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10-Year Anniversary of Open Source

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the corks-a-poppin dept.

Software 161

Bruce Perens writes "Saturday is the 10-Year Anniversary of Open Source, the initiative to promote Free Software to business. Obviously, it's been incredibly successful. I've submitted a State of Open Source message discussing the anniversary of Open Source, its successes, and the challenges it will face in the upcoming decade."

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Surprised by Wealth! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350820)

Re:Surprised by Wealth! (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351186)

Surprised by Wealth was Eric Raymond, not me. I wouldn't ever have written that, and Eric claims he lost all the money because he never sold the stock. Holy toledo. My biggest IPO was Pixar. I made a little money on various friends-and-family things from Linux companies. Wasn't involved in LinuxCare. :-)

THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY IS A FAGGOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351328)

This post brought to you courtesy of the First Amendment.

Re:Surprised by Wealth! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351354)

I didn't mean to attach the specifics to you, Bruce. I just remember the general "boom" mentality that happened around LinuxWorld in 1999.

By 2001?

I miss the old Technocrat. Thanks for that... Have you another, like project in the wings?

Re:Surprised by Wealth! (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351424)

How can you look at Zimbra and MySQL and think the boom mentality was then?

Technocrat.net has been back for a while. If you did know that and don't like its current editorial content, I could really use some better article submissions. I've got to take most anything people submit right now because it's slim pickings. But not over here at Slashdot, darn it.

New projects in the wings: a start-up company called Kiloboot. Product not announced yet. An American version of FFII.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:Surprised by Wealth! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351682)

Zimbra may - briefly - make MS the biggest open source vendor in the world! ;-)

I wasn't aware the "new" Technocrat was still associated with you - after dropping the old slashcode. I have some pals there - and still drop a post occasionally.

Re:Surprised by Wealth! (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352096)

Technocrat.net is still mine, although I actually lost the domain once and some nice folks rescued it for me. Wow. Anyway, I take the adsense revenue and pay Zogger with it. I can't always be there to run articles, and he's there much more frequently.

Bruce

I think you mean "Open Source" (3, Informative)

Filter (6719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350830)

Not open source.

Re:I think you mean "Open Source" - actually Free. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351558)

I think he actually means "Free"; if you read the article he's very careful to be clear that Open Source should be little more than a rebranding of Richard Stallman's ideas and ideals but wearing a sharp tailored suit. It's an excellent document. The only mistake is the implication that companies bigger than 1000 are not at risk from patents. As a person in an engineering company with more than 50k employees, I can really tell you that's not true. Patents are a form of war on those who produce by those who steal.

I'll raise a glass to that! (2, Interesting)

Fuzzypig (631915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350842)

Making the software world a more friendly place to work and play! Here's to many more years!

Re:I'll raise a glass to that! (2)

gotzero (1177159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350992)

I got permission in 2007 to install some open source software at work after using it head to head with some of the programs from big players that I found absolutely intolerable. Hopefully initiatives like this one help whoever makes those decisions come around! Here's to another 10 years of increased adoption and collaboration (at work and then at home)!

Misleading use of capital letters (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350894)

It's too bad English requires titles to have initial-capital letters in almost every word. It leads to confusion.

While this may be the 10th anniversary of Open Source, it is not the 10th anniversary of open s.

Open-source computer code has been around about as long as computers, and the equivalent to open source in other areas such as blueprints have been around since time immemorial.

corrected (3, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350966)

It's too bad English requires titles to have initial-capital letters in almost every word. It leads to confusion.

While this may be the 10th anniversary of Open Source, it is not the 10th anniversary of open source.

Open-source computer code has been around about as long as computers, and the equivalent to open source in other areas such as blueprints have been around since time immemorial.
--
That'll teach me not to use Preview.

Re:corrected (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351912)

That'll teach me not to use Preview.

Liar.

Re:corrected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22353434)

Open-source computer code has been around about as long as computers

And whining about software piracy [youtube.com] has been around about as long as personal computers.
And you can see his point. Had it not been for all that piracy his company might have gone on to be a success.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22350986)

Yeah, sure, very confusing. I had no idea what the hell Bruce was talking about until your comment showed up...

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350996)

Quite true. University students, researchers, and hobbyists have been swapping code around since the inception of computing. When I was a kid in the 80s, I used to get all sorts of neat code from bulletin board systems. I suppose this might mark the anniversary of what most people consider formalized open source licensing practices, but it's certainly not the anniversary of open code.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351888)

Yep. I remember dissecting the QBASIC code for Gorillas and Nibbles back when I got my first PC (486SX 20Mhz, 2MB Ram, 80MB Hard Drive, DOS 5.1 + Windows 3.1). It was quite educational. A lot of the old programs for my Commodore 64 were just distributed as source on disks too.

As a matter of fact, WAY back in the day it was common to buy simple computer games not in disk form (those were hard to spread), but in the form of a magazine or book. They'd have a collection of simple games' source printed in the book and you'd type the source into your computer and save it yourself. Most of them would list several different versions of the source for different computer systems (C64 Version, Apple II version, TI-99/4a version, etc).

Dang that dredges up fond memories. I don't know if it was the variety, the "newness" of it, or just that I was a kid, but computers felt way more interesting and fun back then. Now they're a tool more than a toy. I suppose that's a good thing, but it certainly was fun to just play around back then.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (2, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352092)

In the beginning (around 10,000 BC or so), software was nothing more than a commodity that helped drive hideously expensive computers. Source code was shared freely among everyone (government agencies, universities and companies that actually used computers) and got adapted and improved for whatever task they wanted to accomplish with what little shared time they were getting on their Big Iron du jour. Companies like IBM, DEC and Wang made a killing on the hardware and support, and software was an afterthought at best.

All of this predates RMS, ESR, GNU and everything else. Availability of source code as a principal "right" became important only after the hardware itself was inevitably turned into a commodity and ceased being a shared resource.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (2, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351532)

When I first started writing code in the 70's there were still serious arguments about whether code could even be protected by copyrights. It wasn't until the "Pineapple" [cornell.edu] case in the early 80's that it was settled. The Pineapple contained Apple's ROM code and their claim was that you couldn't copyright binary data. They lost, of course.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351610)

Open-source computer code has been around about as long as computers, and the equivalent to open source in other areas such as blueprints have been around since time immemorial.
Even the phrase "open source" is itself confusing, since "open sources" are things like phone books, and a "closed" source is somebody you have to do legwork to talk to ;-)

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351954)

> It's too bad English requires titles to have initial-capital letters in almost every word. It leads to confusion.

Excuse me? Are you thinking of German? English only capitalises proper nouns and words at the beginning of sentences.

It has been several hundred years since English, as German still does, required all nouns to be capitalised.

Book and article titles (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352458)

Some English style guides say titles of books, articles, and other items should capitalize every word except "a," "an," and "the."

Re:Book and article titles (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353052)

This is the accepted standard in English. Some style books will have different rules as to when/if a, the, on, in, etc. should be capitalized, but it's standard English to capitalize titles.

Re:Misleading use of capital letters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351976)

We used to have Free software 25 years back, but back then we just called it "software"

I'm not sure where I read this before, probably Slashdot.

10 years - not hardly (1, Informative)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350952)

The first open source project I participated in was from around 1985-1996. The prject itself pre-dated that even.

Try to get over yourselves people.

Re:10 years - not hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351088)

Also tenth anniversary not ten years anniversary in the headline.

(Are you all graduates of the potato university?)

Re:10 years - not hardly (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351104)

He's talking about Open Source, not open source.

Re:10 years - not hardly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351170)

Where the hell were you years ago. This Bruce Perens guy is acting like he coined the term and started the whole thing.

Maybe if you understood what he wrote or even anything he has said over the past 10 years you would not have made such a silly statement.

Open Source MOVEMENT. read the whole thing before foaming at the mouth.

Re:10 years - not hardly (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351320)

I know. I made a point, really early in the article, of going over Free Software, Richard Stallman, and the fact that he started in the early 80's. FYI, my first Free Software program, Electric Fence was published from Pixar in 1987.

Thanks

Bruce

Open Source has already changed the world... (4, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350954)

...and will continue to do so, and even accelerate into the future.

I've been using Open Source all the way since the start, heck...I've even contributed to it by writing Open Documents and Wikis to help guide the everyday user how to use the various applications.

I am proud of what we have achieved, I remember when people at work mocked us as "nerdy" or "hippie" for constantly advocating alternative solutions to software and hardware solutions, but after being known for solving issues that the commercial world just couldn't this is no longer the case.

Thanks to distributors like "Ubuntu" that puts community effort together in functional packages for the "everyday man" - Linux has become both friendly and usable for everyone, not to mention the efforts of the Wine team that has made it entirely possible to run your favorite apps. under Linux with ease and little "under-the-hood" work at all.

Fantastic efforts, and an even better future. Personally I think the future for OS have never looked this good.

Re:Open Source has already changed the world... (1)

sundarvenkata (1214396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351336)

So tell me how exactly does Open source plan to counter the fact that "Utopian societies do not work in large scale".

Scarcity (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351564)

With an absence of scarcity. A lot of economic rules (not all, but a lot) simply don't apply to software in the age of the Internet.

Re:Open Source has already changed the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351578)

So tell me how exactly does proprietary software plan to counter the fact that "Capitalist societies do not work in large scale".

Re:Open Source has already changed the world... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352902)

how exactly does Open source plan to counter the fact that "Utopian societies do not work in large scale".

What do you think is "Utopian" about the Open Source and/or Free Software movements?

Re:Open Source has already changed the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22352160)

i hate to tell you but you're fooling yourself. you guys who really think that open source is a 1990s phenomenon weren't around to see all the open source that happened in decades past without the need of a little mascot or zealotry. at the time we just did what we enjoyed and we shared because the intellectual returns were worth it.

open source is not new. it's been around before linus was even thought of.

Re:Open Source has already changed the world... (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352554)

But, see, therein lies the difference.

The free software movement and the open source movements propose to do that and at the same time work in order to preserve their ability to do so. That pleasurable sharing that you speak about was nice, but as we can very much see nowadays, did not sustain itself: it is now gone, a precious memory no doubt, but no less gone for that. Why is it gone?: precisely because those that practiced that sharing always disregarded the fact that they were not doing anything to preserve the possibility of sharing for them and others.

Another anniversary for your diaries (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22350956)

March 6th is the 5th anniversary of SCO v IBM.

Will it survive that long? (-1, Offtopic)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351010)

SCO could do the right thing and pull a Mitt Romney and file for chapter 7 today.

Unlikely but one can hope.

Correction: free software is the success (4, Informative)

argoff (142580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350988)

Open Source is a trademark group, but the real success has been free (an in GPL) software. Economic forces alone have pushed growth in this area up way above 20% per year in many areas, but the Open Source movement was sort of drug along by the coat tales. I'm not saying it's hasn't accomplished a lot, but pure economic forces would have forced this growth anyhow even if the Open Source group never formed.

Re:Correction: free software is the success (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351356)

Agreed. Stallman sees deeper than any of us and he should get much more credit than he does. Of course, he'd do without the credit and be happy if you'd just think about the importance of your freedom.

That said, I remember just how little buy-in we had with business people then, because Richard was the wrong guy to promote to them. He doesn't have any empathy with them, this rapidly becomes clear if you discuss it with him. Yes, if we didn't do it, someone else would have. The world really was ready for it, that was clear in how fast it caught on.

Thanks

Bruce

Big deal (5, Interesting)

gwern (1017754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350990)

I could care less about "Open Source"; it has done dubious good for us. Now, Free Software's anniversary I would care about quite a bit!

Re:Big deal (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351922)

We just have to figure out which anniversary of the three stated below to celebrate :-)

In 1983, Richard Stallman launched the GNU project after becoming frustrated with the effects of the change in culture of the computer industry and users. Software development for the GNU operating system began in January 1984, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded in October 1985. He introduced a free software definition and "copyleft", designed to ensure software freedom for all.
- Wikipedia.

Re:Big deal (1)

gwern (1017754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352856)

I would go with the first; the OS (read: the Hurd) is pretty much vaporware/a failure, and the foundation was only created to further the GNU goals. The important thing here are the ideas and goals, and not so much the tools created to acheive the goals (which is not to say the FSF hasn't done a lot of good - it has - just that that is irrelevant here). After that, I think the publishing of the Manifesto, or the first publication of the GPL are the most sensible dates.

Celebrate them all (2, Informative)

SST-206 (699646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353852)

Silver Jubilee!

  • 2008 is 25 years since 1983, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project.
  • 2009 is 25 years since 1984, when software development for the GNU operating system began.
  • 2010 is 25 years since 1985, when the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded in October.

Who's going to write the press releases?

Re:Big deal (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352278)

Oh come on, BSD/MIT licensed code is available for Free Software to use so how could it possibly be "dubious"? It may not have the same appeal as the GPL, but there's enough to build an entire OS out of it which anyone can borrow from. Even if you make this a open vs closed source thing, I would without a doubt wager that the Free Software community has benefitted more from open source than closed source companies have. While the GPL community stands quite well on its own, there's no reason to get disrespectful towards all the other permissive licenses that have gotten the Free Software community off the ground.

Re:Big deal (1)

gwern (1017754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353122)

I don't think you quite follow. Free Software follows the 4 Freedoms http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html [gnu.org] BSD and MIT stuff is as perfectly Free as something under the GPL - the difference is that they can be unFreed, while public GPL stuff must remain GPL. Open Source is a superset of Free Software. Everything Free is Open Source, but not vice versa; to repeat, Open Source can be less Free than Free. This is why I describe it as dubious, because a corporation can easily open source their stuff in a useless way and thereby mislead people into thinking they support Free stuff. To quote Wikipedia again in this thread: "An open source license is a copyright license for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and redistribution without having to pay the original author. Such licenses may have additional restrictions such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and the copyright statement within the code." https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Open_source_license [wikimedia.org] So, it can have all sorts of noxious terms (did you hear the one about the license which forbade military use? or the one like MAME's that "forbids commercial use and redistribution"?), and still be open source. Open Source is less Free than Free Software.

Re:Big deal (1)

themelv (1000816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352388)

So you care about "Open Source" and like to use quotation marks.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22352394)

I could care less about "Open Source"


Good to know you care about it. We do too.

prior art (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22350998)

The concept of open source has been aroud for much longer than 10 years, I remember open source software on Fish disks for thte amiga in the mid eighties...

Wrong title (0, Offtopic)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351030)

The first open-source software was created around 13,700,000,000 years ago, and remains so stable that it runs to this day, and is expected to do so indefinitely. However, its creator, God, forgot to document it. Therefore we have to write universe-HOWTO.html ourselves.

Re:Wrong title (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351268)

However, its creator, God, forgot to document it

I think he gave up when, after explaining the importance of solar energy to life on earth, people started throwing chopping virgins to people to appease the Sun God.

This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351038)

This is actually just a 10 year dupe. Nothing to see here please move along.

Let's sing! (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351044)

Haaaappy biiirthdaaay toooo youuuuu....

Re:Let's sing! (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351684)

Excuse me, the song Happy Birthday [snopes.com] is still under copyright. You now owe a licensing fee for a public performance.

Great summary and things I didn't know (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351066)

I didn't know about the two SCO suicides and the train throttle case. This was a very quick and informative read.


Thanks for the recognition to RMS, within the last 10 years there were certainly times it seemed like he was being pushed aside by Open Source.


Open Source & Free Software are going to be crucial in another way in the coming years, and that's for the development of talent. So few companies seem willing to grow talent internally and outsource entry level programming duties. It's soon going to be the case that the only opportunity to obtain development skills will be through participation in Open Source and Free Software projects. If software patents get in the way of this, it will be another step in the U.S. killing itself for corporate greed.

What? (2, Interesting)

brass1 (30288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351078)

Ignoring for a moment that Bruce is clearly Slashvertizing his blog. Again.

10 years, huh? I wonder what Bruce's friends from UC Berkeley [wikipedia.org] would say. Sure seems like they had open source long before Bruce decided to get his name in the papers. Parens' and Raymond's instance on taking credit for free software is disgusting.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352340)

No, my blog is technocrat.net . The link is to perens.com, a site with no ads.

Yes, BSD had the source code and licensing, but no campaign to drive others to create such things. Stallman started that. I canonized the definition of what was, and what was not, Open Source. Raymond and I evangelized to business. Everybody in this picture is standing on other folks shoulders. I'd be the last to deny that.

Bruce

Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (4, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351116)

This has long been a sore point with me. The term "Open Source" has been in use for more than 10 years. The first software related occurence on Usenet occured in the early 90's [google.com] . This co-opting of the true history of the term has been orchestrated by ESR with his self-biased jargon file. He likes to demurr by saying that the foundation of OSI represents a true beginning but this is just a buch of phony chest thumping to make himself seem relevant.

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351256)

We certainly had Free Software before then, and whatever BSD made. But as far as I'm aware, the coining of the term Open Source as another name for Free Software was by Christine Petersen (then-wife of nanotechnology guru Eric Drexler) on one of the first days of February 1998. I think it might have been February 1, and Eric called me the day after the meeting where that happened.

Of course, the words "Open Source" could have been used that way before then, but we can't find any record. Since Open Source Definition only got done (as the Debian Free Software Guidelines) in July 1997, whatever was referred to before then wasn't quite what we know as Open Source today.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (2, Insightful)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351550)

Of course, the words "Open Source" could have been used that way before then, but we can't find any record

Not to rain on your parade, Bruce, but the comment that you're replying to shows documentation of the term being used in 1990. I know that this isn't news to you, but this "I own the term Open Source" game that you play really turns a lot of people (who would otherwise be very sympathetic) away from your message.

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351718)

This is sort of moot, because IMO the Open Source Definition was the big deal, and the fact that we had a campaign rather than just a term was a big deal too. Stallman had not bothered to set a Free Software Definition in writing at that time, he actually wrote and told me that what I had written was a good definiton of Free Software.

The references you point out refer to the presence of source code, not the presence of licensing that assures the right to redistribute, modify, and use. BSD did provide that sort of licensing, but it was just called BSD licensing. The only campaign for developers to provide those things at the time was called Free Software.

Actually, there was a regular use of the term open source at that time, to refer to a form of military intelligence.

But I really did invent the term "nojomofo" Bwahh haha ha! :-)

oPEN sOURCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351310)

This seems like as good a time as any to announce the creation of oPEN sOURCE software. I will be trademarking the term and will be having my army of followers begin flaming anyone who doesn't spell or use the term exactly how I proscribe on forums all over the Net from now on.

Anyone who claims there ever there was such a thing as 'open source' or 'Open Source' in the past are nothing more than liars or trolls. Please mod down anyone in the future who makes such inane claims.

The oPEN sOURCE trademark combined with my personal nutty ideas about software creation and intellectual property is the oNE tRUE wAY.

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351410)

He likes to demurr by saying that the foundation of OSI represents a true beginning but this is just a buch of phony chest thumping to make himself seem relevant.

So? Free sharing of source code for computers existed before Richard Stallman created the GNU project as well.

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (1)

bmsleight (710084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352336)

phony chest thumping to make himself seem relevant.
Yep its not like Bruce Perens has done anything relevant.

Re:Not 10 years: thank ESR for the lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22352868)

ESR has stated countless times that he'd gladly step aside and give his full backing to anybody else who wanted the position of open-source advocate.

I find it hilarious that the people accusing him of self-aggrandizement are themselves creating the revisionist history.

"10 years" - bogus. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351184)

"Open source" goes back to the 1960s. [wikipedia.org] The Free Software Foundation was established in 1985. The first major Linux release was in 1992. These new guys from the late 1990s are just mouthing off.

Still No Viable Replacement for Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351246)

I'm a heavy user of Outlook and still haven't found a usable OS replacement for it, and one thing I absolutely require is full sync capability with my PDA and cellphone. Thunderbird/Sunbird don't cut it and it looks like Chandler's not going anywhere. I've long ago come to the conclusion that OS is a dead end for non-sexy and thorny apps.

Re:Still No Viable Replacement for Outlook (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351414)

You've been trapped by vendor lock-in. Your PDA and/or cellphone use proprietary skunkware to lock you in. You didn't think about caldav, or other synchronization APIs before you bought them, did you? If you want to replace Outlook, you have to break the whole chain, not just pieces of it. You could use MacOS, which is a bit open-sourcey (except those that must protect precious DRM bits).

Otherwise, break the chain. You can do it. Tell others how. Set yourself free.

Re:Still No Viable Replacement for Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351606)

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with OpenMoko and Android that might clobber the PDA/cell lock-in angle of things.

I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351378)

I'm sorry but the "Open Source" movement is a bogus attempt to water down the original purpose of GNU and the Free Software movement.

I've been in the industry for about 25 years and RMS was a visionary. While we we focused on software and what it could do and how to do it, he also focused on the dangers that our own creativity would bring to us and how to protect us from it.

Make no mistake, RIAA, MPIAA, SCO, et. al. are *ALL* apparitions RMS saw over a decade or so ago. The Open Source movement is nothing more than a selfish group of little people with a narrow scope and no plan. RMS has had a plan all along, and while he may seem to be an extremist and might not have been right 100% of the time, in retrospect, he has been right pretty darn close and his extremism seems less and less unwarranted over time.

The truth is both a blessing and a curse. It takes a lot of work to realize the truth and most people will not challenge themselves. Once you learn the truth, however, you are cursed with trying to explain it to others.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351562)

Here's Richard Stallman's statement on the issue, which he made during a joint speech we did in Italy:

Free software and Open Source seem quite similar, if you look only at their software development practices. At the philosophical level, the difference is extreme. The Free Software Movement is a social movement for computer users' freedom. The Open Source philosophy cites practical, economic benefits. A deeper difference cannot be imagined.

The origin of Open Source lies in a practice that could have come from Dale Carnegie: if you seek to persuade someone, present the case in terms of his values and desires. For persuading business executives, citing practical, economic advantages can be effective. By all means do so, if it feels right to you, when speaking privately to executives.

Talking to the public is something else entirely. When we talk to the public, we promote whatever values we cite. If we cite only practical, economic advantages, and not freedom, we encourage people to value practical advantages and not value freedom.

Those values make our community weak. People who prefer a state of freedom only for the secondary practical and economic advantages it brings do not appreciate freedom itself, and they will not fight to defend it.

This is the reason I stated, in my joint speech with Bruce Perens, for not supporting the practice of presenting Free Software in public in the limited economic terms of Open Source.

Now, obviously, I think that Open Source evangelists like me have a role in talking with business people that Richard can't fill. His brain wiring isn't built for it. The a priori arguments he makes are not the way to start selling these concepts to business people, but hopefully they will eventually come to appreciate Richard's arguments after they enter through Open Source. Obviously, I don't want to erode the goals of the Free Software campaign at all. I'm out to help people understand Free Software with a gentle introduction. I tried to make that clear in the article.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352090)

I'm out to help people understand Free Software with a gentle introduction. I tried to make that clear in the article.

I'm sorry, and while I greatly respect your individual contributions and I think you're probably a pretty honorable guy, history has shown repeatedly that expedience in the form of subjugating ideals for gain is always a long term error.

I don't think the the "Open Source" movement has done anything constructive. The whole ESR Cathedral blather is an embarrassment, in most professional circles it is an hysterical joke. "Open Source" does not imply freedom of any kind, and the very words you have used are so meaningless they have been co opted by those with which the free software movement would compete.

The success that Linux and free software has had has been for mostly economic reasons, I will grant you, but the freedom is a drug that IT shops love once they have a taste.

No body cares about "Open Source," developers care about free (as in freedom which includes source) software and IT cares about TCO. Open Source is a distraction, and even worse, be it intentional or not, the open source movement confuses the public about the differences between "Open Source" and "Free (as in freedom) Software." Your own article that you reference plays up a lot about being aligned with the free software movement, but the "Open Source" movement is NOT the free software movement as they have very different objectives, and I find it pretty disingenuous to say the least.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352244)

The whole ESR Cathedral blather is an embarrassment, in most professional circles it is an hysterical joke.

It's obsolete. ESR wrote it before IBM stepped into the picture, etc. I invite you to read The Emerging Economic Paradigm of Open Source [perens.com] . At least one now-professional has based his thesis on this paper.

I think the major difference in objectives between Open Source and Free Software evangelists is that the Free Software folks say that proprietary software does not have a right to exist. Unfortunately, I can't say that and win the argument where it's important to win. You have to sound fair to everybody to win with politicians, if you ask to disenfranchise someone else you generally won't get very far.

Sorry if you don't buy that, and we'll have to agree to disagree.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352436)

I think the major difference in objectives between Open Source and Free Software evangelists is that the Free Software folks say that proprietary software does not have a right to exist. Unfortunately, I can't say that and win the argument where it's important to win. You have to sound fair to everybody to win with politicians, if you ask to disenfranchise someone else you generally won't get very far.

Ahh, so you admit, you are not bound by "free software," but promote "open source" which is not necessarily free. You created a new movement because the previous movement was to strict for you. You benefit off the free software movement but moderate or obfuscate its objectives. You should make that clear in your articles and posts.

Ideals are a funny thing, they are never 100% applicable as there are always exceptions. The same goes with free software. That being said, it is often against one's objective to compromise their ideals too readily. I think the "Open Source" movement is too readily compromising and clouds the real and present dangers associated with non-free software.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352830)

I think a good way to describe what I'm doing would be to say that I don't ask for everything that I want, becuase I wouldn't get much of it at all if I did. This does not mean that I've compromised any ideals.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353102)

I think a good way to describe what I'm doing would be to say that I don't ask for everything that I want, because I wouldn't get much of it at all if I did. This does not mean that I've compromised any ideals.

Like I said in an earlier response, I respect your contributions and believe that you are probably an honorable guy. Its obvious you are passionate and believe you are doing what you are doing for noble reasons. I don't think I'm arguing that.

I think you have put the objective before the means and have thus harmed the objective.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353262)

I think you have put the objective before the means and have thus harmed the objective.
Correct me if I'm wrong Bruce, but that's the point that Bruce is trying to make. FSF has a different objective then Open Source movement. FSF is focused on freedom of software for the users. Open Source is focused on the idea that open source leads to better software for the users . The better software is only secondary in the FSF way of thinking, but is the core of Open Source. Ultimately it comes down to your belief, which one can't argue with (especially on an online forum).

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353344)

You and I don't have to choose between freedom of software and better software for users. It's OK to want both. It will sometimes be necessary to choose which of those we start the conversation with when approaching a prospective convert, and which one we leave for when we've won the argument about the first.

This is not so much about compromising ideals as it is about style of evangelism.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22351586)

Some people can turn anything into a religion.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353108)

Two mothers arguing over how children should be raised is very similar if not more vicious. Of course you would not call either side religious because of the methods they promote.

I assume your point was to try and discredit the side of the argument you don't like in a vain attempt to get people to agree with you because you don't actually have any points of your own to make.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (4, Insightful)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351672)

The Open Source movement is nothing more than a selfish group of little people with a narrow scope and no plan.

In my experience, Open Source people are mostly Free Software advocates who have modified their terminology in order to make their sales pitch more effective.

Their are typically very community-minded, and un-selfish (by the standards of most people).

They are more interested in driving adoption than RMS, who prefers to focus on promoting an understanding of the principles of Software Freedom.

Generally speaking, Open Source folks have the same goal as the Free Software community, but differ in their preferred means.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352066)

In my experience, Open Source people are mostly Free Software advocates who have modified their terminology in order to make their sales pitch more effective. That would describe Bruce Perens' motivation, but it would not describe Eric Raymond's motivation.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352212)

Generally speaking, Open Source folks have the same goal as the Free Software community, but differ in their preferred means.

The Open Source community has a lot of differences with the free software community. And while the differences may be subtle, they are crucial.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351764)

I call "rubbish".

As a primarily Linux user, I have to acknowledge what RMS has done for the free software movement and I do have some admiration for a man who is obviously driven by his beliefs and not by the accumulation of wealth.

But the fact is that his views that all software needs to be free are at the opposite end of, but as extreme as, Microsoft's (and other commercial vendors') views that all software needs to be profitable.

In reality, so far, the free software movement, be it Open Source, GNU, whatever, has not met the demands of some computer users who want (what they see as) easy-to-use but specialised software - heavy duty video editing is a classic example.

That means, in my view, that there is room for both commercial and free software to work side-by-side and that the main problem with this situation today is simply that far too many standards are closed. Force all commercial vendors to make all of their standards open and then, potentially, any free operating system or application can integrate easily with any commercial one.

In my view, I have far more admiration for Linus Torvalds than I do for RMS - at least Linus pretty much refuses to get involved in all the political arguing and just seems to get on and make decisions about what is ***TECHNICALLY*** the best thing to do with Linux.

The best thing the free software movement **AS A WHOLE** can do is keep pushing home the point that closed standards are **BAD**, end of story.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (0)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352246)

In reality, so far, the free software movement, be it Open Source, GNU, whatever, has not met the demands of some computer users who want (what they see as) easy-to-use but specialised software - heavy duty video editing is a classic example.

When you say this, you are deep into the very mistaken idea that free software means having someone else write the apps you need. No, it does not. It is competely unrelated to that.

If these masses who seem to be in need of heavy duty video editing software are really serious, they should either write the apps themselves, or arrange so that someone writes them, possibly by paying them. The itch must not be that strong, for otherwise it would have been scratched.

If the I-need-a-heavy-duty-editing-app masses are waiting for someone to provide it for them without their doing anything, well, they can very well wait till the end of times for all I care.

(Not that there are not projects out there writing video editing software. But the people behind them are precisely those who understood that free software is not having someone else write the apps you need)

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352310)

As a primarily Linux user, I have to acknowledge what RMS has done for the free software movement and I do have some admiration for a man who is obviously driven by his beliefs and not by the accumulation of wealth.

Well, don't saint him just yet, he does all right.

But the fact is that his views that all software needs to be free are at the opposite end of, but as extreme as, Microsoft's (and other commercial vendors') views that all software needs to be profitable.

He doesn't say that "all software," he merely states that proprietary software should not be required and that you give up a lot when you do purchase proprietary software.

That means, in my view, that there is room for both commercial and free software to work side-by-side and that the main problem with this situation today is simply that far too many standards are closed. Force all commercial vendors to make all of their standards open and then, potentially, any free operating system or application can integrate easily with any commercial one.

I'm not sure how this fits in the open source vs free software debate.

In my view, I have far more admiration for Linus Torvalds than I do for RMS - at least Linus pretty much refuses to get involved in all the political arguing and just seems to get on and make decisions about what is ***TECHNICALLY*** the best thing to do with Linux.

And this is one thing that I have a problem with Linus about. Those who ignore politics will be done in by politics.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352962)

And this is one thing that I have a problem with Linus about. Those who ignore politics will be done in by politics.

Et tu RMS?

Seriously, RMS is outspoken enough for others to put the Free Software Movement into practice. Linus has done just as much for GNU by managing an open source project that attracted the attention of the computing powerhouses, as RMS has done by dueling windmills. Linus is the Yin, to RMS's Yang. Without a concrete demonstration of a successful open source project, RMS would be nothing more than an obscure footnote in MIT history. Without RMS' vision and passion about GNU, Linus' project would be just another free implementation of a unix like operating system.

Before anyone gets too offended, RMS started GNU in 1983 and GNU really didn't become a "household word" until people had a product to identify with it. Evidently a nice editor, compiler, debugger, and some unix command replacements weren't enough. Lucky for us, Linus chose to license his work as GPL.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353258)

Seriously, RMS is outspoken enough for others to put the Free Software Movement into practice. Linus has done just as much for GNU by managing an open source project that attracted the attention of the computing powerhouses, as RMS has done by dueling windmills. Linus is the Yin, to RMS's Yang. Without a concrete demonstration of a successful open source project, RMS would be nothing more than an obscure footnote in MIT history. Without RMS' vision and passion about GNU, Linus' project would be just another free implementation of a unix like operating system.

I would argue that the BSD kernel, which was free in 1992, would have been used instead of Linus' kernel. In fact, one could say that a GNU system based on a unencumbered BSD kernel in 1992 would have been superior to Linux in 1992.

Before anyone gets too offended, RMS started GNU in 1983 and GNU really didn't become a "household word" until people had a product to identify with it. Evidently a nice editor, compiler, debugger, and some unix command replacements weren't enough. Lucky for us, Linus chose to license his work as GPL.

It is hard to give historical commentary without offending people. Yes, Linus was a good guy and he GPL's his kernel. It was, however, a right place at the right time sort of deal. If it were not for AT&T making BSD poison, Linux would have had no reason for anyone to use it. If Tannenbaum was a little more open with *HIS* MINIX system people would have used it instead.

Any viable that came along would have worked. The Linux kernel of today has so very little in common with the original that it is hard to even track the similarities. In the mean time, Linus has done a very good job at managing and contributing to the Linux kernel and he should be recognized for that.

Re:I'm so sick of "Open Source" it's bogus! (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352452)

In my view, I have far more admiration for Linus Torvalds than I do for RMS - at least Linus pretty much refuses to get involved in all the political arguing and just seems to get on and make decisions about what is ***TECHNICALLY*** the best thing to do with Linux.

Well, your view is based on the idea that technology is able to support itself, and that there is no need for political action in order to guarantee that its advances are sustainable, of consequence and accessible. It is rooted in the childish belief that there is no battle for the preservation of the social, economical and political conditions which allow the free development of technology and its free application.

It is an age-old strategy of people wanting preserve the status quo: to minimize and hide the political aspect of any endeavor involving a community. It has worked so well that by now the communities in question, in an amazing display of unawareness, have appropriated the idea and incomprehendablely present it as a mark of independece and rebellion.

To argue that licensing issues, for example, are irrelevant in regards to Linux and its existence is absurd, and to pretend that the discussion of licensing terms for a project like Linux is senseless `political argument' which can be ignored in preference to `technical' decisions is self-defeating. For no other reason, if you want, that the problem which those licensing issues attempt to solve and which is the point of that political argumentation is not a technical problem.

SO it's a good time to remember (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351492)

that no matter how much you may not like it, how you dress, present yourself and speak is how other people will judge what you do.

So when talking about Linux, look neat, don't stink, and don't talk like a raving maniac.

Meaningful Discussion (1)

marnues (906739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351622)

Its wonderful to see all the meaningful discussion Slashdot can bring to one of its most cherished enterprises. Clearly people are RTFA because otherwise they might not be able to get over the fact that open source is not the same as Open Source. We all know that sharing code goes back to the computer labs of the 70s, but that the current movement known as Open Source is something different than that. Thank the gods we can all stick to discussion of the article at hand.

"Open Source" is a lame catch phrase (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22351656)

Wake me up in a year, when it's the 10th anniversary of Bruce Perens' mailing list post: It's Time to Talk About Free Software Again [debian.org] .

The term "open source" was coined to avoid talking about freedom, under the rather stupid assumption that business people don't want to hear about it. Here's the thing: business owners are some of the most vehement seekers of their own freedom, so if you talk to a business owner who is frustrated with vendor lock-in [slashdot.org] and tell him that he can have the freedom to do away with this crap once and for all, he'll listen. Perhaps some short-sighted middle managers will resist the idea, but if you convince the people at the top, those middle managers will be irrelevant.

I've heard plenty of stories I've heard about companies who "open sourced" their products, expecting to cut their development costs and improve their product quality by using the free labour of volunteers (like ESR observed in The Cathedral and the Bazaar), only to later give up because there are a finite number of volunteers, and their product just wasn't interesting enough. We shouldn't be promoting "open source" to software suppliers; What we should do is teach software consumers that they can demand freedom, and software developers will have no choice but to supply it.

We need to talk more about "free as in free markets". "Open source" just represents a preoccupation with technical details (source code) that business owners ultimately don't care about, and serves more as a buzzword and a source of unrealistic expectations than as a long-term promotional tool.

Re:"Open Source" is a lame catch phrase (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353084)

We need to talk more about "free as in free markets".

Did you read my economic paper? [perens.com] I really do make a point of talking about it in terms of free markets.

Bruce

Re:"Open Source" is a lame catch phrase (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22353322)

Did you read my economic paper? I really do make a point of talking about it in terms of free markets.

No, I didn't, and neither have most people who talk about "open source". That's the problem; The term "open source" diverts attention away from its greatest strengths.

The other problem is that people focus on getting vendors to release "open source Linux drivers" for hardware, instead of on getting the documentation that gives everyone the freedom to write and improve drivers for any platform.

I don't mean to belittle your other contributions, but in my view, the term "open source" is a liability.

The inexorable progress of Free Software (2, Interesting)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352252)

It's interesting, these days, to hear someone say something like "Oh, Linux is no good - it doesn't even have a good multi-track music recording program. Linux will never replace [closed source platform]".

Remarks about Audacity and Ardour aside, it's come a hell of a long way in 10 years, when priorities were things like drivers, windowing systems and text editors.

Go Free Software!

New Wave (1)

Incster (1002638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352398)

The transition from Free Software to Open Source was like the transition from Punk to New Wave. Let's figure out how we can make some money off of this thing.

right. (1)

eclectist (833517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352698)

10 years? Right. The next real anniversary will be 2012-2013, the 20th anniversary of the founding of Slackware/Debian.

Constructive Criticism (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22352824)

From TFA:

In contrast, we have not yet achieved the penetration that we might have desired on user desktop systems, at least if you don't count the fact that Free Software provides a large part of Apple's MacOS today, and critical elements of Microsoft Windows as well. Both companies have been forced to develop strategies to live with us, some of them less comfortable than others.
I had about 80 different complaints each of the three times I read TFA. The lines above stood out as a way to crystalize two complaints, which I very much intend as constructive criticism. I'm not trying to fix you personally - the end goal is successful promotion (or on-going success, or improved success, if you prefer) of Open Source.

1. You state that both companies were forced to develop strategies to live with us. Is that really true or accurate? It may be, but it doesn't ring true. Apple was going down the tubes because of Apple. I thought they embraced Open Source in Darwin as a survival mechanism - in fact, I'm rather certain of it. I think there's a difference between embracing FOSS as a survival strategy and being saved as opposed to developing a strategy to live with FOSS. Also, as I recall, didn't we complain that MS had essentially ripped off FOSS for its TCP/IP stuff before finally coming clean without coming really clean? (I'm not sure of the detail, it was a lot of years ago, but it seems to have truthiness.) Are you referring to back-handed abuse of FOSS for profit as a strategy to live with FOSS? If so, I'd guess that is grammatically and therefore technically accurate - but is it accurate to the picture advertised - "develop strategies to live with us," or is accurate to the picture, "developed strategies to exploit us?"

2. You state that there are two companies to which you refer, but some of those companies are less comfortable than others. The words some and others imply plurality. When you divide two, you get two ones. Two units. You don't get two pluralities. This forces a cognitive dissonance that encourages hyper-criticality. Not good for promotion. It makes one wonder what you really mean to say, at the kindest.

If I missed your point(s) that I focused on in the example, then please understand from my feedback how others may be missing it, too, in their own ways.

Hope this helps.
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