Re: [unrev-II]MS exec: Open-source approach is flawed - ZDNet Discussion Zaplet

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 15:40:19 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] Mapping DTDs to Database"

    Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
    > Before Linux and the free BSDs started becoming popular, the UNIX
    > market was in decline....In the
    > past four years, the overall market for UNIX has once again been
    > growing...That doesn't sound much
    > like killing an industry; sounds more like saving it....
    Hmm. I could be persuaded by that. Again, given that companies are
    persuaded to pay for support (if only to test and integrate the fixes
    their own coders provide), then open source is a viable proposition.

    What I'm getting out of this discussion is the overarching principle
    that what matters in an open source effort is "the value of support"
    to the "customer". If the customer is a company, there is significant
    value. But for individual users, there appears to be none. (For myself,
    I know I buy new versions of shareware programs. I suppose that could
    be considered "support", after a fashion. But none of them make their
    source available, so far as I know.

    > (the browser market was eventually owned by)
    > ... a company that wouldn't allow OEMs to license software from its
    > competitors. The two major browsers at the time were both
    > proprietary. Open source didn't kill the browser industry;
    > a monopoly did.
    Hmmm. Have to grant that point, as well. Open source did not kill
    that particular market. On the other hand, I note that there no
    open source browsers of any reasonable utility. (Or is Opera open
    source? I forget. I have to get that and use it, one day. It's
    supposed to be pretty good.)

    However, back to the point that I hope I am making (no open source
    browsers), here again we have an example of a market
    consisting of individual users rather than corporations, and the
    open source model does not appear to work nearly as well.

    Similarly with open source editors, spreadsheets, and the like.
    But, granted, it's a nascent "industry". Anyone know how much
    actual effort is happening at sourceforge?

    My own sample of one suggests that the extende effort has
    suffered from a lack of time to make more than high-level design
    contributions. I'm just not the 16-hour a day coder I used to
    be. Even then, I tended to code long hours on the project I was
    being paid to work on. It would consume my thinking, and I
    couldn't let go of it. I found it very hard to "switch gears"
    and work on a different project once I had done enough of the
    day's work to feel that it was time to leave for the day.

    So I know extende has seen very little code. Maybe other efforts
    are doing significantly better? Which ones, and why, I wonder?

    Community email addresses:
      Post message:
      List owner:

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 10 2001 - 15:52:20 PDT