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Gartner Says Open Source "Impossible To Avoid"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the there-they-go-again dept.

Linux 167

alphadogg writes in with a Network World article that covers a Gartner open source conference, in which VP Mark Driver seems to be going out of his way to be provocative. "You can try to avoid open source, but it's probably easier to get out of the IT business altogether. By 2011, at least 80% of commercial software will contain significant amounts of open source code..." After this lead-in, in which open source seems to be regarded as some kind of communicable disease, the rest of the article outlines a perfectly rational plan for developing an open source strategy.

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sounds good to me (2, Insightful)

bakamaki (1148765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683715)

You won't hear me complaining, 80% sounds great.

Re:sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20683815)

tag this "resistanceisfutile"!

Is Gartner warning us? (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683937)

It's almost like they're talking about herpes, the way you can't escape it.

Oh but you can... (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686047)

Actually, I have found that the amount of open source you use and your chances of getting herpes are, strangely, inversely proportional. ;)

Re:sounds good to me (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684541)

The problem that I see is that the 80% isn't necessarily meaning that more code is going to be open source, just that more of it's going to get used. Look at the network stack for vista to see what I mean.

"Strategy" is Not Rational (4, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685085)

Making an "open source strategy" is silly. No one has an "EULA" planning session where they try to make general guidelines for what kind of non free screwing they will and won't take. They consider the options available and take the best. This is a panic by non free software vendors and their pawns. The same people who used to tell you to always use the "best" tool for the job realize that the best tool is often a free one. Open Software planning sessions are a waste of time designed to heap FUD on free software. The time waste itself will put you at a competitive disadvantage, using the wrong tools will too.

It's never been rational to ignore free software. Every significant non free program has roots in some kind of free software. The people telling you to ignore free software have been plundering it themselves all along.

Re:"Strategy" is Not Rational (2, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685671)

Every significant non free program has roots in some kind of free software.

That's quite a sweeping statement. Since you're using it to back up your implied argument that free software is inherently superior, could you provide some examples of this?

Re:"Strategy" is Not Rational (3, Insightful)

PHPfanboy (841183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686727)

Making an "open source strategy" is silly. No one has an "EULA" planning session where they try to make general guidelines for what kind of non free screwing they will and won't take.

Much as you might find it silly, many companies *are* doing it.

If they are not going with "Zero Indemnification" policy of Microsoft, they need to know what sort of open source licenses they will use, what sort of support packages they feel their businesses need. An example: in the UK, Financial Services companies **must** have support contracts on all software which is not built in house, otherwise their auditors make them put money aside to insure against the risk. Should your company use GPL software or only BSD license? What if you make and sell software like System Integrators do and need to supply your own support agreements?

I would love to call it silly and say no one is doing it, but when top Global companies are doing exactly this (I'm dealing with the people who are doing it on a daily basis), you're just ignorant.

And as for saying that open source planning sessions are just to heap FUD on Open Source, you're plain wrong. Often we (open source companies) push for them to make sure customers do have a policy for how and where they use open source, otherwise they'll just take whatever Microsoft or Oracle push to them - nobody likes to change, it's a right pain. But we (open source companies and other interested/stakeholder individuals) need to push for these battles, because we win. I'll ignore your last paragraph which is just utter nonsense.

Re:"Strategy" is Not Rational (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686839)

Every significant non free program has roots in some kind of free software.

I thought it was the other way around - free software has its roots in creating free alternatives to non-free software.

Forex:
GIMP - Photoshop/PSP
Scribus - Pagemaker/Indesign/Quark
OpenOffice - MS Office/Star Office/Corel/Lotus/etc
Linux - AT&T Unix

Stallman's FOSSie agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20686969)

This is exactly why Stallman and the other anti-business and commercial hostile FOSSie crusaders are seeking to make the GPL has restrictive as possible. Their goal is to acquire control of everyone and every thing computer related, via source code. Thus, they can completely hold a company hostage, and it won't cost them one penny to create their monopoly (aside from all the money they spend creating a more and more restrictive web of legalities in their software license).

Why else do you think Sun and IBM are gaining footholds in the Lunix community? Because they are using these groups in a proxy war against Microsoft and the rest of the software industry.

Lunix is already an excellent example of the kind of monopoly FOSSies seek to create. Due to making the GPL more and more restrictive with every revision, they have pushed commercial software off the platform and removed any kind of software choices (aside from other FOSSie applications). So using teh Lunix gives you Ford's Model-T choice: you can have any software you like, as long as it's FOSS. That doesn't sound like being "all about choice" to me.

MS was probably the first to start warning people about the viral nature of the GPL, and how it threatens the entire software industry. The people who mocked them are now looking like huge fools, and making MS look like visionaries.

At least we know what MS's agenda is: to produce high quality software in exchange for money. But what's the agenda of these FOSSies? Just listening to people like Stallman, I can't help but shudder when thinking what someone like that would do with more than the tiny bit of power they currently have. And given the completely deceptive and underhanded means they are going about creating their monopoly... I'm far less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Even Teh Lunis himself doesn't trust the GPLv3. That really has to tell you something.

Sounds right (3, Funny)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683733)

It's infectious, it's growing and all attempts to stop it have failed.... sounds like a virus to me.

Re:Sounds right (3, Insightful)

ttapper04 (955370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684089)

Just like any good idea. Open source just might be the right way to get the best product to the end user. If that proves to be true then nothing can stop it. Gallaleo was right, the Earth goes around the Sun, nothing could stop the idea. Of coarse this hinges on weather open source really is the best way. I do not have the answer to this.

Re:Sounds right (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684319)

i bet those coarse hinges make a horrible squeaking noise.

Re:Sounds right (2, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685253)

It depends on weather.

Re:Sounds right (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684383)

I agree the idea can't be stopped. But I think the unintended consequence is tons of copyright/distribution license violations or Tivoization.

A business will use gpl'd libraries to avoid having to make their own and then pass the whole thing off as their own. From there, they've got an advertising budget so they can easily drown out the buzz from a community-based solutions.

I know it happens in windows because some of the commands for a particular ssh server my employer was using were 1:1 openssl. I asked someone in the vendor's support and their canned response was "they made a clean-room implementation." Openssl is a shed-load of code. Tough coding too. I have serious doubts.

Re:Sounds right (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685599)

Openssh is BSD licensed, so there are no GPL concerns. They may be lying about the "clean-room implementation," but in the end it doesn't matter due to the fact that it is BSD licensed.

Re:Sounds right (2, Funny)

mcmire (1152897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684615)

You missed a semicolon. It should read "Of coarse this hinges on weather; open source really is the best way." Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

Re:Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685209)

surely the weather couldn't affect whether open source is the best way or not

A conversation (4, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684155)

--Dude, where've you been? I haven't been able to reach you for days!

--I was in the hospital with (whispers) *Linux*. They wouldn't let me get online. They were afraid I'd install it on the computer. They even found it on my cellphone.

--Man, that's harsh!

--You're telling me! At least they put me in a room with Windows.

Re:Sounds right (1)

hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684989)

Well, isn't that the whole point of viral licensing like the GPL? And as far as I'm concerned, this is a very good thing.

Re:Sounds right They.. will... be.... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686771)

ass-emo-lated...

(captcha: airbag)

Standard (1)

ttapper04 (955370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683805)

1. Say something provocative and be sure to mention open source.
2. Post on slashdot.
3. Sneak in something insightful.
4. ???????
5. Profit!!!1

Re:Standard (1)

epedersen (863120) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684039)

4. ??????? is put ands on the article.

Consider the Source (5, Insightful)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684069)

This is the Gartner Group we're talking about. The only thing that amazes me is that anyone still pays them any attention at all. I still have some presentation materials around here somewhere where they warn that 30% of US businesses will fail due to Y2K problems.

Re:Consider the Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684971)

Uhm yeah, consultants. Their job is to whip up a fear frenzy and then sell the cure.

Re:Consider the Source (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20687361)

>> Uhm yeah, consultants. Their job is to whip up a fear frenzy and then sell the cure.

That is very close to the truth. I have a good friend who worked for Gartner and now works for a major competitor. It's not so much fear/cure they are selling as the latest hyped trend and how (for a fee) you can jump aboard and gain a competitive advantage. The whole business plan of these guys is basically to be a CYA vehicle for IT management.

Re:Consider the Source (4, Interesting)

arun_s (877518) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685025)

Heheh. I just did a search for 'site:slashdot.org gartner' and here are some weird analyses they've come up with in the past:
Gartner Says Linux PCs Just Used To Pirate Windows [slashdot.org] (2004)
Gartner Recommends Holding Onto The SCO Money [slashdot.org] (2003)
(Sure they got some better ones too, I just picked the funnies)

Consider the Content. (0, Flamebait)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685585)

Driver has no idea what a fanatic he is. Commercial software developers have used BSD and other free software all along, yet he imagines a rational person would be afraid of such things. He then constructs this strawman:

Open source, more than anything else in the industry, has a large set of proponents who border on zealots, he said. Its the guy who says, 'Windows sucks, it doesnt work. Lets throw it out and use Linux.

I wonder if he had to wipe the drool off his chin when he said that.

It's never been a bad idea to consider freedom and there have always been trade offs. Businesses that ignored freedom have been yanked along with the upgrade train, suffered intentional waste and incompetent security. Now that free software has gained a large feature and performance advantage in many areas, non free proponents are abandoning the "best tool for the job" mantra and erecting FUD barriers [slashdot.org] .

Only a real zealot would think it's impossible, impractical or extreme to replace Windows. Windows itself has always been second rate. Rational people used it because it was cheap, "good enough" and there were useful applications. Many large companies have already done it and rational people now realize that Windows should only be kept around for legacy and specialized niches [slashdot.org] .

Re:Consider the Content. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20686363)

Your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Your sockpuppet account [slashdot.org] is in karma hell right now for the very behavior you claim does not exist and attack the author of the article for even suggesting it does. You even went so far as to actually call it Windows, when all one has to do is browse through your posting history to see your constant and repeated use of that annoying "M$ Windoze" creative spelling.

"Wipe the drool of his chin", indeed. Is this what "advocacy" is to you? Do you really think you can fool people this way?

Amen (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686729)

You beat me to that.

Re:Consider the Source (1)

greengrass (945616) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686971)

Is this the same Gartner Group that in 1999 said that "Linux is the Hype Du Jour"?

Well that's an understatment... (2, Funny)

beatbox32 (325106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683809)

Hard to avoid? I'm in the process of securing a restraining order as we speak.

Already here. (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683813)

The article says that some say that day is already here. I agree.

Try to do -anything- on the web without having to deal with Firefox, Apache, PHP, etc, etc... Good freaking luck. Even Safari uses open source components, so there goes all compatibility with Mac as well. (Meaning you can't test it on Mac, because then you'd be dealing with open source.)

Now, try to have a successful business without the internet. Sure, it's possible on a small scale, but I can't name a single business I deal with that doesn't have at least a 'contact us' page on the internet with a phone number.

And that doesn't even get into interacting with other companies that happily use open source in their daily functioning.

Re:Already here. (3, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684119)

The article says that some say that day is already here. I agree.

Try to do -anything- on the web without having to deal with Firefox, Apache, PHP, etc, etc... Good freaking luck. Even Safari uses open source components, so there goes all compatibility with Mac as well.


I could quote more, but I would bet that almost 100% of the sane people on the planet would agree with both the parent post and the linked article.

I'm just confused as to the point of the article. This article seems as relevant as saying air in the Earth's atmosphere contains 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.9 percent argon, 0.03 percent carbon dioxide, with trace gasses and this is impossible to avoid.

Is there something I missed? Is open source a problem or something? I don't understand the point here.

Re:Already here. (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684347)

The point is Gartner getting their name out there.

Otherwise, they might as well be dead and useless.

Oh, wait.

Re:Already here. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685113)

Is there something I missed? Is open source a problem or something? I don't understand the point here.

Gartner's company line for years was "Avoid open source, it's risky".

That's changed slightly. Reading the article, it looks like they're now saying "It's still risky but you can't avoid it".

It is clear without the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20686227)

Is there something I missed? Is open source a problem or something? I don't understand the point here.

A lot of this stems from years of vendor BS where they openly slam open source. When you buy the product and find all sorts of open source linked in, or like some, based on open source BSD. And even others that are merely web based front ends to open source engines. We techie types know which vendors are worse that others, but I know of so very few vendors today that you can't find some open source in it.

If open source was so bad, then why do the vendors slam and use it? Hint, hypocrisies and profit.

Read a EULA, essentially you have LESS rights in a commercial EULA than open source. If the company goes bankrupt, is bought out, wants to jump rates after your hooked -- with open source you have the source and are not stuck. Your alternatives are severely limited with commercial licenses.

The only real limitation in a I/T shop to open source is that is does not like the fuel called BS, hype talk, fast clickers, lies, closed minds, McSofts, those with lower skills and excuses need not apply.

Just got off the phone with commercial support, no solution and 4 hours wasted. If I had the source I would have it fixed by now. Ya, they support you. Ya, they buy lunches once and awhile. Your best support is in house competence with source and an unlimited RTU.

Re:Already here. (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684387)

In addition to the domains where open-source is already firmly established (the Internet, as you mention, and many embedded device spaces, too), there are indeed many new domains where open-source is becoming more and more "necessary." Consider this (admittedly brief) writeup [phoronix.com] on a talk given by "Intel's Chief Linux and Open-Source Technologist." The writeup says:

He also mentioned that a major OEM is requiring that by next year their hardware suppliers must either have an open-source driver available or be able to provide an open-source driver within the next twelve months. The likely company that comes to mind is Dell but Dirk refused to comment any further.
If the speculation is correct (that Dell wants all hardware to have open-source drivers available within 12 months), that's a big deal. Such a push is an example of the benefits of open-source being pushed into a new market (in this case, the desktop commodity hardware space).

Re:Already here. (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686405)

I can't imagine Dell requiring open-source drivers. Even if to support their Linux offerings.

The problem isn't the lack of drivers, it is what the Chinese will do with an open-source driver. Hardware manufacturer spends lots of time (read: money) developing software-instead-of-hardware approach to make a given computer peripherial lower cost to the consumer. After all, software engineering is a non-reoccuring expense whereas if you put it in the hardware you get to just keep buying the chips. Today, they keep that software-instead-of-hardware a secret and get paid for their product.

You release the hardware specs (or better yet, a real working driver) and you now enable somebody to duplicate all that work in a couple of weeks just reusing (yes, stealing) the software. No R&D time. Much, much cheaper product.

So, are you going to buy the $100 item or the $50 one? Without some kind of protection against the open theft and import of cheap knock-offs manufacturing in the West is doomed. Today, there is no protection. Who do you think wrote the software in the $29 DVD player? You don't actually believe it was written in China, do you? How about that DVD writer that cost $49? Where did the firmware come from?

Re:Already here. (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686979)

including 3D graphics drivers ?

Re:Already here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20686619)

Try to do -anything- on the web without having to deal with Firefox, Apache, PHP, etc, etc...

Better yet, try doing anything on the internet without one of your DNS queries eventually getting serviced by BIND.

My girlfriends pussy.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20683817)

Why does my girlfriends pussy smell of fish? I'm thinking of breaking up with her over it, am I fuck licking that damn thing again. Yuck. Any advice appreciated

Sounds right (0, Troll)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683851)

It's fairly uncommon, it attempts to manipulate anything that it touches....sounds like a virus to me.

Re:Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684221)

This post [slashdot.org] is a plagiarism virus! Look how it replicated itself in parent!

80% (1)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683903)

Does 80% of companies using open source necessarily mean less profits. In my experience it means more time/cost efficient projects.

NETWORKWORLD NOT COMPUTERWORLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20683927)

(so says the submitter in the firehose)

Disease? (4, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20683931)

After this lead-in, in which open source seems to be regarded as some kind of communicable disease

Sir, you appear to be confusing "open source" with "open sores." I realize they sound similar, and English spelling isn't entirely logical, but this one ends with an "S" sound, not a "Z."

It is a disease, and that's why it works! (4, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684011)

Of course Open Source is a communicable disease. All freedom is. That's why they call it freedom, and that's also why those in control fear it so much.

DUH!

I fault YOU, dear comment submitter, for attaching a negative connotation to it. There's nothing wrong a viral idea, and there's nothing wrong with admitting that an idea is viral. There is something wrong with being ashamed of perfectly decent things.

What this says, in my view, is that 80% of the developers that are, um, developing will see freedom as beneficial. And in my world, that ROCKS!

Re:It is a disease, and that's why it works! (3, Interesting)

arun_s (877518) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685591)

There's nothing wrong a viral idea, and there's nothing wrong with admitting that an idea is viral.
Your comment made me think of what first attracted me to the Free Software world. To any one who's discovered the elegant beauty of Darwin's evolutionary theory, there is an equal attractiveness in the way the GPL license is framed.
The very fact that the GPL attaches itself to the code its released under, and survives into the downstream modifications that are made to the code.. there are beautiful resemblances to the way successful life itself evolves.
I'm inclined to believe that licenses that are not viral (e.g. BSD) and depend on altruistic reasons to survive, are somehow doomed to extinction (i.e. will be swallowed by proprietary licenses that couldn't care less about perpetuating the BSD cause). In the long run, the GPL will emerge as the fitter license that made its way into the larger user base while retaining pefect copies of itself.
(Of course I'm neither a biologist nor a programmer, so apologies if I sound like I'm talking outta my ass.)

In other news (2, Informative)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684045)

security of your product and business is not possible via obscurity. This just in...

C'mon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684047)

Basically, the guy said that use of open source software is becoming universal and that the people who reflexively avoid it are going to have to get over it.

Is there some shortage of raw meat today such that this needed to be used for today's Two Minutes Of Hate? Surely Darl McBride or Steve Ballmer must have said or done *something*?

Tivolization (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684077)

I guess that depends on that GPLv3 thingy...

Re:Tivolization (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684307)

WTF is Tivolization? Is that like, embedding support for IBM's Tivoli management suite into your software? What? Does the GPL V3 forbid that, too?

Re:Tivolization (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686315)

No, GPLv3 disallows to run your software in Tivoli [wikipedia.org] . :-)

If Gartner ways it, bet the opposite. (1)

GnarlyDoug (1109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684085)

My opinion of Gartner is so low that I can only assume that through some miracle Open Source will be discarded as a bad idea by 2011.

Re:If Gartner ways it, bet the opposite. (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684309)

My thoughts exactly. Gartner is always wrong, so when they say everyone will be using Open Source, my head explodes.

Re:If Gartner ways it, bet the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684435)

Gartner is very late in grudgingly admitting this, as open source projects don't pay them. Based on some of their other evaluations, this may not be the case with many other sources of software.

Open source in commercial software? (4, Insightful)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684131)

By 2011, at least 80% of commercial software will contain significant amounts of open source code
If these predictions are correct (which they probably aren't) how do these products stay "commercial"? If at least half of that Open Source software is GPL covered, then %40 of that commercial software will have to be open as well.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684405)

Its entirely possible to make commercial GPL software. You can't really charge for the software (yeah yeah, I know Stallman *claims* that you can charge for GPL software, but the reality is that free copy and distribution drives the price of the software to $0), but you can charge for the services in writing or supporting the software, or provide other services for running the software (software is free, hardware costs cash, factor cost of software into the hardware).

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684515)

In all honesty, I would not be surprised if more companies went the way of distributing free (as in beer) components of their larger software. Quick examples I can think of are VMWare's server product and Adobe Photoshop's free fork.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684545)

Open Source != GPL

LGPL, BSD, etc, licenses exist also. Almost all of the commercial software I've ever programmed for had open source components, but the companies were always diligent enough to pick libraries that did not require open sourcing of the entire app.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684573)

If these predictions are correct (which they probably aren't) how do these products stay "commercial"?

For mostly the same reasons I just bought lunch at the cafe downstairs. The salad I'm eating is fully "open source" and I have plenty of know-how and experience to make my own salads by growing the component vegetables in my garden and bring in my own lunches for little if any money.

For my money, I get "ready to eat" convenience taking only a few minutes of my time and full product support--if it's not to my liking, I can take it back and get it fixed.

Open Source != written by anti-commerce hippies. The software may be free, but there's plenty of money to be had providing and supporting solutions.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20687627)

Watch the let us and the to-yu-fu.. You don't wanna get open sores...

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684613)

There's commercial efforts based on or working with open source right now.

$DAYJOB for me these days is Wind River Linux. Yes, it's all GPLd. Yes, source is available. We are still offering something people are willing to pay for, and people continue to pay us money for stuff. It's clearly a commercial product; it's just a commercial product that happens to have a lot of GPL'd code in it.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684645)

Your math assumes that 50% of open source being GPL'd will carry over to the 80% of software, which it won't necessarily. Businesses who want to close their source will choose the code with less restrictive licenses, or they'll only link to LGPL code, etc.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684675)

Nothing about the GPL says you can't sell software

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685765)

In fact, Red Hat makes most of its money off of Enterprise Linux licenses while still being able to give away the source allowing Centos to exist.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

dilute (74234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684949)

Especially components. Why write a parser, for example (say, an XML parser), or get a budget for licensing one, when you can grab a FOSS one under a permissive license and dynamically link it as a library (hopefully without compromising your company's proprietary product)? This type of thing is happening all over. Already. So is corporate participation in open source projects, purely out of a self-interested economic calculation.

How to be Open Source yet Commercial (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684977)

Open Source and Commercial are not intrinsically mutually exclusive. The opposite of Open Source (OS) is Proprietary, while the opposite of Commercial is Zero-Cost (0$, one of the meanings of "Free", but "Zero-Cost" resolves the ambiguity).

Having said that, it is indeed difficult to make software both Open Source and Commercial, since the software recipients can then freely redistribute it. There are only two true ways I can think of:
  1. The market is so small or specialized that it would not be practical to redistribute. For example, OS software for some specialized research might have such a scattered market that it would not be practical for a potential customer to say, "Gee, let me just find a web site and download it from someone else!"
  2. The implementation is customized for the client in such a way that it would not be practical to grab a redistributed version. This is a special case of the above, since by customizing you are fragmenting the market into small segments, each of which will not redistribute to another.

Otherwise, you're looking at selling something else to go with the software. You could sell the hardware, as Linksys does with their Linux-based routers, or sell support services, as Red Hat does. You could offer to customize the software for a fee, which would be a specialized case of selling support.

You could also sell proprietary data that goes with your OS software. For example, you might have some GPS mapping software which is OS, but you would sell the maps themselves. I also imagine that Google might be able to sell their web-searching software as open source, but you wouldn't have the same networking hardware and the accumulated data that they have.

Still other solutions include judicious use of proprietary versus open source software. ESRaymond's web site suggests that you can sell proprietary software while keeping the source in escrow to be opened in case the company fails. The author of QCAD sells the latest version as proprietary, which become open-sourced when a newer version supercedes it. Also, you can have multi-licensing deals: you have code that is licensed under the GPL, but re-license it under a proprietary license for money because someone else wants to reuse it in a proprietary work.

Oh, yeah, there's one more. You just plain sell your OS software. Some people might buy it even though it's available for free elsewhere. I remember when I bought the latest Borland C++ compiler at the local computer store for what I thought was a cheap price (this was in late 2000 when the sun was already setting on Borland). Later, I found out that it was available as a free download. But at US$30, hey, I was happy with the value for the money. Yes, I could have gotten it cheaper, but I was willing to pay $30 for it. (Not that Borland C++ is an example of Open Source software.) Also, you make money due to brand name (which is what Red Hat is famous for protecting): people might buy from you just to get the reassurance that it's The Real Thing.

So, there are ways to do it, just not the straightforward way that the MAFIAA is drooling about, which is that people pay you big bucks just to make copies of your 1's and 0's.

Re:Open source in commercial software? (1)

bvankuik (203077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20687467)

That's because some software has open source components that are not linked (as in linking as the last stage of compiling) with the closed source parts. Oracle for instance has distributed Apache for years. But the only thing they use it for is as a frontend for their Java application server.

So when were you able to avoid it? (1)

BBPursell (814973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684393)

Can you name an OS that doesn't have Open Source code in it? (over the last 30 or so years) ... anyone? ... Okay, one that people actually use? Now, there may be a few users that have never used an operating system, and I can't speak for every application out there, so I'm pretty sure that you never could avoid it.

Re:So when were you able to avoid it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684577)

Can you name an OS that doesn't have Open Source code in it?
Windows Vista. When MS updated to Vista, they rewrote the TCP/IP stack, which was previously based on open-source BSD code. Thus Windows Vista isn't based on open source code...

Okay, one that people actually use?
Oh. Sorry, nevermind.

Re:So when were you able to avoid it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684579)

Can you name an OS that doesn't have Open Source code in it? (over the last 30 or so years) ... anyone?


Hurd

Re:So when were you able to avoid it? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684621)

Doesn't any OS that implements TCP/IP rely on the open source TCP/IP stack from BSD?

Re:So when were you able to avoid it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685717)

Yes. In the past thirty years not one developer has ever written their own implementation of TCP/IP.

Open Source Alright (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684453)

The problem today is not closed source. It's Pseuso-Open Source. .Orgware.

Programs that theoretically have an open source license but they are operated in such a way to exactly fobid users from modifying their system. Never has the attack on open source have been more critical.

See konqueror. Great Stuff. Apple forked in and KHTML is dying.
See Mozilla (google adclick funded). In 2007 and you have to be a web-wisard to avoid viewing adds.
OpenOffice.org?
etc, etc

No free software for me, I'd rather spend millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20684561)

Who is afraid of open source? People who spent big money for closed source.

The same people cried when Apple dropped $200 off the iphone.
The guy who missed the sale is ALWAYS going to be pissed.

Of course, they DO get a shiny hologram of authenticity with their locked down code...
it's sticky on the back, so just affix it to your Dell and you're all set for teh interweb!

And with the money I saved on M$ orifice, I'll buy your wife dinner at Le Distro.

Gartner is a joke ... (1)

douggmc (571729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684571)

Anything coming from any of the Gartner clowns' mouth should be considered suspect. They are a joke.

What does DiDio say? (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684609)

Isn't this the same Gartner that Laura DiDio worked for and suggested that Open Source software and especially Linux had no place in the then "today's world?" I guess things have changed a lot. But what does she say now? An slashdotter wants to know.

Re:What does DiDio say? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685071)

Gartner's "opinions" have always been, "pimp whatever we are selling and call it 'research'"

Re:What does DiDio say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685157)

She was also part of the Yank N' Grope people who said there's no doubt that SCO Unix code is in Linux.

Re:What does DiDio say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685447)

Isn't this the same Gartner that Laura DiDio worked for

No. Laura DiDio hasn't worked for Gartner. At least according to my memory/knowledge, and according to the wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] tracking her and her remarks.

I think Hell is freezing. Wrap the pipes. (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20684643)

Dear Slashdotters,

Considering this recent revelation of the future from this prophet, we here at Microsoft want a piece of the action too. We have been dodging this bullet for too long. It's time to sink our teeth in and bite it.

We have been holding secret negotiations with Torvalds and starting next year, the NT kernel will be scrapped in favor of the Linux kernel. Windows will cease to be an operating system. Instead, Microsoft will develop something to be known as "the Windows Desktop Environment", or WDE for short. WDE will have all the user-friendly features you have come to love in Microsoft Windows operating systems with the exception that everything about it will be open source.

Help us make WDE and our new distribution become a success and continue your support for Microsoft.

Your Friend in Redmond,
William Gates III

Re:I think Hell is freezing. Wrap the pipes. (1)

AndyCR (1091663) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685427)

Please mod parent +1 Wish-it-would-happen.

I think two-face is a Batman villian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685725)

Funny but backwards. The NT kernel actually is a good kernel. It's the rest of the stuff that needs replacing. Also I find the whole "open source" rah, rah funny in light of the Theo stories we had a day ago. Apparently open source (non-GPL code) is something to cheer about, but amoungst yourselves it's "The GPL is better than other licenses".

Straw-man: Their rhetorical hyperbole (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685199)

The 80% comment is a form of reverse rhetoric. They are trying by themselves to build unrealistic expectations which they can then knock down to prove the failure of OSS and Linux. That's called a straw-man argument.

This is all they have to wield as a weapon against quality software that challenges the proprietary vendors and shops that pay their bills. It's official. Their efforts are now pathetic.

All it maters is milking the OSS developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685393)

I agree. Who doesn't want to make money from others' code. OSS is the way to go.

Bespoke Software Won't disappear (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685405)

Shrink-wrapped commercial stuff like Word and Excel might be under threat, but there will always be jobs for people working on bespoke business projects. For example, I can't imagine an altruistic bunch of people getting together to write a special flight booking system for British Airways.

Re:Bespoke Software Won't disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20685997)

I could see it. IT in each airline contributing to the project.

Re:Bespoke Software Won't disappear (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686879)

>I could see it. IT in each airline contributing to the project.

In the early days, that is what happened. The code was closed source, not open source. A couple of companies that didn't contribute to the code discovered that they were locked out of that system. So they created their own closed source system. IIRC, the upshot of the ensuing court cases was that the programs had to play nicely with each other.

Amber

Re:Bespoke Software Won't disappear (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686799)

> For example, I can't imagine an altruistic bunch of people getting together to write a special flight booking system for British Airways.

The company that wrote that booking system might open source it. (There can be extremely sound legal reasons to open source your software code.)

Amber

Re:Bespoke Software Won't disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20687641)

A company spends millions to develop their own booking system only to give it to there competitors for free? Are you insane? That's now how OSS works.
The OSS model would be that a company or a handful of companies get OSS devs to create the booking system FOR FREE. That way nobody has spent millions to give it away to competitors.

OSS devs are suckers, pure and simple.

Gartner, eh? (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685847)

So the gartner [reference.com] said that? Interesting. What did the poolman and the postman have to say about it? :p

Re:Gartner, eh? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686637)

No, it was a gartner snake. You know, the same kind which told Eve about that business opportunity of being god-like by just eating an apple.

Why get out? (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20685915)

Why should I get out of the IT business? I don't make my money out of selling software but by charging hourly rates to write software for clients. Open Source will only lead to more possibilities and more work.

Because software will more reliable and easier to get means that it will be used more and thus more clients will need my services.

This is actually a Good Thing (TM).

Y

Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20686853)

Windows contains a significant amount of open-source code.

The entire TCP/IP stack is lifted from BSD.

By 2011, at least 80% of readers will be out of IT (1)

scottsk (781208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20686977)

(Sorry, this turns into a rant:) I wonder what percentage of readers -- 80% ? -- will not be in IT any longer by 2011, and what percentage will remember this prediction? If I'm not mistaken, Gartner is primarily a business to business research firm. If I was paying them dump trucks of money to say obvious things like this, I would question myself. I mean, by 2011 you know 80% of applications will use SAX or some open-source XML parser. Wondering if the report was bogus or not, I decided to break with tradition & read the article. These people have a grasp of the obvious: "You've got to know what's in your organization." They suggest four steps that are somewhat blindingly obvious. The first is to use software the fits the purpose. Then use mature software. (I don't have any statistics in front of me, but wouldn't Gartner also do a report saying some new technology is the best thing that ever happened?) The third factor is a buzzword, your "technology adoption profile" -- I don't know what that means, but it sounds important. Is there a UML diagram for that? The fourth factor is whether the software is 24/7 mission critical. Since earlier in the article the advice is not to throw out Windows for Linux, I can't quite harmonize them. So I'm just kind of in a daze at the vacuity of this stuff. The Gartner guy actually describes the motives of IBM for supporting Linux. (Can he back this up with research? Does he have quotes from IBM management proving that his ascribed motive is correct? Gartner is a research firm, right?) So that this stuff is being reported as "news" is mind-boggling. That this stuff is being done at all is mind-boggling. What happened to real reporting, anyway? Printing some quotes from a talk is not reporting. Why don't they ask what percentage of application development plans to use open-source components in the immediate future, or an open-source middleware and presentation layer stack? Why don't they ask why 20% would not be using open source by 2011, when the number of all-Microsoft shops that use the .NET stack (C#, SQL Server, ASP.NET) is most likely going to remain significantly higher than that. What is the definition of using open source, anyway, here? A Perl script in a unit test? Firefox and Apache? An XML parser? The quality of news reporting is getting pretty grim.

Obligatory (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20687461)

Personnaly, I welcome our waddling, flightless overlords.

You have used it for years anyway (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20687545)

Windows contains BSD-licenced software. It has been in there for more than 10 years now. Mac OS X has a BSD based kernel. The rest of today's OS is mostly open source or at least uses some BSD or GNU software.
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