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Re: [K12OSN] OT: Open Source counter-arguments



Well, in my opinion, FOSS apps can be divided into three categories:
1) developed as FOSS by an individual or small team,
2) developed as FOSS by a corporation, agency, or large non-profit, and
3) developed as proprietary software then converted to FOSS.

Most of the big desktop Linux stuff falls into category 3 -- OO.o,
Netscape -> Mozilla -> Firefox, Blender, and Xara Xtreme. I find lots
of people extolling the virtues of this software and counting on it to
save the FOSS desktop. This seems misguided to me. They are invariably
the most feature-complete of the lot, but are often slow dogs which I
hate using.

Category 2 contains a lot of the other big names: Emacs, Gnome, Apache, X.

Where FOSS excels is in small, single purpose apps developed in
category 1. Who can claim that BitTorrent was riding someone's coat
tails? Even the really big stuff under Gnome is not nearly as useful
as the little pieces of code glued together. KDE does the glue thing
wonderfully and has has the most capable and flexible desktop for some
time (though I don't liek or use it).

Ultimately, in the area where a developer or small team can make
significant contributions, FOSS leads proprietary software virtually
every time. The coder's imagination is the only limit. There are many
innovative FOSS programs which no one uses or has heard of because
they go too far outside of the norm.

Where there is an established standard for something, the most stable
and secure implementation almost always comes out of FOSS. Many eyes
make all bugs shallow, so they say.

FOSS programs which grow too big invariably need to get cut up and
modularized so that they can be understood and worked on like category
three programs. Firefox beat Mozilla for this reason. X.org is making
great strides now that it is modularized to some extent. Apache is the
same. Linux, well ...

FOSS is built on the backs of individual coders. It doesn't manage
projects well. Keep everything small and agile, and FOSS will win.

Dan
On 7/16/07, "Terrell Prudé Jr." <microman cmosnetworks com> wrote:
Les Mikesell wrote:
> Terrell Prudé Jr. wrote:
>
>> The problem for the end users is that, with Apple's iTunes, you're
>> restricted as hell with what you can do w/ the music that you paid
>> for. And Apple keeps changing the rules, never in the users' favor.
>
> That's starting to change - the itunes store now offers DRM-free
> tracks for some of their content.  And there's the whole concept of
> podcasting with hundreds of topics on the itunes store (free) that
> probably wouldn't exist without the ipod.
Yes, I read about that DRM-free bit with EMI's tracks.  That's a good
first step.  A good second step would be to quit the ridiculous
patent-encumbrance on its (still Apple-only) AAC music format.

--TP

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