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Thread: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines

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    Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines

    What do you guys (and gals) think about this article: http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?.../01/03/2232216 ?

    It is very interesting, though I think that people (re: Stallman) are getting way too bent out of shape regarding the selling of proprietary code that is associated with open source code. Most consumers/businesses could care less about the source code. Most of it is available, for a fee, which makes good business sense. What do you think (put's on flame retardant suit with rebreather apparatus)?

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    Re: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines

    Well, this is certainly a tough issue. I have not yet fully made up my mind on what I think about these two companies, but I will say what I have come up with so far.

    Regarding Ximian: Ximian has certainly contributed a large amount of code to the free software community, and they should be thanked for that. However, I find it disappointing that a company which started off as a purely free software company is now writing proprietary code.

    Regarding the proprietary with free issue: The problem is not only that the source code is not available. Indeed, many companies do offer the code for a fee. The problem is that the user is not permitted to modify and distribute the code. This is the destructive part. Certainly, most users will have no desire to modify the programs they use, but some will, and all will benefit from the modifications that are made. A business may not care about that, as they very well may be able to influence the development of the software with their money, but when that software is also released to the public, difficulties arise.

    There are three main problems with proprietary code:

    1) I cannot distribute the binary freely.
    2) I cannot modify it.
    3) I have no way of knowing what it is doing on my computer.

    Problem 1 can be solved by breaking the law, and problem 3 can often be solved by paying large amounts of money to the developer for the right to view the source code. However, I myself almost certainly do not have enough to pay for that, so the average user is not affected in any way by the ability to view the code for a fee. Problem 2 is the big one.

    If some isolated corporation wishes to use a proprietary program within the confines of their walls, they can feel free to do so. If that program becomes a standard and it begins to affect people outside of that corporation (eg. Microsoft Office), then it is not a good thing.

    Regarding theKompany: I do not believe that theKompany is as bad as Ximian, because they never claimed to be a free software company. As with Ximian, they have contributed an incredible amount of code to the free software community, and this is only a good thing. I do not necessarily approve of the proprietary software they sell, so I will not say it is a good thing. However, they do legitimately seem to care about their customers, which is something that most software companies do not do. They may not be perfect, but they are a step in the right direction.

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    Re: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines

    I think that people (re: Stallman) are getting way too bent out of shape regarding the selling of proprietary code that is associated with open source code.
    The thing you have to understand about Stallman is that he's a radical believer of free software. He believes that it is everybody's natural right to view and modify source code, and anything proprietary is quite literally evil.

    I personally side more with ESR --> Open Source is good, but flinging your philosophy in everybody's face is bad. This link probably explains it all:

    http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/shut...show-them.html

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    Re: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines




    The thing you have to understand about Stallman is that he's a radical believer of free software. He believes that it is everybody's natural right to view and modify source code, and anything proprietary is quite literally evil.

    I personally side more with ESR --> Open Source is good, but flinging your philosophy in everybody's face is bad. This link probably explains it all:

    http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/shut...show-them.html
    I, myself, am a moderate. I have clearly benefitted from the open-source/free software movement(s). But, I understand economics (at least the basics, anyway), and in order to survive, you have to sell goods and services.

    I don't think that people should worry about whether proprietary code is being used or not. If you find a solution that works and it is affordable (free is good), then use the solution. If not, move on. If it is open-source, great. If not, ok.

    I understand Stallman's "religious" zeal. I would love to use pure, open-source products. But, I realize that I might need to use a non-open-source product that meets my needs. So be it.

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    Re: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines



    I, myself, am a moderate. *I have clearly benefitted from the open-source/free software movement(s). *But, I understand economics (at least the basics, anyway), and in order to survive, you have to sell goods and services. *
    Of course companies have to survive by selling goods and services. I am not opposed to making money. However, these companies need to find a way of doing this without making ludicrous demands on my freedom. Perhaps there should be more emphasis on the "services" part of "goods and services."

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    Re: Ximian and theKompany: Converging doctrines

    Since it's the brand new business area, many companies have failed to realize the same stuff that affect many start up companies especailly around open soured software model.

    Complications are very severe and many lack basic understanding of business model and management skills.

    If you closely look at Business models of VA Systems, Red Hat and Sendmail Inc., you will see that it's a challenging business but possible to do....

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