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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] OpenCM

From: Shlomi Fish
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] OpenCM
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 06:40:40 +0300 (IDT)

On Sun, 7 Sep 2003, wave++ wrote:

> Don't know [speaking randomly here]... I have a couple of personal ideas
> about OpenSource in general (going reeeally OT here...):
> I see a _strange_ interest in opensource from big companies like IBM. In
> particular directed to linux. Why? IMHO, because hardware vendors have
> absolutely nothing to lose in dropping theyr operating systems and/or
> compilers. With a very small team of developers contibuting to linux, an
> hardware vendor can actually DROP the R&D department dedicated to the
> operating system and compilers. May the "Let the users do
> everything(tm)" motto become popular in the future? This makes me think
> things like 'Is this really a >good< thing?'..
> OBVIOUSLY, I'm _absolutely_certain_ that the IBM plan consists of making
> even more money. So, where's the deal? Cutting down R&D stuff and
> selling more hardware instead?

Kind of. Joel Spolsky analyzed the reasons such companies support Open

Basically, software and operating systems are the complementary product of
hardware and services, so if they are in abundance, hardware and services
become in greater demand.

Eric Raymond has in "The Magic Cauldron" other useful insights for
commercial reasons to support open-source.

> Looking forward... it's pretty clear to me that opensource has serious
> advantages for hardware vendors, but may knock out small companies.  The
> world is full of bastards that don't pay for things that they can get
> for "free". The world is also full of people that say "Umm, I really
> want to support this thing, but today I want this neat mp3 player...
> maybe tomorrow".

I don't really understand you here.

> Bastarts at power two? Just look at the politics
> stuff to get a concrete example of how far the thing can go..
> I actually think of two mayor scenarios:
>  - The economy changes and the "source code" becomes like math (free in
>    every sense). People gets payed for theyr day-to-day assistance.
>    Apparently, that's how OSS should work. Is this working? Red Hat is
>    here, so apparently it CAN work even without changing the economy.
>    IMHO, souch a radical change may necessarely consist of an economy
>    model change.. but I'm not an economist.
> or..
>  - Maybe opensource is arrived too late here.. we saw it already: web
>    services of any kind.

There are some things that cannot be replaced by web-services effectively.
They include:

1. The core operating system, windowing system, desktop, etc.

2. GUI intensive programs (The GIMP, etc.)

3. Programs with a large interaction with the hard-disk.

4. Etc.

Generally it would be much more cost effective in the long run to download
open source software to run on your local computer than to pay for web
services that supply them. Not to mention that at the moment the GUI
offered by web applications sucks pretty badly.

I don't see hard-disks disappearing anytime soon.


        Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish        address@hidden
Home Page:

An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
doctors away.

        Falk Fish

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