thoughts, ideas, code and other things...

Friday, April 10, 2009

FOSS Spreading its wings #2

We never know when a comment can become a blog post. A lot of times, reading posts from other bloggers, we get energized so much that some really good ideas come out of our keytaps :)
In continuation to l0nwlf's post, I would like to archive some of the comments I wrote...
Over past few days, I have come across some funny posts like "Why Open Source sucks ?", the flame-wars fought without flame-guns and debates over what is better - Windows or Linux ? My question is whats the point?
The greater question is what benefits more people and how good are you at what you love to do?
One of those entries is "Why Open Source Sucks ?" by a Sri Lankan friend of mine. Here the author believes that Open Source may really crash the closed source, buy-a-license kind of business model. He completely ignores that fact that Open Source does not necessarily translate to "Free Software". I believe that FOSS would bring about changes in market, but it doesn't aim to really wipe off anyone else from surface of Software Industry. The point to be noted is that FOSS was started by the people who wanted freedom, for themselves and for those who shared the same views. So, if FOSS isn't as great as proprietary software, if FOSS doesn't let you play games easily & smoothly, well that isn't the main purpose of FOSS right?, pure comfort isn't the aim here, the aim is freedom for those who want it, in form of alternative free OS like Linux and other free software like Firefox, Apache, MySQL, a lot more, etc. FOSS is about transparency, FOSS is about taking back control of our hardware with our own OS.
Anyways that apart, there has also been evolution of jackasses who think FOSS is all about hating Windows. Zubin has written a great deal about the kind of frustrations these people create with their screwed-up beliefs and talks... all in name of FOSS/Linux/etc... by clearly misunderstanding FOSS, and comparing two worlds that are apart.
Well, I did spend time writing these comments over useless debates, so would not like to leave these over their blogs which might or might not exist in future.
Here are some of my views over the "Why Open Source Sucks?" article -

April 5, 2009 9:43 PM ideamonk said:

"The best way to sustain the development of the industry is to reduce the price of commercial software, not to give it free. The best example is Google. They have developed a way to offer lots of free services while earning considerable amount of money for future researches and developments."

Don't you think Google has been able to do all that using Free OSS rather than proprietary softwares by companies like Microsoft etc.

And about UI, okay forget UI, talk about User Experience (UX), I'm sure you'll agree that no one beats FireFox in that. Again which is a free open source software.

Well, take a look at server segment, many people run on Apache instead of IIS. Apache has enabled so many people to start their businesses without having to pay to a company.

Its now that IIS and other things have been made free, but what the heck, to use a computer, do I need to pay to a company?
It's OSS that makes the answer "NO" to that question. OSS is what you would look for when you don't have enough cash to buy that proprietary OS. And OSS is what would enable you dream and start a business if you got very little money.

Then come to security...
in OSS fixing security holes is pretty easy, one doesnt need to disassemble binaries and look for flaws at assembly level. You just take a look at the source code, if you feel you can fix it, you are welcome to submit a patch. You really don't need to wait for an organization to take actions as in case of closed source proprietary softwares.

Loads of more points in favor of OSS,
but I don't think that Microsoft is evil or something, and neither is OSS trying to disrupt software market or something...
In fact Windows is a great OS, but you see the FREEDOM ain't there, the openness ain't there.
It's now that Express editions for visual studio has come, but earlier it was the pirated visual studio which ran all over india ;), no one had Rs 80,000 to pay, not even me - a kid who wanted to play with some DirectX, so I just grabbed a CD from a friend.

You see OSS is actually helping Microsoft, people use Linux instead of stealing anything from Microsoft.

I still don't have enough money for Vista ;P I hope it comes down to prices like Rs. 500 or 600

April 5, 2009 10:05 PM ideamonk said:

Hey another thing, the Society is greed(profit/money) based, and Recession is what you witness in such society,
the economics of greed is bound to create rich and the poor.
I hope such money based society fails.
Watch some Zeitgeist documentaries.
Anyways the article was a nice read.

April 6, 2009 8:38 AM Times Eye said...

You have a good point..totally free software is not the answer...there should be value to any product..just think what will happen to the world if a company start giving cars for free?

April 10, 2009 9:38 PM ideamonk said...

well, if a company starts selling cars for free? hmm i guess an economist would be able to answer that very well. It would definitely change the market, or maybe destroy the market to some extent.
one possibility - the way some people collect money for charity, some collect for jihad, some for other purposes,
maybe a big group of people would be able to raise such a support capital, which would help them make free cars...
woah! with physical material things, its tough to imagine. but if you carefully look at it, the partition of land into countries, regions, is all man-made. Money is man-made and so is ownership of material used to make cars.
We didn't own the iron, the minerals etc when we spread across the globe, we arbitrarily decided that okay, one guy gets to be the king for example, and he would distribute resources to us. The king is the government now.
So, actually if you remove this flawed system of ownership and money from this greed based economy, I think "free" cars would be possible, and then the evolution of cars would go at a higher pace.
Now, I'm sure there are loads of innovations in cellphone sector, but for example Nokia won't like to release these features as N100 for eg, unless it has sold N75 to the sales target it set.
So, you see this is how money sometimes slows down development and puts restrictions.
If you compare the timeperiod it took to evolve from DOS to Windows Vista, and if you see how much time linux took to evolve from classic CLI to Compiz fusion, I'm sure you would appreciate the time difference. Though windows would always seem more rocksolid and robust, but linux too did evolve at a rapid rate without "money" coming into picture.
anyways gota class test tomorrow :P


and now, linux debuts inside a gaming console too -
Now here what you can observe is that a free operating system (Linux here) has enabled these electronics geeks, to turn their hobby into a real product. That's how FOSS comes up as a disruptive force to the profit based economy but, also as an empowering force for the ones who wish to rise up without having to pay for costly software to get their work done.

Wisdom from Zubin's entry -

ideamonk: And if you went to a FOSS conf where people debated and did hate talks over Windows and Linux, you need to forget wasting time with such people. You went to really wrong kind of FOSS confs organized by all wrong kind of people who I’m sure are talkers & haters and have nothing to do either with linux dev or windows dev.
I think such useless discussions don’t occur in good FOSS confs like, etc
Have a look at this conference for a look at *real* FOSS conferences -

another one @ FOSDEM 09 -

A superb documentary on OSS -

and yet another energizing one from FOSS.IN

Do educate those people who love hatetalks to leave it and do something productive instead :)

ideamonk: well, there’s gonna be a linux gaming console soon :)

Linux has become serious about gaming too :)

um… can`t really agree with the “november” deadline. but this could definitely be a start though. there are games which are just too popular on windows boxes, and their *nix imitations have been released. i don`t have any experience playing the *nix version of counterstrike but the reviews say that they are bad(big time). but this is just an instance. there must be fine open source game engines which are based on python(i`m not sure); however, i don`t really expect gaming to be popular on linux that soon. gamers never seem to settle for the second best; so it`ll take time to rise above the competition(hope it does).

Yeah I agree performance is a key factor in gaming and a gamer who spends so much moolah over high end graphics equipments, wont like drops in FPS due to the OS.
Things take time to evolve, OSS shook server market by Apache, it shook browser market by Firefox, I hope it shakes OS and Gaming market one day too :)
All, I would like to see, is a massive game getting developed by hackers world over, that would be an exciting scene to watch, as if David beat Goliath.
Till then Consoles and a Windows PC are the majors of gaming :)

So what can I conclude... hmm... a lot -
  1. There is a great scope for a Web 2.0 App, to let the hate-talkers come face to face and debate socially and openly rather than putting up comments over places.
  2. In performance sometimes Windows wins, in some cases Linux wins, but all this is useless to talk about as everything evolves around us, we, hardware, windows and linux as well.
  3. The ones who do hate-talk seem to have seen the future of OS market.
  4. I think I think too much.
  5. I wish, for once, in my lifetime, the concept of money/profit vanishes for sometime.
  6. When I write comments, there is a spontaneous energy that drives me.
  7. Maybe all this is there because the blogosphere is all about economics of attention.
  8. I should've spent time preparing for maths class test tomorrow instead of writing all this X(
  9. I hope you too appreciate idea of a Developer's Freedom as shown over - and you realize what would've happened with the mess of ActiveX etc if Firefox would've not come to rescue.
  10. We love alternatives, when we love to have alternatives in every part of life, why not in Software.
  11. Open Source would really push proprietary software makers to make even better products to beat the shit out of OSS. Who benefits from all this - we, the users :)
  12. So, be happy and don't worry, everything's fine. Take a chill pill, choose a road to walk, and do walk :)
  13. I make a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes.
  14. Should one use a closed source proprietary software in mission critical situations like NASA's space-shuttle launch? Would one like to run to a company to get things fixed by them in such situations? or would it be better if the scientists sitting in NASA could checkout the source code, find the bug, eliminate and save a lot of time and money? You decide...

Goodnight :)

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At April 28, 2009 at 2:47 PM , Blogger shirish said...

Well, Ideamonk after reading few of your posts i was left wondering how could i have missed your blog till now. :)


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