical) proprietary software starts making some (ethical) Free Software, it is (1) improving its act and (2) contributing to the pool of Free Software.
If a company that makes Free Software starts making proprietary software, it is (1) starting to make unethical things and (2) contributing less to the pool of Free Software.
So, that's the reason why we praise non-free-software companies that open um and we boo free-software companies that close down.
Putting it like the GPP: would you praise a country that permitted slave labour and then passwd a law freeing some of its slaves? (like mine did in 1871...) And would you protest a country without slaves that passed a law allowing for some to have slaves?
HTH.

Re:The blurb is actually pretty accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216235)

I think it's unethical to tell people that they aren't allowed to charge for their work. That makes you and RMS the scum here.

Re:The blurb is actually pretty accurate (2, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216273)

You're free NOT to make the effort to GPL projects. You're free to pick another license for your own project.

Re:The blurb is actually pretty accurate (1)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216415)

The GPL does not forbid charging for the program. What's that you say? Even if you charge, no one will buy it because they can get it for free? Maybe you should tell it to the folks at Trolltech.

Also, as the other replier said, GPL is not the only license that exists.

Re:The blurb is actually pretty accurate (4, Insightful)

Deadbolt (102078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216455)

Neither RMS nor the GPL nor the FSF says you CAN'T charge for your work; in fact they encourage you to charge as much as your customers will pay.

See here [gnu.org] and here [fsf.org].

Re:The blurb is actually pretty accurate (3, Insightful)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216521)

beg to differ.

"making copies of software" - presuming one is collecting payment for same - is extremely valuable, as it allows for the obscene cost of software to be distributed in some fair fashion among the pool of users.

This is hardly unethical.

Free software receives free marketing in a voluntary exchange. so long as there are people who value the advertising higher than the marginal value of their technical efforts - free software will persist. But then so will direct payment software. The two markets are vastly different and cannot easily be compared. but discounting either seems somewhat puerile.

AIK

Re:Human Nature (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215875)

They didn't write it.

It's not the product of their mind, not the product of their efforts.

It's the product of many peoples minds and efforts.

The administrators of the projects should be appreciative of that fact.

It is not their property. Laws can say what they want, lawyers and contracts and twisting of justice aside, it simply isn't theirs.

When open source organizations try to close access and extract money from people, they become malignant, corrupt, thieving organizations.

Declaring that it's legal for someone to do this doesn't change the fundamental nature of what's going on.

The misplaced sense of entitlement these organizations display is truly disgusting.

Re:Human Nature (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215927)

I just wanted to add to that last post...

Organizations have a lot of inerta. It takes a concerted effort to restructure.

When a closed source organization starts becoming more open, it took a lot of hard work and restructuring to make it possible.

When an open source organization starts closing things up, it takes a lot of hard work and restructuring to make that possible too.

Which means the people at the helm are working hard to start hoarding things they were given in trust for the public good.

It reveals that the organization has a poor moral character.

Re:Human Nature (3, Insightful)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216345)

I'll borrow your formatting and respond in kind. :)

The purpose of running a business is to make money.

Businesses that do not intend to generate profit become nonprofit organizations.

Businesses that attempt to capitalize off any aspect of society, in any way, exist to make profit.

Companies that attempt to make money from open source software eventually exist to make money.

The moment a company accepts investments, rather than donations, it's nature changes to a for-profit model.

Companies that attempt to compete with major commercial enterprises WILL become like those commercial enterprises.

Redhat, MySQL, and other companies like them are closing much of their source because open source and significant profit are not particularly mutual, and are only pushed into appearing so by those who want to turn everything into open source.

The blame belongs to those who wish to contort open source software into what it was never meant to be, and into what it's creators never intended for it to be.

If you want to get rich, close your source and do your own work. If you want to contribute to society, open your source and ignore money.

If OSS is written well, it provides more alternatives to - and methods of - performing tasks than retail can ever hope to accomplish. However, if it is placed on a pedestal and designed to "beat" the "evil" proprietary options, it will, and so far inevitably DOES, become much like what it seeks to eliminate.

The end of an open sourced program's freedom begins when it's creators become an ever-expanding company. It shouldn't work like that, people believe it doesn't have to work like that, but somehow it always does.

Re:Human Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215959)

Well put! (Note to self, lower others expectations of me...)

Ahem. "...lower others' expectations off me."

Done.

Re:Human Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215793)

Nuff said, discussion over.

what's wrong with you? sheesh!

Re:Human Nature (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215801)

It's not even human nature, it's common freaking sense. If you have a student who averages C- and gets a B on a test you praise them for their achievement. If you have a student who averages A+ and gets a B on a test you ask them what went wrong. If you fail to praise the underachieving student or fail to question the overachieving student then you discourage further improvements by the underachiever, and encourage further drops in performance by the overachiever.

It's not a double standard. It's a rational standard: Improvement is good, regression is bad. Becoming more open is good, becoming less open is bad. Ignoring this in order to be "fair" and avoid being accused of a "double standard" is just stupid.

Re:Human Nature (4, Funny)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216029)

But, you see, if you phrase it this way, using clear logic, then the story is boooooorrrriiingggg - "Open Source Advocates: We like openness!" *yawn* "OSS Users dislike moves away from closed source, like moves towards open source" - *zzzzzz* Where's the conflict? where's the excitement? You can't have "fair and balanced" reporting unless there's a conflict!!

Re:Human Nature (4, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216117)

You can't have "fair and balanced" reporting unless there's a conflict!!
I thought "fair and balanced reporting" was giving the same amount of face time to the person with the logical and well thought out arguments as to the crazy wack-job who bases all decisions on truthiness and faith.

Re:Human Nature (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216305)

You're wrong!

(sorry, just trying to liven things up here with some conflict)

Re:Human Nature (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216061)

At the very least, if a closed company opens something up, it's a step in the right direction--possibly for the company, and certainly for the community. If a company that oversees an open project decides to close it, it's a step in the wrong direction for the community, and a step in the right direction for the profits of the company. I for one, would be more than a little resentful if I contributed a significant amount of code to some random project and had to sign my copyright over so I could make the program better for everyone; then the new copyright owner decides to license the whole thing to someone under a different, closed license. However, those are the risks when you give up your copyrights.

The same feelings can't be felt in the other direction. Is some paid programmer going to be upset that his company opened his code? Probably not. He got paid. What's to complain about? However, if someone hands you a cookie then later says you can't eat the cookie, excepting this little chunk of chocolate in the corner, you're not going to be a happy camper.

Re:Human Nature (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216187)

It's not even human nature, it's common freaking sense. If you have a student who averages C- and gets a B on a test you praise them for their achievement.

Somewhat OT -- OK, maybe you have an opinion on this one, which has bugged me since high school. When I was in high school, some of the underachieving kids had parents who would reward them with cash money whenever report cards came out. $20 for an A, $15 for a B, and on down. I, on the other hand, was a smart kid and I was pretty much expected to be a smart kid by my parents. When I got an A on a report card I got jack squat, not even a pat on the head. When I got a C, I got cussed out. Is that "common freaking sense," or might there be a better way to handle it?

Re:Human Nature (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216271)

When I got an A on a report card I got jack squat, not even a pat on the head.

This is pretty much the only problem. I mean, my parents expected me to be the smart kid and I certainly didn't get paid by the "A", but maybe because I was getting better grades than they ever got they still thought it was a praise-worthy accomplishment to get my "usual" report card.

And yes, I did get cussed out major for any C that showed up. Nothing wrong with that; we all knew I could have done better.

Re:Human Nature (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216265)

It is double standard, and it is more like common nonsense than common sense. If you praise the C- student because he gets a B, then you are only encouraging people to be bad at first and average after.

Imagine two stores which sell the exact same product. The first one is selling the product $15, while the second one is selling it for $10. From which one will you buy the product ? Now Suppose the week after, the first store lower its price to $14, while the second raise it to $11. Now what ? You will buy the product $14 because improvement is good while regression is bad ?

Re:Human Nature (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216465)

Absolutely! This story is an utter non sequitur. How the hell did this get posted to the front page???

Makes sense (5, Insightful)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215731)

Praise for companies moving towards our goals, opposition to companies moving away from them..

Re:Makes sense (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215989)

I think the phrasing of it in terms of changes of policy confuses what is a real point.

Look at the hatred that used to be directed towards TrollTech because they only gave Qt away for free instead of Free or free Free or something. Look at the hatred that gets directed towards Miguel de Icaza for whatever it is people are enraged at him for now. I remember when the FSF finished copying pico they issued a statement about how the pico/pine people were "worse than Microsoft". People and companies who are 95% in line with the ideology get much more abuse than those who are on a whole other page.

It's true that there's nothing unusual about it, though -- all religions behave that way.

Re:Makes sense (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216287)

I think you're misunderstanding something. The issue with TrollTech is that by using their library, you are basically preventing anyone from writing non-GPL software that uses Qt in one way or another. Having to pay money to Trolltech simply for developing non-GPLed KDE applications would be quite the antithesis of a free operating system, wouldn't it?

As far as the pine/pico folks: they were always complete jerks, and the FSF is quite right. They like being jerks, they don't want anyone else to modify their software, and they place giant restrictions on use and distribution, even though there is no reason for them to do so. The FSF wanted something that wouldn't be illegal to modify or distribute on Linux CDs (which Pine's license does not allow).

Re:Makes sense (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216439)

Yes, that's precisely the sort of counterproductive hate I was talking about! It's not just about criticizing or praising changes in direction.

How is that a double standard? (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215733)

Shocking. The open source community wants software to be open source, that seems pretty consistent to me.

Mod parent up! (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215783)

Companies that are moving towards being more Open are praised.

Companies that are moving towards being more Closed are denigrated.

Where's the problem?

Re:How is that a double standard? (2, Insightful)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215815)

It's shocking how the current generation is all about "gimme, gimme, gimme". I want free stuff!!!

Re:How is that a double standard? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215867)

It's shocking how the current generation is all about "gimme, gimme, gimme". I want free stuff!!!
Really? Is that what you see? Where are you looking, and who are you listening too? Because from where I'm sitting, it isn't the current generation that's the problem, it's the 'Me' generation. The baby boomers are the most selfish generation imaginable, at least in America.

Re:How is that a double standard? (1)

doom (14564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216101)

spun wrote:

It's shocking how the current generation is all about "gimme, gimme, gimme". I want free stuff!!!
Even if that's right, it still wouldn't be a "double-standard".

Really? Is that what you see? Where are you looking, and who are you listening too? Because from where I'm sitting, it isn't the current generation that's the problem, it's the 'Me' generation. The baby boomers are the most selfish generation imaginable, at least in America.
Oh come on, the boomers practically invented idealistic social protest!... when their ass was on the line... when it was trendy...

As I am at the tail of the boomers age group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216259)

...the tail! and all that implies!...

I have never understood us, them; it is like I live in a strange dystopia, like a Brazil(movie), where I cannot ever understand the rules because I don't share their perspective or indoctrination.

They may have said a lot of things in their youth, but it has been documented profusely how they lost that innocence long ago.

Re:How is that a double standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216427)

Yes...I too long for the idealized bygone days of universal purity and altruism so different from this age of corruption and decadence. And how about that weather? It sure is crazy...and the traffic too.

No, there's a small problem. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216263)

If anything, there's too much misguided "fairness". Decisions that bring more freedom are praised. Decisions that reduce freedom are denounced. This is good, when all other things are equal.

The only double standard is that some people are willing to give bad actors more credit than they deserve. They are deluded and servile for thinking that M$ and friends will be around forever and must be placated. The bad actors are easier to see through the lens of freedom than they are though the purely functional fog of "openness". DeCSS and Tivo are examples of openness failing to bring real freedom.

Overall, the issue is unimportant because freedom and performance are linked. Eventually, all free software users understand the benefits of real freedom and shuns non free. Non free software is harder to obtain and keep up. Each owner a system has is a brittle point the user must work around. A non free video driver, for example, still performs better than a free one because of the games card makers play. That single piece of non free software might be justified by a game or some other visualization task but it makes upgrading the system painful. Add enough of these non free pieces and you are close to the Windoze experience.

What? (5, Insightful)

SIIHP (1128921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215735)

"How dare Red Hat not give everything away for free?"

Why are they pushing this misconception of what open source means? AFAIK, it doesn't mean "give everything away for free" it means "the source is open".

Re:What? (5, Informative)

negative3 (836451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216213)

Exactly what I thought. Unless I completely misunderstood everything, MySQL is not becoming "closed source", the enterprise version is just not going to be free as in beer any more. You can pay for the enterprise version, and you'll have access to the source code...that's free as in freedom. What is so hard for people to understand about that? From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html [gnu.org]:

Selling Free Software

Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible -- just enough to cover the cost.

Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.

The word "free" has two legitimate general meanings; it can refer either to freedom or to price. When we speak of "free software", we're talking about freedom, not price. (Think of "free speech", not "free beer".) Specifically, it means that a user is free to run the program, change the program, and redistribute the program with or without changes.

Free programs are sometimes distributed gratis, and sometimes for a substantial price. Often the same program is available in both ways from different places. The program is free regardless of the price, because users have freedom in using it.

Non-free programs are usually sold for a high price, but sometimes a store will give you a copy at no charge. That doesn't make it free software, though. Price or no price, the program is non-free because users don't have freedom.

Since free software is not a matter of price, a low price isn't more free, or closer to free. So if you are redistributing copies of free software, you might as well charge a substantial fee and make some money. Redistributing free software is a good and legitimate activity; if you do it, you might as well make a profit from it.

Free software is a community project, and everyone who depends on it ought to look for ways to contribute to building the community. For a distributor, the way to do this is to give a part of the profit to the Free Software Foundation or some other free software development project. By funding development, you can advance the world of free software.

It's not even a valid argument. (4, Informative)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216247)

RedHat still provides the source for free. They're only charging for support; they just don't provide you with the build formats you may want of the binaries they built and tested.

You can get it all for free, and build it yourself, or get it from someone else who does just that (still for free), such as CentOS or Scientific Linux. You could even get the source, build and test it, and do the same thing RedHat does for less money. You might be hard pressed to make a living that way, challenging the big gorilla, and you'd have the /. community yelling at you, but you're free to do it. Or not.

The GPM doesn't require you to give away binaries or support.

Re:What? (1)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216477)

The problem is that there is a non-trivial fraction of open source supporters who really believe that the instant a company charges money for software and doesn't have it up for free download for anyone who wants to grab a copy, they are acting unethically and demonstrating a "misplaced sense of entitlement" and "poor moral character".

It really does do quite a bit of damage to the potential acceptance of open source software that this idea is so common, but it's certainly not the article writer's fault that many people have this impression.

It's not a double standad. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215751)

It's double penetration.

The open source community wants to penetrate throug the business worlds, and throught the personal world. This is why the open source community has adopted a double penetration strategy.

We can only hope that the double penetration strategy is successful.

Re:It's not a double standad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216015)

Why am I reminded of this post [slashdot.org], just a couple minutes away.

Must be something about "3 guys" and a hotel room that is only $30 (or $25, or $27, whatever.) Any room that cheap must be by the hour.

And what kind of tips did that bellboy get...

I don't think its really a double standard... (3, Insightful)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215755)

I mean to put it in a more exaggerated analogy, thats like saying abolitionists would have had a double standard for praising states that started giving up slavery and crying foul when a free-state adopted some slavery.

The open source community wants open source. They'll applaud when a company goes towards that goal and they'll get upset when a company moves away.

I don't think that qualifies as a double standard.

Community is not one entity (2, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215779)

It's a collection of individual entities all with their _own_ voice. The Open Source community is not like the Borg Collective.
Not everybody in the community will roar on the same topic, so you will always get mixed results when you summarize the comments.

Nonsensical comparison (1)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215781)

In one case, things are getting worse, and in the other, things are getting better. The former is damned while the latter is lauded. Simple.

Because any move towards openness is a net +ve (1)

CantStopDancing (1036410) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215797)

Can I get a 'Duh' ? I knew I could.

What I'd rather hear (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216441)

I'd rather hear a resounding "Doh!" from the idiot that wrote the article! And, no, gee, guess what, I don't care what the writer's history may be. It was a stupid article no matter who wrote it. :)

If find this surprising too (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215799)

After all the GPL only requires you to give source when you give executables. I think this is perfectly fine. And as long as you get a devcent version of the product for free, having a "special" version for paying customers is also fine in my book.

Re:If find this surprising too (1)

scott_karana (841914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216053)

I've always wondered why there's not more of a community for sharing the source-code for buy-the-executable-first software. I mean, it's not against the license...
I'm looking at you, GNAT Pro!

Beating a dead horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216493)

Give executables? Close but no cigar.

1) MySQL AB always seems to avoid the license question (ref their really lousy answers on their forums. At best refering to FSF for definitions or that you could just buy a commercial license to be sure).
2) That FSF considers making a Web site public to be distribution, at least that seems to be what was intended. (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.htm l#UnreleasedMods).
3) Yes, the client libraries are also released under GPL (not LGPL!), so linking (static or dynamic), pretty much requires that you are either releasing under GPL or one of the (by MySQL AB defined) compatible licenses. Thinking you should not pay attention because you access the driver through another API? Think again, it still ends up in the same address space. Extend this with some really misguided effort to keep others from creating alternative implementations, by releasing documentation and the protocol under GPL (I leave it as an exercise for the reader to discover the FSF's thoughts on this move).

So the questions becomes? Using MySQL to back a publicly accessible Web site? Got a nice link, where the source code can be downloaded?

It's not the open source community (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215805)

They're not the ones complaining. It's the Free Software Foundation fanatics who complain. They've never liked open source and they never will because it's not "moral" enough for them.

It's that simple.

Re:It's not the open source community (2, Insightful)

tokenhost (1142183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216353)

The FSF and everyone representing free software know that free(as in freedom) software is not the same as free(as in beer) but the two seem to go hand in hand and whenever someone decides to make it so that libre software is not without cost it suddenly becomes about how they are closing their software. That is not it at all and nowhere in the GPL does it say that the software need to be distributed without cost.

GNU protects the freedoms of the software and as RMS has said before you can sell that software as long as the person who gets the software gets the four freedoms. It IS the open source community who don't seem to get the definition of FREE software as apposed to FREE (libre) software and simply see them as tied together.

I happen to agree strongly with libre software ideals and I think that it only becomes a problem when companies take away the freedoms of the users. We see this on the other financial end where companies or developers release freeware. There is a definite difference and people need to be made aware of it so that arguments about whether they are closing their software (taking away the freedoms of the users of that software) or simply charging for it don't happen.

I'd tag this "zonked"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215825)

...but it's posted by kdawson.

Corporations and the community (1)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215831)

Corporations and the community are not one in the same. A corporation may contribute to the community but it is certainly not representative of the whole community. The 'double standard' assumption for the whole open source community in this article is flawed.

Because the author is retarded? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215837)

What double standard? Don't look at it as "A goes in a direction opposite of their normal direction" and "B goes in a direction opposite of their normal direction", look at it as "A moves towards openness" and "B moves away from openness." Makes sense to me. That's not a double standard, that's a single standard. By his logic, all standards are double standards if you look at them with the right perspective.

This is like the riddle about the three guys who pay $30 for a hotel room, but the manager meant to charge them $25, so he gives the bellboy $5 to take to their room, but the bellboy gives each man $1 and pockets the other $2.

- men paid $27
- bellboy has $2
- $27 + $2 = $29. Where did the other dollar go?

This is like an optical illusion... nothing more.

Re:Because the author is retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216001)

This is like the riddle about the three guys who pay $30 for a hotel room, but the manager meant to charge them $25, so he gives the bellboy $5 to take to their room, but the bellboy gives each man $1 and pockets the other $2.

- men paid $27
- bellboy has $2
- $27 + $2 = $29. Where did the other dollar go?
Umm... Three guys, $1 each makes men paid $28, not $27, unless I missed the joke. So $28 + $2 = $30 and no missing dollar.

Re:Because the author is retarded? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216135)

That's the point of the joke/trick. It's like sleight of hand. You get people focusing on the wrong thing and make them try to figure it out. I think I first heard this in a math or logic class in junior high.

Re:Because the author is retarded? (1)

Code Master (164951) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216221)

I think it's supposed to go like this:

Three men each paid $10 to get a $30 room. The manager realizes it was only supposed to cost $25 and so sends the bellboy with the $5. The bellboy gives each man $1 and pockets the remaining $2.

Now each man, receiving $1 back has paid $9 instead of $10. So if each man paid $9, and the bellboy has $2, the total is 3 * $9 + $2 = $27 + $2 = $29.

I leave it to the reader to find out where the other $1 went...

Re:Because the author is retarded? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216059)

Your math sucks or you told it wrong. They paid 30 and were reimbursed $3. So they paid a total of $27. The bellboy received $2 and the hotelier $25.
money paid = money received.
27 = 25 + 2.

Re:Because the author is retarded? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216169)

It might not come across in text, but that's the point of the joke/trick. It's like sleight of hand. You get people focusing on the wrong thing and make them try to figure it out. I think I first heard this in a math or logic class in junior high.

Because Open Source is a philosophy. (3, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215853)

Is this really so hard to understand? As a parallel, consider the following statement: "Why do we praise countries that ease up on censorship a little bit, but damn countries that impose a little bit more censorship on its citizens?"

Many people in the Open Source community believe that open source is the natural and correct state of software -- indeed, that it is equivalent to free speech -- and that closing it is comparable to throwing political dissidents in jail. Naturally, every move toward it will be lauded, and every move against it will be demonized.

Re:Because Open Source is a philosophy. (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216457)

Many people in the Open Source community believe that open source is the natural and correct state of software -- indeed, that it is equivalent to free speech -- and that closing it is comparable to throwing political dissidents in jail.

I really, really hope that nobody has such a gross lack of proportion.

It boils down to this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215855)

You could get free music on the internet for a few years, then that so called "birthright" was removed. A big group of ingrates have been bitter ever since, shouting information should be free really meaning "I'm too cheap to pay for anything, I got it free once, now it should be that way from here to eternity".

Grow up folks. Shit costs money to make and it's going to cost money to buy. The whole RMS vision is not a business model. It is now failing and failing fast.

Re:It boils down to this: (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216037)

The "RMS vision" is the only reason any of those people are making any money.

This particular "shit" doesn't cost money, it costs labor. Once it is built, it no longer costs anything to "reproduce".

The whole "GNU/Linux" thing may be annoying and counterproductive at times but it is accurate.

Step Into the light not away from it. (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215859)

Its quite simple.. Its the mindset most everyone has about nearly every opinion they have... You will allways get praise making steps towards a certain point of view from those who share that same view.. But if you make a step away from that view, depending on how strong feelings are you could be shunned by that group for even the slightest step away from their point of view.

Its own worst enemy (3, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215865)

The open source community, that is... This is the type of behavior that will forever keep it 'second tier' to the big commerical/closed groups. That is, the for-profit type companies. Making the source available to those who buy the package is completely in keeping with the original intent (as far as I understand it) of open source. It was by no means a push for free software, all the time, every time. And as long as the latter stays the focus of the OS community, it will always be second fiddle.

Like it or not, companies rely on solid sources and suppliers. A supplier that does not have a reliable revenue stream just can't be relied upon. And not every company has the resources or desire to staff up and do all its own software development in-house. Commercial, for-profit software has a serious role in business. And that means all involved in it need to make money. Giving away everything - for free - puts a big crimp on that.

When I work with some of the big boys in the consumer electronics market to qualify a new factory, they don't just audit the floor, the QA department, and the PMs. They look at the suppliers, they look at financials, they look at receivables, they look at other customers. Because if they are going to rely upon this new factory, they want to know it's got a future outside of just them. It's got to be stable.

It's REALLY HARD to make that case when your products are available for free, and you're trying to rely upon pure support as your only income stream...

Someone doesn't know what a double standard is. (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215877)

A double standard is when you are inconsisent.

There is nothing inconsistent about praising people for opening up a little bit, while condemning those that close down a little bit. We praise ANY move towards openness, and condemn ANY move away from it. How is that a double standard.

Allow me to illustrate using the oft neglected fruit analagy:

I gleefully watch my strawberry plants grow little fruit that ripen into perfect sweet strawberries, but watch me complain when my delicious strawberries start rotting and become ever less their original strawberry goodness.

Why oh why do I praise the things as they become ripe, but criticise them as they rot! I am such a hypocrit. Hmm.

Re:Someone doesn't know what a double standard is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216319)

"How is that a double standard."

Because the companies cited in the article have or are striving to have the same business model -- a community branch and an enterprise branch but are criticized solely from where they start from.

RTFA: "Give little, get much credit. Do much, get little credit."

We did not cry out because RH charged for RHEL (4, Interesting)

mattnuzum (839319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215887)

When RH changed their business model it hurt a lot of people because prior to that, there was paid support available for the free product. We felt waylaid because we used RedHat Linux as the foundation for our critical applications. We knew we could pick up the phone and call (for a fee) if we were stuck and we felt secure with a reasonably long life cycle of security updates and support.

For example, a product my company created required 80+ hours of testing for minor version changes in critical software components. With 5 people on staff, that was an incredible expense, therefore we craved stability. Then, RHL was gone. *poof* just like that. We thought we could count on them and they changed the game on us.

I don't dislike RedHat's new business model, but I felt that after such a sudden and unexpected change in their support policy I could not trust them any longer. Later that year Ubuntu came out and I began experimenting with it (and debian). Now I have Ubuntu LTS which is supported by the vendor for 5 years, and I can call the nice guys in Montreal whenever I have a problem.

Open source is (3, Insightful)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215935)

The open source community is full of misguided evangelicals. If open source is so great it should stand on its own merits, not need some political figures shoving its virtues down our throats. When I installed Ubuntu(which I love, btw) on one of my boxes that happened to have an NVidia card I was confronted with a message that talked about how bad closed source drivers were before I could enable them and get a good resolution for my display. If some notice needs to be there due to licensing that's fine, but don't try and mold my views or express your personal beliefs in place like that.
If the NVidia drivers really are so hard to maintain, then they should break in the future... if closed source software really does run slower with more bugs then I should notice it.
I'm all for open source software, and I can identify with the ideals of the FOSS movement, but I also see that there is sometimes a need for software that works well, even if it is closed source.
I would rather have a closed source project that worked perfectly than an open source product that is a work in progress.
Linux has grown by leaps and bounds and is perhaps one of the best examples of open source does right, but the political figures in the linux world, while entertaining, do nothing but hurt the product with their constant bickering and injection of personal politics into a product that should be "free".

mod parent up (1)

penp (1072374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216109)

I would rather have a closed source project that worked perfectly than an open source product that is a work in progress.
If I had any points left, I'd give them to you.

Re:Open source is (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216231)

I would rather have a closed source project that worked perfectly than an open source product that is a work in progress.
Amen, brother!

Just keep your eye on the ball... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216277)

The funny thing about OSS is how many people it involves. You increase the amount of people and you increase the amount of chatter. Add to that a little politics and you get exactly what you'd expect. But the beauty of the OSS movement, like anything, is the diversity of the pool. Calling it one way or the other is unjust. There are lots of people on both sides of the fence and all imaginable variations of between.

We fixate on the polarity because it makes news. Because it's interesting. Because people who feel strongly about an issue tend to speak louder. But that doesn't mean a lot about the OSS community en mass.

Re:Just keep your eye on the ball... (1)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216401)

Very true, I see all types in FOSS.. hopefully my statements aren't taken too literally :)

Re:Open source is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216423)

The open source community is full of misguided evangelicals. If open source is so great it should stand on its own merits, not need some political figures shoving its virtues down our throats. When I installed Ubuntu(which I love, btw) on one of my boxes that happened to have an NVidia card I was confronted with a message that talked about how bad closed source drivers were before I could enable them and get a good resolution for my display.

If it weren't for "misguided evangelicals" complaining about non-free drivers, your beloved Ubuntu wouldn't exist.

I would rather have a closed source project that worked perfectly than an open source product that is a work in progress.

If everybody thought that way, then there wouldn't be any open source software.

What double standard? (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215949)

When a closed company opens up a little bit, they're moving in the right direction, so they deserve praise. When an open company starts closing off their software, they're moving in the wrong direction, so they're condemned. Where's the double standard here, now?

From a different perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216469)

Steps in the same direction...towards a similar business model, one with a enterprise branch and a community branch.

So how do you laud one and condemn the other? Because of where they started, not because of the end result? Is that not akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face?

For free????? (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20215995)

give everything away for free?"
Free Software does NOT mean free as in free beer! Damn... I thought that was covered already! And everything is about the business model. We need companies to survive, we need their services. The Open Source community advocates one type of business model that is closely related to freedom. Of course this community is going to praise anyone who gets closer to such a model and recriminates anyone that falls apart.

Red Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216097)

How dare Red Hat not give everything away for free?

You really don't have to go that far to be annoyed with Red Hat. How about the people that paid Red Hat for a 1-year subscription for Red Hat 7.3 updates (Red Hat Network) only to have them shut off the updates, due to switch to Fedora, before the year was up?

This is clearly not the same situation (1)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216103)

The author has disregarded the admission by MySQL that they've willingly handicapped the software.

With RHEL it was an issue of fulling giving up a portion of the software to the OSS world and then including their own proprietary developments in the paid version (along with the benefit of every enhancement having been well tested in Fedora first).

MySQL has knowingly weakened the codebase. [slashdot.org]

Urlocker says that MySQL "wants to make sure the Community version is rock solid," but admitted that the company has introduced features into the Community edition of the software that "[weren't] as robust as we thought, and created some instabilities."

Red Hat was attacked unfairly for their actions (at least that's how it can be seen today...when it happened, the situation looked different), MySQL can be very justly untrusted as they are rigging the situation and putting the free users at a disadvantage beyond just the lack of business class management tools. If the MySQL team was simply turning the paid for product into an extension of the free product, nobody would need to doubt their actions.

Re:This is clearly not the same situation (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216295)

The author has disregarded the admission by MySQL that they've willingly handicapped the software.

Way to spin Urlocker's quote! You may have a bright future in politics.

more OS=good (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216181)

more Open Source=Good
Making $$$ off Open Source=Bad

It's quite simple really!

I think most of the slashdot community feels Open Source software should be free as in beer. When people make money off of what is free then that is morally wrong, but when you decide to make a paid product free then that is considered a kind deed.

Like everyone else (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216215)

Aren't companies, like Redhat in the example, just out to turn a profit like everyone else?

Companies have to do what makes sound economic sense in order to please the stakeholders. If it weren't for those stakeholders, companies producing Linux distros on a large scale, like Redhat in the example, would have never proliferated as well as they have.

I applaud them for having a business model that isn't just anti-"the man" but also ensures the company's longevity so that they can keep getting better. The prices on the enterprise/corporate editions are reasonable compared to Windows. I say show your support for a distro you believe in and get the enterprise/corporate edition.

Because (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216223)

One's a step in a direction we like, and the other's a step in a direction we don't like. Next question.

What?? (4, Insightful)

thed00d (822393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216253)

MySQL decides to comply with the GNU General Public License and only give its tested, certified Enterprise code to those who pay for the service underlying that code (gasp!). Immediately cries of protest are raised, How dare MySQL not give everything away for free?"
Right, so so how is this closing the source? The source is still available, and it's still open source. I think the author here has confused open source with "free", and their not interchangeable terms. There is plenty of open source software that also happens to be free, thats F/OSS. There is also plenty of software that is free, but isn't necessarily open source, thats Freeware. This is really a non-issue, the source is still available, and they also continue to have and support a F/OSS version of code base.

Personally, I think this is a positive move for them. It's a positive move for the technology community as a whole as well. When my team looks at investing in technology for our business, we usually like to have a positive feeling that the technology will still be relevant 5 years and 10 years from when we purchase it. This move will make it easier for me to deploy MySQL in the enterprise, as I can now say to my review comity - "Look, they have a revenue source. They'll be around 5 years from now, and they'll be there to honor any support contract we purchase from them". Whereas in the past, I could only argue the point that they've been there a while, they should still be there a while from now. So, positive move in my book, not just for them, but for the technology community as a whole.

The open source competition is too much for MySQL (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216267)

There are other databases which is way better and yet more *free* In my eyes, MySQL is in the same database league today as Windows 3.1 is in the OS league. It's time to move on, lets fork SQLite, add networking and support for multiple users, release it as GPL and name it MySQLite.

The two are different (1)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216347)

First, RHEL did cause a fairly big splash. A number of people were fairly vocal, and called for the downfall of RedHat. However, there is one critical difference: RedHat freely gave away everything needed to build RHEL to anybody who wanted to show up and use it. It sure sounds like MySQL is not giving away the source or binaries to anyone. They are following the letter of the GPL (which is very good!). But they are not playing in an open space. To the best of my knowledge, RHEL didn't get particularly upset if you gave away the binaries (as long as you took the time to strip off their trademarked materials), and were clear that it wasn't RHEL. I don't really understand why MySQL doesn't just put the source out and let folks build their own binaries (which I think would cause most of this to go away, as there'd be a sourceforge project that distributed the binaries). In the end, their client license will ensure they get paid by folks who use their software in any non-Opensource project (They GPL their client, which is a problem for anybody who uses it in a proprietary application). That is however, their right, and I support them to do it. I just don't use their database at work for anything because of it. (I have a historical preference for PostGres over MySQL, and the change from LGPL to GPL on the client has made it a moot point to re-evaluate the technical merits).

Kirby

Never as bad as it looks (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216351)

What it's easy to forget sometimes, is that -- thanks to the GPL, and the combination (BSD licence + lots of hard work) -- Open Source is forever. Once a product has been released under an Open Source licence, it can never be closed up again. Even if they try to change it and make it incompatible, the Open implementation can always be adapted -- and general inertia is enough to buy the canny developer time in which to do this, since many people choosing the "closed" option will actually continue using the "old", "open-friendly" version for longer than it takes to get the "open" version speaking the new protocols. For instance, there's apparently some sort of closed-source SSH implementation; only nobody actually uses it -- everybody just uses the OpenBSD one.

The nightmare of someone taking something that was always open, changing it a little and locking it up -- the official reason why it took so long for Sun to open up Java -- so far mostly hasn't materialised. Because, and this is something else that's sometimes easy to forget, Open Source developers are smarter, and harder, than Closed Source developers. Fact is, it takes a lot of guts to Open Source something. What you're saying to the world is, in effect, "Look at this! You couldn't do anything like this in a million years. This is just so good, I'm not afraid of you knowing what's inside it; it stands on its own merits, and I don't have to resort to craven behaviour like locking you out of it!" You wouldn't dream of calling a Scotsman in a kilt a sissy ..... same phenomenon at work.

History will come to note the "closed source" phenomenon as a blip, an anomaly that lived and died and was not missed. It's really not worth getting het up over. Progress depends on sharing, and the Open development model -- as long as it's done properly -- is demonstrably superior to Closed development. As for DRM and the like, that will cease to be relevant with the development of improved hac ..... er, I mean, debugging tools. (Chop-and-swap analogue TV encryption is trivial to defeat nowadays from scratch -- i.e. finding the chop-and-swap points in each line just by comparing successive lines -- with even fairly ancient kit ..... whoever thought in the early 1990s that CPUs would ever hit 100MHz, let alone 1GHz? Even Java or Perl probably would be fast enough to do it.)

Testing a theory (0, Offtopic)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216405)

Whenever an article about open source and companies' policies is posted, moderation points fly by, so this must be a good article to get karma :-)

I don't have anything insightful to say so I'm shooting for informative. Here's what the mysterious future brings (yes, I bought 1000 pages, I wanted a few frist potss but turns out you can't post before it's released to genpop, WTF)

"A team of four Thai students beat out 10,000 competitors to win the $25,000 prize in Microsoft 2007 Imagine Cup. Their project is text-to-speech software in which computers read aloud typed and handwritten commands. The software will allow people who can't read to interact with a PC. Imagine Cup judge Rand Morimoto has been blogging on the whole experience -- from his video of the opening ceremonies to how contestants swilled free Cokes to keep themselves awake during the 24-hour, no-sleep phase of the competition."

There.

Actually, that's a single standard (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216453)

You praise someone doing something right and condem someone doing wrong. The examples given in the article are totally consistant.

TWW

I do not think this means... (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20216467)

...what you think it means. Double standard that is, in reference to the author. Here's your standard: open source is good, closed source is bad. When source opens up this is good, when it closes up, this is bad. This is one standard. Please to be explaining where second standard is? Really, this article was tripe if you ask me. It accuses people of hypocrisy and double standards when that's simply patently not the case.

If you want to argue that commercial software is necessary for the industry, fine. That makes sense, and I can understand the argument, but don't try to hide it behind some ridiculous red herring argument of hypocrisy.

simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20216489)

because we are leenooks zeelots. we jerk it when a new kernel is released. fap fap fap.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...