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Be

Free Be 622

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the for-non-commercial-use-only dept.
Big Al writes "Be announced today that starting with the next release of the OS (R5) it will be free for private and non-commercial use - downloadable from the internet. There will still be an 'enhanced version' but the free version is the same as the enhanced without some additional tools and utilities. " Further proof that Open Source has made the Operating System Free (as in beer) but what about speech?
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Free Be

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    RedHat, Caldera, etc. did not write Linux from scratch. Be has invested millions in R&D. RedHat and Caldera get you suckers to do their R&D. They develop minor pieces of Linux, but the lion's share has already been done for them. Can you be any more naive?

    I understand how OSS works. Selling support for most pieces of software is useless. How else are people supposed to make money from their software genius? According to you, it must be free. You and the rest of the GNU cult keep preaching it, but you insist that people will pay if the product is good.


    Not all OSS software is better. BE is a better OS than Linux, has a ton more features, and is more stable. There is not yet an equivakent for VMWare. FreeMware is years behind, so once again you are wrong there.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You seem to miss what is ment by "Free Software", please send electronic mail to rms@gnu.org and he'll clarify the point for you.

  • Please take some basic reading comprehension classes.

    Did I say that it was wrong? No, I didn't. I said it isn't necessarily right.

    Now, I happen to agree with property rights, as I think they ultimatley benefit everyone. Therefore I am willing to tolerate selective government violence to enforce propery rights.

    The benefit to society for proprietary software is a lot less clear. The fact that open source software has become a viable alternative despite unfavourable treatment from the governments, leads me to suspect that, in fact, the legislative interference has set back the quality and development of software, probably by many years. Certainly the Microsoft tyranny would never had been possible if they had not been backed by legislation.

    I do agree that it would be unfair to effectively nationalise (or should I say internationalise) software, without giving due compensation to the owners.

    However, if proprietary software cannot compete with open source software, then please excuse a total lack of sympathy from me. They brought it on themselves.

    Please read the Magic Cauldron. It might help you understand economics as applied to software. Software is not a manufacturing industry, no matter how hard they try to make people believe it.

  • That's an interesting way of putting it. Would you also say that Police Forces have (or try to at lesat) destroyed anyone's chances of making money from extortion, theft, and so on?
  • Go away and read the Magic Cauldron. Come back when you understand that software is a service industry, not a manufacturing industry.
  • by jd (1658)
    Hey, it's a start! So what if it's not GPLed, this week! If the Open Source community can push the price down by $100, that's not bad going. I firmly believe that Be partly based this on it's disasterous showing in the stock markets, as well as the spectacular, =SUSTAINED= growth of Linux.

    This shows, conclusively, that in the niche markets, closed source can actually not only be matched by open source, but passed to the degree that the closed source's existance is actually threatened.

    I suspect, very strongly, that Be will eventually go Open Source. They almost have to, now. They have no long-term future, if they don't.

  • Be IPOed at 20. It's not "high", it's not even MOVED. That, to me, is a sign that nobody cares aboutBe in the marketplace, which is NOT a good sign for Be.
  • It took -HOW- long before it stopped scraping it's IPO price? Two, three months. To me, if a stock price can't budge from it's original value for almost a quarter of a year, there's something seriously wrong.
  • Ignoring all the stock splitting, are we? Tut tut! You'd almost have to believe that you were trying to troll.
  • by Daniel (1678)
    Linux does not need open source to be used.

    This would be a very good statement if it weren't dead wrong. Well, that's not quite true; it's probably the case today that even a non-free version of Linux would be used popularly. However, do you think Linus would have gotten the same number of people working on it if it were non-free? Especially considering that he didn't have money to hire people? If Linux hadn't been released as free software, I suspect it would have vanished into obscurity by now and we'd all be running GNU/BSD systems or something. (heck, maybe the Hurd would actually have been finished..)

    Daniel
  • Saw this extremely appropriate tagline from an AC, and I think it needs to be shown again.




    Open Source. Closed Minds. We are Slashdot.




    Ring a bell? Open your minds, get off the open source kick, and welcome anything that makes our lives better. Linux IS NOT the end-all OS. BeOS isn't either. So quit trying to make Linux (and open source software) out to be God's electronic gift from heaven.
  • by Tsk (2863)
    This was rumored here alreday a month ago : http://www.theregister.co.uk/991201 -000008.html [theregister.co.uk]
  • Actually...

    NS was making a boatload of cash off of their browser - the best choice for a graphical browser at that time.

    MS wanted in on the business, but their product wasn't good enough (yet) to compete on it's own merit. So they made a *business decision* to integrate the browser into their next OS (Win98 at that time), and so released their not-quite-so-nice-as-NS browser for free, in order to eat away at NS's market share before they dropped the bombshell that EVERYONE running Win98 would have the browser on their system whether they wanted it or not.

    Because they released it for free, many people gave it a shot, and figured "Yeah, it's not as good as Netscape, but it's free, and does enough for me to not NEED Netscape"...so it gained some legitimate followers there.

    But remember, this is Microsoft. They never do anything based on cost or merit. They included their browser with just about every product they sold, as well as many, many other company's products. Many times, IE was installed with the other products, without informing the user.

    A new icon appeared on Win95 desktops: The Internet. Most clueless users started using IE, simply because it was labeled "The Internet" -- and they didn't know any better. This, of course was Microsoft's plan.

    Netscape was losing money on the browser now, but at the same time they were starting to rake in BIG money from their server products...so they had a paradigm shift...and the browser we now know as Netscape became free.

    It had nothing to do with people realizing the money was elsewhere. It had everything to do with Microsoft devaluing the browser as a commodity by putting their browser, for "free", on desktops all over the world, by any means necessary...then nailing the coffin with the integration into Win98.

    For MS as a company, this was a VERY good move - they would have forced NS out of business if they were solely reliant on their browser for income, and they *have* become the dominant force in the browser market.

    For the consumer, this (frankly) sucked. The consumer wasn't just offered a free hand-out...it was forcefed, much the same way as Netscape users are forcefed AOL Instant Messenger. With Win98, this became even worse - there was no choice, you had IE whether you wanted it or not (yes, I know about 98 Lite, but they're relatively recent).

    Okay, rant's over. I'm probably wrong on a lot of stuff, so feel free to flame as you see fit =)
  • They are correct. Apple does not share any hardware information. They want Mac OS to be the only OS that runs on it. The difference between Linux distributions and BeOS is that

    1) Linux is Free Software, BeOS is proprietary. If the BeOS guys decided to take code from Linux, they'd have to release code for BeOS, which is something they don't want to do.

    2) Linux has lots of supporters and maintainers who are willing to spend time figuring out how the Apple hardware works. BeOS is a company and hence does not have nearly the same amount of resources.
    ___
  • So let's get this straight... when a stock skyrockets up to an insane amount during its IPO, goes up a bit higher over the course of a few months, and then stays steady for the rest of time, it's healthy.

    When a stock doesn't skyrocket up, and instead grows slowly for a long period of time, and honestly reflects a company's performance in the real world (rather than being inflated by hype and creative accounting), it's not at all healthy.

    Am I missing something? Since when is a hyped-up, short-term, IPO-only-or-you-have-no-chance-in-hell-of-investin g, no-profit-showing stock better than one which actually grows?
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a . [nmsu.edu]

  • Open Source Zealotry destroy a perfectly good OS simply because it isn't "open source". They don't have to open it up, ya'll don't have to run it.
  • Wrong. Be (BEOS) IPO'd somewhere around $6 or $7 USD. Now that they're up to $20 thats something like a 300% increase. That's all without having the buzzword-of-the-week (Linux) behind it.

  • > I'm not sure Be are COMPLETEY at a loss by selling their OS. There's a new wave of set-top boxes all ready to spring up, and of all the OSes I can think of BeOS seems to fit in beautifully.

    Unfortunately for Be's near-term profit, they're also giving it away for set-tops as well.

    I just love Be because it's a microkernel that gives that blowhard Torvalds the big middle finger in response to his ignorant diatribes against microkernels.

  • The software I've written as Open Source and contributed to other Open Source products has been to 'scratch a personal itch' -- whether I wanted a particular tool, thought I could do something better with a tool I'd been using, or just had an interest in the subject. That's one benefit. Another is that other people may find it useful. Yet another is that some other people have contributed code of their own that makes it even more useful to me and to others.

    I fully realize that the licenses I use allow RedHat or Caldera or even Be to sell my software. So what? That's my choice. To me, giving up potential (extremely low) profits from selling my software is worth it, considering the benefits I receive. I'm sure Be has come to the same conclusion, moving to gratis non-commercial use -- if Dell installs it on some of their computers, does that make Be 'suckers'?

    --

  • I don't think we've actually seen a dearth of innovation in browser software.

    From where i sit, stuff like Flash only became really prevalant in this last year, and it's been a long time since anyone made any money off a browser.

  • I am a little bit ignorant of Be's current business status. Can someone who knows please summarize: Is Be doing well from a commercial viewpoint? Are they successful from a market viewpoint? Or is Be on the brink of destruction?

    ------------------
  • Wow, I've never seen such a big chip on a person's shoulder before. Your basically taking the attitude that Be is going to be another MS because of it's model of selling it's OS. When Linux is old and not cool, and OSS is king, will you be a stick in the mud proponent of the status quo, or will you be able to accept that things change and all you can do is evaluate things and use the right tool for the right job?

    I know which group I'll be in, and that means giving Be a shot at doing good instead of badmouthing Be just for being similar to MS. Maybe I should talk trash about you because you use a font that MS used in the past.

    > Users want Free Software.

    Users want software that does the job. That's *IT*. Period. Anyone who says different, isn't a user.


    Bad Mojo
  • Look at the dearth of inovation we've seen in the browser software area as soon as everyone realized that there was no money to be made there.

    Oh, come on. No one prevented Microsoft from making money from the browser. They *chose* to not make money. No, on the other hand, look at all the innovation that has come once Netscape chose to open their browser. I think that proves a lot, don't you?

    -Brent
  • I don't have any first had knowledge of this , but I do have the BeOS preview release for PowerPC, and Be has an app that you launch from the MacOS finder that 'unloads' the MacOS and then loads the BeOS.

    This might be what they're doing with windows. Have you ever installed Mandrake or RedHat (I must admit that I am ignorant about other distros) under the /dosutils folder on the CD there is a batch file called autoboot, that will unload DOS and load linux, Be could be doing something like this.

    A script/batch file that will shutdown into DOS mode and run a loadlin like program.

    LK
  • Why is Microsoft to blame? Because their competitors couldn't afford to compete once they lost their revenue stream because of the free "integrated" browser? Isn't that what will happen to OS companies, or really any company, that either lets their technology be open sourced, or sees a workable opensource clone spring up from the community? It is.

    People always say that if you build a superior product, people will still pay for it. I don't see that. When given a choice of a fully functional product for $500 (let alone $50,000) dollars, many people will first try a free alternative that offers only 80% of the functionality, just to see if they can work around it's short-comings...

    Time will tell... If open source stays with us, in the main stream, we may succeed in having free software, but at a tremendous cost in terms of what software is actually available.
  • What are you talking about?!? Be(BEOS) IPOed this summer at $6 or so a share. It hadn't moved a much, started drifting downwards, and then skyrocketed.... Now it's drifting back down towards earth.

    Go look [excite.com]
  • I agree with you whole-heartedly. Microsoft is bad... But then the question goes, who's going to the innovating in an opensource market place? Microsoft and Netscape competed fiercely when there was money on the table. As soon as Microsoft took that away from them, Netscape, the company, as well as their flagship product, took a nose dive... And despite opensourcing their browser, Mozilla's made little advancement so far as regular users are concerned. Their only choice, if they want to use the most up to date browser on Windows is to use IE5, despite the Mozilla source being opened for nearly two years now....

    What happens when StarOffice attains feature parity with MS Office? Which one of the 10,000 developers is going to lead the way, or are they just going to add features whereever they see fit, but with no continuity or direction?

    I still remain in favor of proprietary software in so far as innovations and advancements are concerned. Open source wins on terms of price and probably quality, but not in bringing new technologies to the wider audiences.
  • Nowhere in the Be page does it say that BeOS would be Open Source (truly free). It will be free to use, in binary form. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how it reads.

    That's not the sort of freedom we're striving for. In fact it would be better, in principle, to sell (for a reasonable price i.e. their current $100) the source code than to give away the binary.

    IMHO, compilation is a value-added convenience, while seeing the guts of your system is a God given right. :)

    [rant on]
    There are a million reasons why open source is better than free binary. You get what you pay for is one. With a free binary, there's little impetus to improve or fix THAT version. The paying corporate version will get the lion share of closed developer time. Don't think for a second that there won't be a different version for the paying corporate users. Don't delude yourself that way.

    Open source will focus critique of shortcomings in the implementation, possibly embarassing the developers into fixing things - while also providing amateur assistance.
    Skill-specialized outsiders could do a great job contributing to an open source Be. People who have written exotic drivers would find it easier to port them to Be than would other developers. People who have worked in the dark corners of Linux and BSD could offer insights into improving BeOS.

    Also, it will allow cross-polination of novel approaches to other OSes. Not to name any names, bit Linux would really benefit from a multi-media, data-moving based OS entrails being made open source.
    [rant off]

    What Be proposes is not freedom. It's a marketting move, like Apple's giving Macs to schools, so they buy them at college and at work. This is a move to hook people at home, in the hope that they'll push for buying Be for the office.
  • From the FAQ, since it does not seem that you took the time to read the entire thing.

    Q: Will I have to run Windows to run BeOS 5?
    A: No. Although we will offer an installation as described above that will allow you run BeOS from within Windows without repartitioning your hard drive, you will still be able to run BeOS as a stand-alone operating system.


    The rest of your comment is pretty much just your opinion, I don't happen to agree with you on all points. It would be nice if they open-sourced it, that would definatly have benefits. But I think it is a good enough move on their part to just give it away for free to start out. I'm not going to fuss about that, I have been wanting to try out BeOS for quite some time, but don't really have the money to throw around on things that I wouldn't use regularly. So this is a good thing.
  • is great! Not too many people see Be and want to try it because the OS itself costs money and then you need to find software for it. Maybe this will lead IS guys will try it out and decide to use it in offices and such, especially where user interface is important. I think a move like this will really help increase the user base of BeOS, people will be able to try it at home and get to like it. I can even hope that other programmers might adopt a similar distribution model with Be software, free software with enhanced versions and support available for people who want to buy it. Hmm maybe someday Adobe will port their suite of toys to Be.
  • This item from the FAQ really worries me.
    "Q: Will Be continue to update BeOS?
    A: Yes, we plan on continuing to develop and release new versions of BeOS."


    Yes, it's the official Commodore Kiss of Death; named for Commodore and Amiga magazines' habit of running an editorial saying "We're here to stay" and then folding before printing another issue. Examples include: .info, AmigaWorld, and Commodore Magazine. I think RUN did it too...
  • By "dearth of innovation" do you mean that no one is adding new tags like <BLINK> or <MARQUEE>? If so, lack of innovation is a good thing. Browser development seems currently geared toward getting browsers to implement common standards, correctly. (By the way, previewing seems to screw up character codes in the text box, in case no one noticed.)
  • You've got to be kidding! What would they throw you in jail for? Refusing to buy their product? Or are you complaining that they would throw you in jail for not exchanging value for value -- for taking someone else's property without their consent?

    If I write software and decide to give it away, it is my choice. It was mine to begin with and I have the right to decide what to do with the product of my own mind. I might choose, however, to sell it instead -- to seek comparable value in other products/services I don't already have. What a radical concept! It's how division of labor works.

    There is no extortion here. I don't force anyone to buy what I have and no one forces me to buy what they have. And no one is forcing the other to surrender what is theirs by right.
  • Yet, in the thirst for a taste of Microsoft's blood and caught up in its own delusions of grandeur, the Linux community is actingmore and more like the very people they claim to despise. Any action is sanctionable as long as it furthers the goal of open source. Great products, whose only technical "flaw" is that they aren't open-sourced, are gone after with the same ferocity and tenacity as if they are the latest incarnation of bloatware from Microsoft.

    In case you've missed it, this attitude isn't anything new. It goes back to the Open Source communities roots -- all the way back to RMS himself. Many zealots will say that ALL softare should be open source, and you shouldn't use any program that isn't open source.

    Personally, I just like software that doesn't suck. Many mature open source software projects fit this description, and thats why you see me using open source software.

    But, there is some proprietary software that doesn't suck. Be is one of them. I don't use Be because there is(currently) no compelling reason for me to do so. I hear that the media support is nice and all, but I don't do media, so unless they intend on positioning this OS as something more generic, and more applications become available, then I might have some compelling reason to move.

    My current reason for using Linux is that it is an awesome developers platform. The development tools available on Linux are unequaled in the industry: no proprietary software package is better than what is currently offered on Linux, IMHO.

    OTOH, if you are an idealist, like many in the Open Source community (ie, hackers) are, then you will probably say that NO proprietary software is better than its open source counterparts. If this attitude offends you, then maybe the open source community and places like Slashdot that support it are not where you should be hanging out.

    I don't possess the attitude, but I understand it and accept it as commonplace. It doesn't offend me personally, although I don't necessarily agree with it. If I can be tolerant of other people's views, then I would expect the same of other people that they would be tolerant of my views. So far, I haven't been disappointed.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the monty python parrot scene?

    It moved!
    You pushed it!
    No I didn't!
    Look, there, it moved again!
    You pushed it again!
    I never!
  • Can you name one unique, one specific piece of open sourced software which has no equals on any non-open source system? ... There's no innovation coming from the OSS community yet, other than the fundamental ideals of OSS itself.

    What, exactly, is your point here?

    If you are saying that the innovative part about OSS is the development technique itself, well, you're right. That is the point ESR has been trying to make all along: OSS works better then closed development. The big deal isn't about the end product; it is about the process. OSS is a better process (yielding better software as an end result). That's the whole idea.

    OSS often means building a better mouse trap -- not coming up with something entirely different. In the case of Linux, a bunch of people have decided Unix has the general idea down right; they are refining it. The rest of the world works this way (standing on the shoulders of giants, et. al.); why should OSS be any different?

    Innovation is about taking existing ideas and putting them together to synthesize a new and better whole. If we are to be limited to that which has never been done before, we're doomed. Fortunately, that is not the case.

    And, just for your continued edification, yes, I can think of something the OSS community has created that does not exist anywhere else: The Internet. That's right, the Internet. The Internet is a creation of OSS network development. OSS has enabled the very thing that makes this discussion possible.
  • ... could anyone (previous poster even) dig up a link to a page which explains how OSS created the internet?

    Hmmm. I don't think I have a link that says, specifically, "OSS created the Internet". For starters, the term "Open Source Software" hadn't been coined yet. Besides, assertions are worthless alone; it is the proof that backs them up.

    So take a look at the Internet Engineering Task Force [ietf.org] and this archive of Internet Requests for Comments (RFCs) [ohio-state.edu]. You will find the Internet was developed through the same process of open development, code sharing, and peer review that define OSS software development. Everything you use on the web today, from the Domain Name System to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol to HTTP itself was developed using OSS principles. "We believe in rough consensus and working code", to quote David Clark of the IETF. That seems to define OSS pretty well.

    I thought Al Gore did that.

    Cute. :)

    The BeOS would never have been developed if it was open source.

    See above about assertions without proof.

    The sheer slickness of it is testament to how much close planning and discussion went into its design.

    OSS and planning and discussion are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, discussion is one of the key tenets of OSS. OSS projects are often characterized by the intense, often heated discussions that take place on their mailing lists. It may be a process of beating it into shape rather then careful artistic planning, but the end result seems to be the same. One man's hammer is another man's paint brush, so to speak.

    The business model, in Be's case at least, can work very well for developing high-quality products...

    Certainly; BeOS itself is evidence of that. I was never arguing against BeOS. However, the fact that closed development can work does not mean that open development cannot.

    ... because of the fact that each programmer is working in sync with everyone else.

    Again, that happens in OSS as well. True, as you note, you often find different people and projects overlapping. However, this is not necessarily a Bad Thing. For one, it offers a form of redundant protection against failure. Second, it fosters an almost Darwinian approach to software development. Many ideas are put forward, and the best selected.

    Look at Gnome and KDE. Two projects aiming to accomplish the same thing, and thousands of hours of work wasted.

    Interesting. When two companies compete against each other, that competition is generally viewed as a Good Thing (here in the USA, anyway). No one (other then socialists (no, I'm not calling you a socialist (nor am I offering opinions on socialism in general, one way or the other))) calls that competition "a waste". Why should it be any different for OSS development? The GNOME and KDE projects are both offering different solutions to the same problem. Cooperation between the two is quite good, so compatibility should be high. The end result is more choice and better software, as the good ideas live on and the bad ones die off. I don't regard that as a waste at all.

    The fact is that the BeOS is a more technically sophisticated, better designed OS that Linux, and it is thanks to closed source design that it has gotten this far.

    Ohhhh, inflammatory and unsupported in the same sentence! Did you do that on purpose? :-)

    Anyway, BeOS and Linux each have their strengths and weaknesses. You don't put forward any arguments for either of your points: BeOS "better designed" then Linux or that closed development has gotten BeOS this far. I could as easily say that "BeOS would be much further along if it was OSS", but I don't. Please add some justification for your argument, or stop cluttering up the discussion. Thank you. :)
  • Look at the dearth of inovation we've seen in the browser software area as soon as everyone realized that there was no money to be made there.

    The mozilla browser project [mozilla.org] is full of innovations, such as XUL (the cross platform UI in XML), XPCOM (cross-platform common object model), RDF, full standards compliance, etc. MS is busy working on the 5.5 release of MSIE that will probably raise the bar once again. Finally, Opera [opera.com] is still making money selling their lean, mean, utilitarian browser.

    So where is this so called dearth of browser innovation?
  • Being the guy who submitted the story (I'm also known as 'Big Al') it is a functioning version of BeOS. The only thing missing will be some tools and utilities. Cripes, even the IDE will be included in the downloadable version. And I didn't include the whole story because I included the link - there's too much information to fit into only a sentence or two.

    I got the whole story. Check out the link and you can get it too! :)
  • Your statements still make absolutely no sense, whatsoever.

    Closed Source, Proprietary/commercial software is good. It protects the investment of your purchase, it provides a constant resource for support. It provides the ability to roll out and standardize.

    If every person had the source, or 10,000 out of the 10,000,000 using that package modify that source. Then that product is not the original product and can't follow the original support options and therefore can't offer a Business what it needs.

    Open source can solve your server, you workstation needs and such in a small controlled environment. In big business, Microsoft works because a) hardware vendors support there hardware under a specific product b) microsoft supports there software on HCL approved hardware

    So yes, buying a single software, a single hardware solution and support contracts on closed software provides the business the ROI it needs to prove the purchase as acceptable.

    Yes, i can buy RedHat from redhat and get system from VA linux and get support options from both. But when it comes down to one specific part of the OS breaking down, is it up to RedHat to fix that part, release a new package into GPL, notify the original authors, and then resend me the product? Doesn't Paying for redhat services on software support to modify a non redhat portion of the OS piss you off as a developer that is looking for ways to make money? Should RedHat consult your services as a contractor to provide for your work?

    I don't get what this hype about linux is. YES, i love linux as another unix clone. I hate the open source/GPL contraversy, but i love the concept. Its great to think this world could be a wonderfully FREE place. But its not.

    You have to do what you need to do. That doesn't make you right no matter what. My ideas/concepts of how things work don't make me worse or better then a linux zealot. Because i post what i feel on slashdot and could give a rats ass about karma, i may get killed off as flaimbait or whatnot, but i expressed my vies and opinions. And i used to think that was what mattered.

    One mindset isn't more perfect than another. Windows, QNX, Be, Mac OS *, Unix *.* and Whatever else out there is all a part of this computer evolution. Simply locking your mindset into one particular pattern makes this the computer de-evolution. Be yourself, use what you want, listen to others, and most of all, don't get cocky about feeling insulted because not everyone is like you.

  • maybe you think Red Hat's valuation is a mirage, but hey, it's Bob Young who's the billionaire. You're not. Maybe that says something about the relative value of your vision vs. his.

    Bill Gates is a multi-billionaire, maybe that says something about the values of his vision versus yours.

    QED


  • To me, the network effect applied to an open source operating system is a feature that adds value. Linux or BSD as yet another proprietary OS would be just another *nix clone... Consider the open source aspect, and they're suddenly worth much more.

    Some software doesn't really need to be open source, but IMHO OSes do, and as such, the openness of an OS is worth much more than the polish of Be, or the number of apps for Windows.


    Whining about the GPL is just proof that you don't "get it". Would the situation be better if some company could step in, fork the OS, rename it, close the source to that branch, toss a WM on it, and sell it? That's all the GPL prevents. The main OS would still be there, free, as an alternative.

    Should users be prevented from writing software on their own if it would conflict with a possible commercial market? It's like saying people shouldn't be allowed to clean their houses, because it puts maids out of work.

    If a proprietary OS is so great, people will be willing to pay for it. If it's not better than the free alternatives, they won't. No reason to expect people to refrain from ever innovating because it might cut into the ability of someone else to milk the users for some money...
  • I know.

    My point is that the GPL only prevents the distro of a closed source branch, and as such, doesn't really prevent much.

    If someone is upset with the GPL killing software, they're missing the point. Open source OSes exist as competition to closed source ones without the GPL, the GPL doesn't cause these OSes to spring into being. The only thing the GPL does is prevent the proprietization (is that a word?) of the OS. You could take a BSD branch, rename it, and sell it as closed source. You can't do that with Linux, you'd need to distribute the source. That's the only difference.
  • Actually, a fair number of users are, I think.

    Even my friends who can't program at all are into the open source aspect, because it can be modified, even if not by them. It's like buying an easily repairable car, even if you never open the hood yourself.

    Many businesses (ISPs mainly, but a few others) that I know of are using Linux because it's open source, and if they ever need a feature that doesn't exist, or a patch, it'll be possible to hire a programmer and have it implemented.

    The freedom to be able to do something is often more important that actually ever doing it.


  • Re: MacOS and Windows succeeding...

    Of course, both of these OSes got a huge boost by being included with 95% of the hardware they run on...

    I don't think you could ever buy a Mac without MacOS (maybe in the short-lived clone days) and we all know about MS and their predatory packaging schemes.

    Using these as examples of OSes that have succeeded may be good from the point of view of investors, but not users. Both of these OSes are terribly unstable, and the companies that sold them aren't known for service.

    BeOS is just another OS in a crowded market. Open source isn't needed, but if I was selecting an OS to run servers at work, open source is a feature I'd look for, just like journalling FS support, strong memory protection, and pre-emptive multitasking. By being closed source it'll have to be not just as good as Linux or BSD in all ways, but better, to be worth my while.
  • From CmdrTaco et al's quotes on articles previously

    "Come on folks! Let's all email <xyz> and show `em just how much we want an Open Source version of this product!"

    *sigh*

  • <sarcasm>Argh! No! MS Mk II! Kill! Rampage! Destroy!</sarcasm>

    ;)

    Or rather: <robotic voice>Exterminate! Exterminate!</robotic voice>

  • Who were you kidding thinking Be meant to? Their market is professional (studio) graphics and video, multimedia. Areas that they piss all over MS ... andLinux.
  • This also ignores your prattling hypocrisy about how you should be allowed to dictate what others do, and how others are "rude morons" for not choosing/having the same likes as you.
  • Being able to spin 6 mpegs on a cube is a nice parlour trick but it doesn't help in the end when real work needs to be done.

    What? Like producing multimedia cinematics/film/adverts/tv effects where "being able to spin 6 mpegs on a cube" is much more than a "parlour trick"?

  • Wouldn't that be a much nicer slogan?

    It would be, but unfortunately would be representative of a lot fewer of the Slashdot population these days, more is the pity.

  • This is becoming the cliche of the people who don't get it. It's clever and all but it has nothing to do with open mindedness or not, it's about freedom. If you're happy being a slave then you naturally don't understand. If you can demonstrate the closed minded nature of the movement I'd like to see it. There is nothing closed minded about having freedom and refusing to give it up.

    No, it's more becoming the cliche of people who have been around for quite a while and have watched things, in their opinions, deteriorate from an 'ideal' to a 'whining foot stomping'.

    Here is an example: Why don't you volunteer to go to prison so you can see if you like being locked up. We'll let you out when you think you've had a good enough taste of it to make a decision, how does this sound? You've never been to prison before so clearly you don't know if you like it or not. It's closed minded of you to not try it, isn't it?

    Bad analogy. I don't want to try it. I could, however. I don't have to. I use proprietary and free software, both, and I have no qualms about either. The key issue is I'm not 'forcing' (or attempting to) others to accept that interest.

    "Ring a bell? Open your minds, get off the open source kick, and welcome anything that makes our lives better." (emphasis added)

    There are more important things than making our lives better. I could hit you in the head with a bat and take your money, it would make my life better because I'd have more money, is that the right thing to do? Out of curiosity, how exactly would BeOS make my life better, what apps does it have? Can it do anything for me at all?

    Besides the argument that he was referring to the collective populace when using the word "our" and you were referring to none but you, name one thing more important than making your life better. Besides, perhaps, survival, which could be argued to be a variant thereof.

  • You didn't read the original post very thoroughly, did you?

    I'll quote: Linux does not need open source to be used. How many users actually use the source. It aided its development and growth, but not its usage.

    No one is debating that Linux's development has been aided hugely by its open nature. But how many people using Linux today are doing so because they can get at the source? Some, sure, but not that many. Not that many have the education to understand the source (before I get flamed, I'm not being an elitist CS student - I couldn't understand the source) in the first place, so it's irrelevant.

    Development has been aided, sure. Development has added to features and performance which have attracted users, sure. But users have been directly attracted due to the open nature? No, not in any great quantity. Believe what you like but to say anything else is to stick your head in the sand.

    Greg
  • The second biggest reason is that Be is Free Software parasite. I have spent a little time browsing BeOS advocacy sites, they all want this or that application open sourced so that they can port it to BeOS. Does anyone else see the hypocracy in this? If it wasn't for Free Software, BeOS wouldn't have a decent compiler.
    Apologies to the slashdot poster who I'm parapshrasing here as I forgot to note the details down, but...

    If you give me some apples but then demand a share of any pies I make, you're not really sharing.

    Your attitude is quite common but nonetheless reprehensible. If you think your software should be free, all power to you and you have my congratulations. But that doesn't then give you the right to demand the same of others.

    Free shouldn't mean "I'll share mine if you'll share yours" as that's a restriction itself.

    Greg
  • My recollection of a friend at Southampton's e-mail address suggests you're a Computer Science Student. I am too.

    I fully understand that view, I've seen it argued here many a time. But I'm yet to see any coherent explanation for why our labours and use of skills as software engineers should automatically be donated to the community for free to do with as they wish while I am free to sell the results of my labours as a musician.

    Software development is a skill which takes a considerable amount of time and skill for most to develop to any standard. Anyone who says otherwise either doesn't code, doesn't code well or is absurdly talented. Now, there is a demand for this skill. So why should I not be able to sell my code? Because, whatever some may say, selling GPL'd code simply isn't practical.

    Greg
  • Software is not a manufacturing industry, no matter how hard they try to make people believe it.
    Software may not be a manufacturing industry (I'm not comitting either way on that one) but it's certainly an R&D industry.

    The point is, while the direct unit cost of any software product may well be insignificant compared to its price, its sale would not be possible without substantial development overheads. The fact that they do not alter substantially depending on the number of sales does not mean that their cost should be disregarded.

    Your problem here is an over-simplistic view of economics coupled to idealism. While I'm glad to see idealists, it's a pity you're letting it cloud your judgment here.

    Greg
  • But, in this business model, the pie is the recipe. There's no practical value in anything other than the source.

    Hence the analogy holds. Free software is fine and I applaud people for giving away their source, but to then demand others follow up your act isn't right.

    Nor, for that matter, is to demand that their revisions to your software should be licensed under the same license you chose. That's a restriction on freedom of use, too...

    Greg
  • I don't think you get it. There are good reasons for choosing Free Software. Some of us will not choose propietary software. This is our choice and our right.

    Sometimes you need to look beyond the technology. Don't insult people for your own short-sightedness.
  • Software is to be shared.
  • None. Commercial implies that it is a business. Businesses make money for people that do the work and invest in the product. Business != Charity.

    That is true. But I was speaking in respect to Be. The other poster said that there are other closed operating systems with comercial success. I was questioning if comercial success was worth limiting their user's use of the system.

    Perhaps you missed this detail in my post?

    Again. This is COMMERCIAL. Does buying a book entitle you to photocopy it and give it to your friends to read? No.

    This would depend on the book.

    No. That is the USERS wanting things, not the company. The OS itself does NOT rely on OSS material. Things like the GNU tools are bundled, but most of the OS is proprietry. A couple of drivers and the pcmcia stack are OSS code, but this has either been donated to Be inc. for use, or they have licenced (with money) the code from the original author. This is very fair.

    I think I have made a mistake. I do beleive that Be is benefitting by porting Free Software to their operating. But there is no reason they should not. They have every right too.

    No, let me check. I seem to remember that the announcement meant the OS _is_ about to become free

    No. Free as in Free Software. Has nothing to do with price.

    To make a last point - if you decide to make your software that you write open source, that is up to you. By doing so you are declaring its there for others to use as they see fit. You dont expect anything back in return. You yourself in complaining about the validity of making use of OSS code are arguing against its principles. making code availiable means exactly that - you cant have it both ways.

    You are very correct. I made a mistake.
  • If you are a small company or an individual then you can get support from Red Hat. If you are large company then you can either fix the problem in house or contract it out from other companies.

    But I fail to understand your post. You seem to be chasing your tail.

    Closed Source, Proprietary/commercial software is good. It protects the investment of your purchase, it provides a constant resource for support. It provides the ability to roll out and standardize.

    The same applies to free software. Distributing source code does not change this. Source code doesn't mean that it *has* to be modified. Companies can issue policies that their software should not be modified.

    I don't get what this hype about linux is. YES, i love linux as another unix clone. I hate the open source/GPL contraversy, but i love the concept. Its great to think this world could be a wonderfully FREE place. But its not.

    I don't understand the linux hype either. I wish it would go away because people are having the impression that there is little substance with GNU/Linux.

    I do understand the "open source/GPL contravers" though. It is the friction between the new and old way of thinking about software.

  • nice quote, it's going on my MP3SDMIRIAADVDCSS page :)
  • I get the impression from the press release that Be hopes to encourage development on the BeOS by making it available free of charge. They make the point that the compiler and development environment ARE included with the download.

    My question: Once someone starts writing and selling software for BeOS, doesn't that qualify as "non-commercial" use? It seems that a prospective developer might download and try out the platform for free, but must pay the license fee before they go to market with a product.

    Not that I have a problem with this. The $60 or so I paid for 4.5 was well worth it and I would probably pay for version 5 anyway.
  • It will run like WinLinux. It will have a file that will be it's partition. It's silly, but it keeps people from being scared away. Be talked about this option earlier. Granted, you won't get all the benifits of BeFS, but it's a start.
  • LinuxPPC also isn't a commercial OS, and is less likely to be sued by Apple. Another thing to note, a large percentage of Be's programmers are ex-apple employees (last I checked) which means I wouldn't doubt Apple would use that to say they're using proprietory information if they just hacked it together to make it work.

    That brings me to my next point, BeOS isn't an os that's hacked together. It's quite good and running the best it possibly can on any hardware, and making it half-way work on a new PPC would just ruin the experience. Be is about fine-tuning, not scrapping together and jerry-rigging.
  • I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with Jean Louis Gasse (sp? sorry French speakers...). Gasse has always been known as, frankly, an arrogant bastard. Though it's wholly supposition on my part, I wouldn't doubt that he's miffed that Apple wouldn't release specs on the G3 or G4s and, as such, is basically pouting.

    Regardless, I really doubt that Be couldn't reverse engineer the specs. If the LinuxPPC guys can do it, certainly Be can as well if they are willing to put the effort into it.Though I've never tried it myself, I believe it is possible to get Be running on a PCI-PowerMac which has been upgraded to a G3. IRC, the G# problems occur with the ROM and and MLB, not the G3 processor itself.



    ----
  • I liked the look of BeOS back at v4, when cover CD's were bootable. It booted really fast, and the GUI was not only attractive, but quick too.

    Then v4.5 bootable CD demo was even better, although no games. At the Linux Expo in London I was severely tempted to buy 4.5 boxed set, the only thing stopping me was cost - so this is brilliant!

    I just hope that Be doesn't continue to be passed over, or get the label of 'freebe'.
  • The operating system is free, but it's not open source. I think everyone here should be able to handle this concept.

    So where's the fuss? It's a lot free-er than it was this morning, and you will be able to download the latest version when you want. Still not complaining?

    Good. So Be isn't open source. That's the *operating system*, but who said you can't have open source software on Be? Who? NOBODY!

    Open source is what you make it. Don't want to pay for a BeOS app? Write it. You did it with Linux, now you can do it with BeOS. Go ahead, knock yourselves out.

  • >Or you could say that Open Source has destroyed anyone's chances of making money in the OS market

    If that is so how come Microsoft makes so much money each year? What about Windows 2K, which is expected to be a big money maker? What about the valuations of many Linux companies?

    >Look at the dearth of inovation we've seen in the browser software area

    But there are MANY areas of software which don't make money and have loads of inovation. Look at almost any Linux project. Look at Quake 3 and UnrealT mods. Look at the many rogue-like games still going strong after all this time.

  • If that is so how come Microsoft makes so much money each year? What about Windows 2K, which is expected to be a big money maker? What about the valuations of many Linux companies?

    Because Microsoft and Win2K is / will be mainstream. No matter how much protesting and verbal bashing RMS and his following of loyal zealots do, it will not stop the mainstream crowd from purchasing Microsoft products. I, for one, will wait about a month to see if this is the heralded product Microsoft says it is, or is the shitty product the OSS community already assumes it is. Then I will make my decision whether to upgrade my Windows 95 system to 2000. I've already decided that I will get out of the 9x series, that includes Windows Millenium, due out later this year, so if 2000 is any good, I'll be switching.

    But there are MANY areas of software which don't make money and have loads of inovation. Look at almost any Linux project. Look at Quake 3 and UnrealT mods. Look at the many rogue-like games still going strong after all this time.

    What, in Linux, besides the kernel itself and the fact that it's open sourced can you really call innovating? There's not one piece of software on my Linux system that doesn't exist somewhere as another name performing the same basic functions. Can you name one unique, one specific piece of open sourced software which has no equals on any non-open source system? And I don't mean in name only, I mean some piece of software that performs task X that another piece of software on Solaris, Be, VMS, or even NT can't do? There's no innovation coming from the OSS community yet, other than the fundamental ideals of OSS itself. And they're pushed with such zeal that makes any outsider seem like they've just been slashed by a poisoned dagger, pushed with such zeal while all they seem to do is constantly try to reinvent the wheel.

    As for the Q3A and the UT mods, yes, they're innovative, but gaming is the one area where it's relatively easy to be innovative, although many companies chose to rehash older games with prettier graphics and louder sounds. They could just as easily close their source (and lots of mods ARE closed), step up development, hire a few freelance artists and level designers, and voila, you've got yourself a $20 expantion pack.
  • I think this will be a great thing for Be. I've been a Be supporter for quite some time and got to be friends with a few guys there, and after chatting with them I think one of Be's biggest problems is getting the word out about their OS. Not just that it exists but why it's great. I think there are plenty of people who would jump at the chance if they knew more about what makes it special. I think making a free downloadable version of the OS is the perfect way to get people to check it out, as most people who are merely curious won't go out and buy it, regardless of the low price. I also think including all the dev tools in the free version is a great way to encourage development for the OS.

    Way to go Be!
  • "Basically, the gist of his argument is that microkernels aren't any better than monolithic kernels, simply because any tricks you can pull to optimize a microkernel can be applied towards optimizing a monolithic kernel. Microkernels aren't necessarily any more portable than a well-designed monolithic one, and they don't necessarily guarantee better performance. Further, they have some overhead that monolithic kernels can avoid."

    He's right. Splitting up a perfectly working kernel in a myriad of tiny things that run in seperate address spaces buys you flexibility, not performance. Microkernels depend quite heavily on message passing via memory regions and other IPC methods. The problem is that (on the x86 PC at least) there is a heavy overhead to the memory reads. In the days when the CPU core can only access its L2 cache on every other, or every third, CPU instruction (K7), it doesn't make sense to play tricks with the MMU and address space. It's great for embeded systems where modularity is important, and memory latencies are not an issue, but a properly designed/architectured monolithic kernel works better on x86 machines.

    If you read this [linuxcare.com] Kernel Traffic piece, you'll see that (suprise, suprise!) the DinX framebuffer does not work as well as X's classic system because of the x86 memory bottleneck.

    (I quote from the piece)"Just to clarify, performance is currently horrible on PC hardware because we read (memmove) from the framebuffer a lot when dragging windows around. And it seems PC hardware does this really slowly. "
    This is because a read requires the data to filter through the main memory bus (100Mhz or 66Mhz), to the L2 cache (same as memory bus on Socket 7, a bit faster for PII/Celeron/K7), and then to the CPU and its L1 cache. So the message reading overhead exists, and is getting exponentially worse as the CPU/L2 Cache/Memory latencies add up. Writes are "fire and forget," and so do not suffer as much because of the latencies.


    "I'm sure all of that is well and good, but the fact that the BeOS kernel exists, is a microkernel, and has a performance on par or better than (depending on the situation) the Linux kernel tends to, in my mind, dispute Torvalds' views that microkernels are basically intellectual playthings not worthy of implementation."

    Now, if you'd read Linux-Kernel (digest or otherwise) or Kernel Traffic, you'd know that Linus has rejected a patch that removes a lot of the Linux Kernel latency because he says Linux is not competing with the BeOS. This patch does exist, and in this [linuxcare.com] Kernel Traffic piece, we see how it removes the latency you complain about, without recoding the Linux kernel as a microkernel. QED: this proves your assertation based on architecture is flawed and false.

    If you think the Linux Kernel's design is so horrible, anyway, you should go work on the GNU/Hurd [gnu.org]. It needs more development/developers.

    Cogito ergo cogito sum :-)
    ---
  • by Inoshiro (71693)
    From their FAQ:
    Q: Does this mean BeOS runs "under" Windows?

    A: No. Although you can launch BeOS via a file within Windows, BeOS does not run as a Windows application. Double-clicking the file will exit Windows and boot BeOS from a large file in the FAT file system which contains within it a BFS volume.

    Q: If I install BeOS 5 within Windows, will I still have the advantages of the Be File System?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Will I have to run Windows to run BeOS 5?

    A: No. Although we will offer an installation as described above that will allow you run BeOS from within Windows without repartitioning your hard drive, you will still be able to run BeOS as a stand-alone operating system.

    Q: If I install BeOS 5 within Windows, will performance suffer compared to the stand-alone version?

    A: Assuming your Windows partition is not highly fragmented, in most cases you probably won't notice a difference in performance between installation methods.

    Q: Will I be able to install BeOS 5 within operating systems other than Windows?

    A: Not at this time. Note, though, that if you don't use Windows, you will be able to install BeOS as a stand-alone operating system as described above.

    I mean, this is the third or fourth complaint about BeOS 5 requiring Windows, losing the advantage of BeFS, etc. How many clue-by-fours must be applied for people to finish reading the FAQ? Why must people stop right when they see "Windows" and go complain on Slashdot?
    ---
  • People! It's simple. Be allows us to download it from them, while retaining all legal rights. The word for this is

    FREEWARE!

    And the reason they're doing this is probably not because they want to get on the bandwagon, but 'cuz years ago, before the final release, it was available for free. Years of people begging them to continue this method of distribution have paid off, that's all.

    The goal is to establish a user base, because people are most likely to try an OS w/ a simple installer & no cost.
    In political terms, this means that they realize they don't have a good contender for the home market and they want to win over more non-embedded users.
  • RedHat, Caldera, etc. did not write Linux from scratch. Be has invested millions in R&D. RedHat and Caldera get you suckers to do their R&D. They develop minor pieces of
    Linux, but the lion's share has already been done for them. Can you be any more naive?


    People are not suckers for doing work for a project that they enjoy. That's saying that you are a sucker for doing work for the salvation army or helping that old lady across the street. I don't think that what Red Hat and Caldera do is trivial at all. Instead I think that they are more of the sort that allow for things to work properly. Who helps make sure that you have a reasonably up to date system and not have to repartition it? Distributions usually do. Try upgrading in a easy when configuration files change places or a new library needs to be updated. Without distros you would be out of luck for the most part.

    I understand how OSS works. Selling support for most pieces of software is useless. How else are people supposed to make money from their software genius? According to you, it
    must be free. You and the rest of the GNU cult keep preaching it, but you insist that people will pay if the product is good.


    Open source can be seen as an ideal like perfection is to being your best every day. Open source is similar to good proprietary software. We all have goals in life. Government tries to achieve a democracy but fails and we have a republic form of government but does that mean we should not try? I know people usually pay if the product is good but if it's too much then its a bit of a problem. Look at the efforts that can be seen with linux and games. Loki ports games to linux and people pay for them.

    Tell me one thing. If I want to get something without paying for your "software genius" I can get something called warez and just get around that little restriction or haven't your forgotten.

    Not all OSS software is better. BE is a better OS than Linux, has a ton more features, and is more stable. There is not yet an equivakent for VMWare. FreeMware is years behind,
    so once again you are wrong there.

    Are you referring to the kernel or the entire Red Hat or Caldera CD set? I sincerely doubt that Be shipps with all the software that either of these two do or even a fraction of what Debian comes with.

    Could someone with some factual data tell me *exactly* what shipps with Be and some scientific and factual information that can demonostrate that Be is better? I would like to see that.
  • comparing RedHat and the Salvation Army.

    In terms of helping out open source projects not in terms of getting the rich richer or of saying that Red Hat and the salvation army are the same in their mission or focus. If you are donating your time to an open source project that is used in red hat or donating time and effort to the salvation army are they bad.

    Hmmm...what is the Salvation Army's ticker symbol?

    Helping with an opensource prject dosn't directly help Red Hat as anyone can use it in any distribution. Emacs is included in Red Hat does that mean that RMS believes in Red Hat? No. The slavation army was brought up as a comparison about how people choose to spend their time in various community oriented affairs. Helping Red Hat by contributing to an open source project that they use is not a bad thing. I seriously doubt that your change will cause red hat to increase in profit a couple billion.

    My personal experience with Be is that it is more polished, stable, and faster. Is there the huge amount of software for it? Nope.

    I would think that there isn't But at least there's Doom. They even have Doom for QNX.

    But there is more software for Windows than Linux too. Does that make Windows better? I think not.

    Linux includes most of the really interesting main stuff in various distributions directly on the main CDs. Windows does not. You don't get say VC++ or Office 2000 on the CDs for windows 98 do you? It's about what you get initially.
  • Once a GPL program has entered a market, like Linux has in the OS market, commercial revenue margins come under assault. The hugh margins that some may view as extortion
    cannot be maintained. Of course can one say that the "innovation" in windows has kept up with its cost. I don't think so. I think the majority of software companies are in for a
    shock as in the coming years the margins that they have enjoyed will be greatly reduced.


    Although it is possible to have an open source application compete with a commercial one I think that saying that open source will prevent people from making money off software and having a comfortable margin would be stretching it a little. If I hire several thousand software developers and several thousand beta testers for analysis of the software to do all sorts of error checking I will be able to produce a very good application. Now if I impliment features that rely on obscure methods to accomplish various tasks then I can sell said software. Now with windows and other products where (usually) open source is not as prevelent as with other places the commercial option is often the best one. Running open source programs on top of windows is like putting a leotards on a group of fat 50+ male bowlers who work as tow truck operators and then having them stumble drunkenly around and call it ballet. Now you have all the things you need: people in costumes, "dancing", even music but does that give you a quality experience?
  • Would you mind providing your full real name and street address? Warez are illegal, and people like you who would even incinuate committing piracy don't deserve to have a computer. Ha ha ha. Well sure Homer J. Simpson 1243 Evergreen Terrace Springfield, USA Really there is no way to actually legally go against someone just because they talk about something that you have no proof about. I think the word for this is circumstancial evidence.
  • There's tons of money to be made in browsers, but you probably don't like this way either: the money is in giving away browsers that try to point users to certain portals.

    In a way, this kind of makes the browser more of a "client" for the servers of the company which created the browser.

    I always wondered whether a "one size fits all" browser was for the best - frankly, at least for specific applications, I thought we could use the bandwidth a lot more efficiently even individual companies could autodistribute clients for their servers (yeah, yeah, Java, security, mumblemumble...). Maybe the proliferation of browsers tied to portals would be a step back in that direction?

  • CmdrTaco's posturing aside this has far less to do with the cost of Open Source software and far more to do with the barriers to entry that Judge Jackson outlined in his findings of fact in the Microsoft/DOJ trial. The success of a platform has at least as much to do with harware and application support as it does with cost. As evidence review the success MS, Sun, IBM, RedHat, Corel and others have selling their sundrie OSes.

    Where hardware and software support equal BeOS would be a strong competitor to free (as in beer) alternatives because it is higher in performance, and easier to use and administer. Unfortunately this is not the case. Free (as in speach) alternatives have better hardware and software support, and are therefore more successful even when they aren't free (as in beer). I believe Redhat sells more RH Linux than Be sells BeOS. Yes, you could argue that it is expressly because of the cost of free (beer) source that it has better hardware and software support, but I would argue that it has more to do with the free (speach) that people have invested their time and money.

    It is for precisely this reason that I think Be's efforts are not likely to result in a great deal of success. Writing applications to take advantage of their platform is an investment in a limited market which is not likely to grow until more applications are written for their platform. It is a chicken and an egg issue.

  • If you would like to be notified as soon as BeOS 5 is available for download, send a blank e-mail to freebeos@be.com. We will send you an e-mail message the moment it's ready.

    Nice of them. Definitely worth the "40-60 Mb" download.

  • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @08:22AM (#1362157) Homepage Journal
    I suppose it's a waste of time to point out that the ethernet drivers in the early versions of Be were Donald Becker's, which were written for Linux.

    Be was perfectly happy to make use of Open Source code (even to the point of directly violating the GPL).

    Then, there's the curious case of Sun Microsystems. You know them - the guys with the funny licence. Who's Solaris 7 was monsterously expensive, slashed to $27, and is going to be partially released as Open Source (if it hasn't already). The pattern sound vaguely familiar? No? Then maybe it should.

  • by pev (2186) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @08:14AM (#1362158) Homepage
    > Commercial success at what cost?
    None. Commercial implies that it is a business. Businesses make money for people that do the work and invest in the product. Business != Charity.

    > What about the user who pays for an operating system but isn't allowed to modify or even redistribute it?
    Again. This is COMMERCIAL. Does buying a book entitle you to photocopy it and give it to your friends to read? No.

    > ... Be is Free Software parasite. ...
    > ... they all want this or that application open sourced so that they can port it to BeOS. ...
    > ... Does anyone else see the hypocracy in this? ...
    > ... BeOS relies on free software but fails to play fair ...
    No. That is the USERS wanting things, not the company. The OS itself does NOT rely on OSS material. Things like the GNU tools are bundled, but most of the OS is proprietry. A couple of drivers and the pcmcia stack are OSS code, but this has either been donated to Be inc. for use, or they have licenced (with money) the code from the original author. This is very fair.

    > If users want Free Software then they would not choose BeOS.
    No, let me check. I seem to remember that the announcement meant the OS _is_ about to become free.

    > Users want Free Software.
    Indeed. Feel free to argue yourself into a corner anytime.

    To make a last point - if you decide to make your software that you write open source, that is up to you. By doing so you are declaring its there for others to use as they see fit. You dont expect anything back in return. You yourself in complaining about the validity of making use of OSS code are arguing against its principles. making code availiable means exactly that - you cant have it both ways.

    ~Pev
  • by Tsk (2863) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:24AM (#1362159) Homepage Journal
    The reason behind this is that be is focusing on Appliance; see the press release http://www.be.com/press/pr essreleases/00-01-18_free.html [be.com].
    This is only the fourth change in Be's long term strategy. The only real question is: how long will be continue to support it's desktop OS ? [They stoped the Hobbit bebox [multimania.com], then they stopped the support for the PowerPC bebox [be.com], and then they stopped all active dev on beos PPC. NOw they where intel only, will they stop it too ???]
    I really Like BeOS. And since some time now really dislike Be Inc the compagny ....

  • by Croaker (10633) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:51AM (#1362160)
    After reading the news release and articles over at some Be websites I'm still a bit nebulous about the nature of this. Be's president had talked about a sort of "viral form" of Be, but it sounded more like a demo.

    Overall, this still has the flavor of a demo. I mean, it is a parasitic OS... it can't install to its own partition, and you need another OS to run it. I bought Be 4.5, and I'd think about upgrading... I don't want to boot Windows in order to boot Be.

    What is interesting is that they are including the development tools for Be in this free version. I wonder if they are trying to get Be out to more developers, both as an ad for their platform, and as a way of getting more developers to pitch in. With many companies using things like VMware to do cross-platform development, this may be Be's way of joining in. They might hope developers will say "Heck, we'll download it for free, and see if we can get our software to work on it."

  • by Arandir (19206) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @09:00AM (#1362161) Homepage Journal
    "...Open Source (truly free)..."

    Very interesting, you use of the word "truly" as if it were an adjective whose purpose were to clarify the meaning of "free". Sort of makes me heart go flutter.

    Hallelujah! All this time we thunk we was free when truth was we was only falsely free. We never made a voluntary choice or decision of our own will until we chose GnewLinux.

    "...seeing the guts of your system is a God given right."

    Okay, we're talking natural and unalienable rights here, eh? Fine, I'll speak that language. If there is the supreme (god given) right to the source code, then proprietary software is a crime. So what do we do about this crime? Arrest Bill Gates and throw him in in jail? Violate his god given rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and post the Windows source code to the net? Violate his god given right to free speech and compell him to speak what you want him to? Put him in the stocks? Then do the same with every other developer with the temerity to keep their own source code private. Whoohoo! That sure does sound like freedom to me!

    "...while also providing amateur assistance"

    You cite this as a benefit of OSS? I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about amateurs tinkering with airtraffic control systems, embedded pacemaker software, and my antilock braking system on my car.

    "What Be proposes is not freedom."

    BFD. My freedom doesn't come in an eighty dollar shrinkwrapped box of Redhat. I don't need to download it. It's something I already have.

    You, and many other people, are extremely confused as to the nature of the "free" in Free Software. It is not free speech. Free speech gives Bill Gates the right to create his software with or without revealing the source code. Deny him that right and you become an intolerable hypocrite.
  • by Rombuu (22914) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:19AM (#1362162)
    From the comment with the story...

    Further proof that Open Source has made the Operating System Free

    Or you could say that Open Source has destroyed anyone's chances of making money in the OS market (at least for x86 hardware). Look at the dearth of inovation we've seen in the browser software area as soon as everyone realized that there was no money to be made there.
  • by extrasolar (28341) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @07:39AM (#1362163) Homepage Journal
    So you'd rather go without than buy something for which the code is not available?

    No. I beleive that having software no longer being useful is a greater evil than using propietary software. I also said that I wouldn't *choose* propietary software, implying that I had a choice.

    There's a huge amount of crap from people who are just posting to flame anyone who says that Linux isn't perfect / closed-source or commercial software can be good / Microsoft and Bill Gates isn't actually the devil come to Earth.

    Linux *isn't* perfect.

    Closed-source software can only be necessary, never good. Commercial software isn't the same as closed-source. Red Hat Linux is commercial yet mostly free.

    Microsoft and Bill Gates has nothing to do with religion. In fact, I feel towards them the same I do towards Be Inc. Rather indifferent since they don't affect me to a large degree.

    I imagine there are few people who feel the way you think they do. You are counting the vocal minority. There aren't as many zealots as you might be lead to beleive. There are also zealots both ways.

    How is he doing that? Either you're a master at reading between the lines or it's you that's being
    short-sighted. His post simply says that anything that makes our lives better is good, no matter what that is. BeOS is far superior to Linux rently for any kind of multimedia work since it was designed with those tasks in mind. Linux is far superior to BeOS for networking, since it was designed with that in mind. Each is a solution for some problems - neither is the ultimate solution.


    I percieved an insult when he labeled us with having a closed mind. That is reading the lines.

    But I see that you fail to look beyond the technology. You label things as problems and solutions only as they apply to technology. But when software must be modified, there is a problem. Even if the user *wants* to modify the software, he cannot. This is a problem. The solution is Free Software. All users should be able to modify and freely redistribute software. This is why we must not use propietary software.

    It's people like you who encourage people to post as Anonymous Coward when they say things which could be construed as being anti-Linux, just to avoid personal attacks and being moderated down to -1, Flamebait. Look at the recent GPL story.

    Now it is you who are putting words in my mouth. I never accused anyone of being anti-Linux. I also beleive that personal attacks is the single easiest way of being coerced into a flamewar. I also am very much aware that I did attack the original poster personally with my short-sided comment. I wish to apoligize to him/her.


    In effect you have completely misinterpreted my comment. I am against propietary software. This has little to do with Linux, open source zealotry, anonymous cowards, Bill Gates, or moderation.

    Please quit arguing by false associations.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:46AM (#1362164)
    Now that Be is concentrating on the Internet, what about the JDK promised here [be.com]? This press release says:

    The Java 2 platform and PersonalJava technology are currently being ported to BeOS. Beta versions of the software are expected to be available before the end of the year.

    The year being 1999. Does anyone know more?
  • by dsplat (73054) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:10AM (#1362165)
    The value of an operating system is a complex thing. The bottom line is that it is only worth the value to you of what you can run on it. Honestly, does anyone run a bare Linux kernel with nothing else. Let's see a show of hands. Right

    What open source operating systems have done is change the range of options. At one time for the 8088, you could run DOS or CP/M. Other players came and went. Open source OS's are simply now among the choices. The difference is that for free, I can run a stable, powerful, reasonably lightweight OS with compilers, editors, games, text formatters, etc., etc. A competing OS is only worth as much more as the value of the applications that I can run on it and not the free one, or the value of the support that comes with the purchase price.

    If corporate IS departments and government agencies can be educated that standardized protocols and file formats, not specific versions of specific applications, are the way to specify how they will distribute data, then stampede will be on. If I didn't have to read documents produced by a particular word processor in its own internal, undocumented, gratuitously changing format, I'd remove it and the OS it runs on from ever machine I controlled. Ooops, wait, I already did that. They won't let me do it at work.

    My point here, is that if the artificial barriers that prevent running the pet applications fall, all the geeks in the world can switch to Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, or whatever. Trust me, my boss hasn't seen my PC often enough to know what I am running. All he cares about is that I can read what he writes and that he can read what I write. And the corporate IS folks, when they find out will probably panic. Even if open source OS's were every bit as difficult to use and maintain as commercial ones, people who choose to switch and install it themselves don't generally want support. The first time they make noises about support, we're likely to say, "Fine, don't support us and don't bill our department for it either."
  • by slashdot-terminal (83882) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:33AM (#1362166) Homepage
    Further proof that Open Source has made the Operating System Free

    Or you could say that Open Source has destroyed anyone's chances of making money in the OS market (at least for x86 hardware). Look at the dearth of inovation we've seen in the
    browser software area as soon as everyone realized that there was no money to be made there.


    I really think that this is not an issue. Think of it this way. Suppose we develop hardware capable of running AI on some level. A company (ever MS) decides to crate a series of AI extensions that are optional to the operating system but that come with it do allow for true AI and other activities such as multiple foreign language interpretation and real time analysis of facial expressions. Now with all these advances what if they charge the people about $100 do get it? Will this change anything and make everyone not buy it? No. This would only 'destroy' anyone's chances of making money from the OS if someone made that killer OS. Yes and I will be the first one to admit that linux is not that OS even though I use it every day.
  • by MattMann (102516) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:18AM (#1362167)
    There's tons of money to be made in browsers, but you probably don't like this way either: the money is in giving away browsers that try to point users to certain portals. The reason for the dearth of them is that Microsoft abused its monopoly power. If other players had equal opportunity to cut deals with hardware vendors and/or ISPs to use their customized browsers, you would see more competition in the short run.

    In the long run, of course, one dominant browser might still emerge as there is nothing to stop one browser from being customizable for all of the different parochial portal operators. But the browser that emerged emerged because of monopoly power over the desktop by a company that does not participate in either free or open source, not because of free download and distribution.

    I think the trick to controlling this sort of monopoly abuse (and which would work for cable TV too) is to not allow vertical integration. If you are a portal/channel, you are not an ISP. If you are an ISP, you are not a software vendor. No bundling. AOL should have to open its protocols and allow other software to compete, Microsoft should have to open the desktop and allow other software to compete, and no ISP should control either your software or your choice of portal. Its how free-market theory actually works in the Theory that goes by that name.

  • by MattMann (102516) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:31AM (#1362168)
    What has made operating systems cost nothing is competition: free-market theory says that price will equal marginal cost, and the marginal cost of additional copies of software is $0 (zero). That's what makes operating systems free, not open source . But, it only lasts while there is competition. When there is none, monopoly pricing takes over. Monopoly in software is the enemy, just as monopoly is the enemy in every other market.

    And why do you take sides and say Open Source? Why don't we all agree to the following simple English. Actually, you can't disagree with me, we have all agreed, this is English. All of the pain and anguish is caused by those who would attempt to redefine English, but they have all failed. So, just to let the redifiners know, this is what the words mean to everybody:

    • "open" source means you can see it. You might have to buy it, you might not be allowed to give it away, but you can see it because it is open to inspection. There is another meaning of open too, pertaining to standards. If standards are open, then you may make your own implementation free from restrictions. But that's all that open will ever mean. Capitalized "Open" has no meaning (you can't say capitals), just like "Coke" has no meaning. Useful in phrases like "Coke sux" and "Open sux".
    • "free" software doesn't cost anything, and generally can be assumed to mean that you can not only take it, but you can give it away. Some will encumber you and only allow downloads from their own site, but this distinction you probably draw when speaking about it. "It's free but you have to get it from X," you find yourself saying, because that's what it means. Capitalized "Free" has no meaning, just like "Open" has no meaning. Useful in phrases like "Open sux" and "Free sux".
    • source that is both free and open, with no special punctuation, does start to take on the magical meaning that the redefiners want, for if it's free to receive and copy, and open for inspection, it meets the Open and Free criteria, except it doesn't sux. Free, open and unencumbered gets almost all the way there, failing only to make the viral/copyleft distinction one way or the other.
    • "GPLed" is how we make that distinction most conveniently, though "copyleft" and "viral" are almost as common.

    I'm not taking sides on the licenses, I'm just siding with the people who try to speak clearly regardless of where they stand.

  • by HomerJ (11142) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:37AM (#1362169)
    I tried BeOS about 3-4 months ago, when I first put together my current system. A Friend had the 4.5 CD, all my hardware was supported, and trying a new OS is fun :-)

    The install was the best OS install I've ever seen. Had a spcial version of Partition Magic to partition, and clicked about 3 buttons and it was installed. The Bootloader was the best I've seen. Detected all my hardware and was up and running on the net as soon as I typed in my network info and clicked "restart networking".

    Then I did what most people do when they install linux for the first time. Looked at my computer and said "now what"? Didn't have much for a web broswer. Net+ was so-so, and when you have to point at Opera as your top broswer, that's never a good sign. Mozilla is beign ported, but it was slow as nuts on a dual celeron 458 with 128megs RAM.

    Then I thought, who would buy this? Although very user-friendly, it was $60. the OS itself offered ALOT of nice features, but didn't have any aps to warrent spending the $60 to get the OS. I mean, you thought Linux didn't have ap support. BeOS has about the same ratio of aps to Linux as Linux does to Windows. Thier market was soposed to be mediaphiles and professionals, but any media aps they had was done better elsewhere.

    I wish that those rumors of RedHat buying Be Inc. went though. The BeOS has ALOT of fine advancements in thier desktop GUI, SMP support(which was excellent), and their internal media code. Such advanements combined with linux, could push a BeOS with a linux kernel very far on the desktop.
  • by tdenkinger (100132) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:54AM (#1362170) Homepage
    I think the lack of browser innovation is due to the browser being viewed more as a utility application than as a "killer app" - which is how it began life. The original web browsers were highly proprietary and considered to be profit centers (I'm thinking Netscape here and many others that fell by the wayside). When it became obvious the money was elsewhere the browser was "freed" - and innovation (extensions, de facto standards, etc) stopped. This "innovation" stopped not because the browser was made free (beer, speech in some cases) but because there was no money in it.

    The "freeing" of the browser has resulted in everyone running to the same destination and realizing that it's just a tool. Other than adding support for the most current standards, how much innovation does one need in a browser? In fact, I think I'd prefer less innovation in browsers; I'd like them to all render HTML in the same way, at least.

    Will the same thing happen to operating systems? Maybe. However the free operating systems we all know and love were not dreamed up as "killer apps" that would be profit centers. They were created with the expectation that they would be useful to their users. This is what drives true innovation in the free software movement, I think.

    If Linux, *BSD, BeOS and NT all ultimately end up undifferentiated, there will always be someone who wants to do something useful not supported by these crusty old OSes and will start their own initiative.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe we should all just give up and preorder Win2K.

    Troy Denkinger

  • by rhmiller (124794) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:34AM (#1362171) Homepage
    Once a GPL program has entered a market, like Linux has in the OS market, commercial revenue margins come under assault. The hugh margins that some may view as extortion cannot be maintained. Of course can one say that the "innovation" in windows has kept up with its cost. I don't think so. I think the majority of software companies are in for a shock as in the coming years the margins that they have enjoyed will be greatly reduced.
  • by pev (2186) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:13AM (#1362172) Homepage
    Quite a lot of questions have been asked about issues here so I'll try and answer as many as I can :

    Q: As stated in the FAQ it runs in windows and does not need repartitioning... what's this?
    A: If you read the FAQ, it states "you'll be able to download BeOS 5 via a Web browser and store it as a file within the Windows file system." so the money is it on being a filesystem implemented as a file under windows that the kernel will be able to mount."Thats able folks, not have to so you ll still be able to use BFS in a partition as most geeks will want to.

    Q : I still don't think that it will gain widespread acceptance until it is Open Sourced.
    A : Why? look at all the major OS's that are commercial successes - Windows, MacOS, qnx et al. They have not needed open source. Linux does not need open source to be used. How many users actually use the source. It aided its development and growth, but not its usage. If you wish to argue about the closed-ness of api's for writing drivers etc on the BeOS, dont worry as Be are very good at supplying full documentation and sample code as required

    Q : Is Be doing well from a commercial viewpoint?
    A : At the moment, not especially, but are heading towards critical mass steadily. People try to compare linux companies IPO's with Be's - this isnt really relevant as the stock price in linux case was brought up by hype and is not a true indication of revenue coming into these companies and is a debatable point whether it ever will be.

    Q : But it's difficult to find anywhere in retail outlets.
    A : But very easy just to call be, order one and have it arrive on your doorstep

    Q : But how free will this be?
    A : RTFFAQ - totally free for non-commercial and personal use.

    Q : But is this an attempt to garner marketshare by giving the product away?
    A : Probably. Who knows or cares. The fact is that unless you are microsoft, desktop OS's dont make money. Embedded ones do.

    Q : If there's no less than 3 different Linux distros that run on G3 Macs, why can't Be get BeOS on 'em?
    A : Because Be have no support from the hardware vendors. If they are have a commercial product that has a problem for a user, they are liable. Hence, if thats due to lack on info they cant get, they are stuffed. Linux etc. dont have this problem because if it doesnt work, it doesnt work, and no-ones liable.

    Q : Whats missing from this "cut-down" release?
    A : Well, it hasnt been announced but its easy to make a good guess - not a lot. The faq states We do plan to offer for sale an expanded edition of BeOS 5 containing a variety of special software components and other valuable utilities. The dev tools etc are there and as the distro is 40-60M (and all the be system binaries are only 20M) it should all be there. The missing things will likely be extra non-vital tools + utilities. The cut down bits are likely to be all the sounds/videos/images + source that are normally on the cd (an separately available anyway)

    Q : the free version is really like a demo
    A : No its not. Go read the FAQ before talking rubbish.

    Q : Now that Be is concentrating on the Internet, what about the JDK promised here?
    A : Well, I've heard its taking them a little longer due to the Stinger/IA push. Expect something RSN.

    Well, thats about all I think I can add for now. Hopefully this should blitz some of the speculation and unfounded rubbish people have posted so far :-) That is assuming people read others posts as well as just posting their own opinions hoping to appear knowledgable.

    Peace out, and try tasting the OS sometime soon if you havent already,

    ~Pev

  • by richnut (15117) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:01AM (#1362173)
    While I agree it's a double edged sword, Be is doing this for one reason only, to acheive developer critical mass. I've run Be before (not currently) and the reason I'm not running it curently is there are no interesting apps. Personally I think that Be is the coolest media system I've ever seen. Even their simple utilities are astounding. (Playing 6 mp3's simultaneously at different speeds, some backwards using a SB 16 is some pretty cool stuff, not to mention their video stuff) But the high quality apps are not (or were not the last time i checked) there. Anyone who does media would gladly pay for a 'professional' Be if they were able to get their apps for it. To get the apps for it you need to get it in people's hands. Making it gratis will get it into people's hands. Then the developers will port the apps, then the people who need the apps wil switch the OS. Charging for upgraded capacity or more driver support, etc, will start to bring in the revenue.

    -Rich
  • by Shadowlion (18254) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:43AM (#1362174) Homepage
    No. On the other hand, some of us don't subscribe to the notion that selling a proprietary product is akin to extortion and theft.



    Personally, I feel like ESR - I want to use software that doesn't suck. Unlike ESR, I believe that 'lack of suckiness' isn't an exclusive property of the open source movement - that there exists proprietary software which doesn't suck. BeOS is a very good example of that software. Well architectured, easy to program for, and has technology that Linux either is only beginning to get, already has but in a very immature form compared to the BeOS implementation, or won't have for a long time (journalling file systems for the first, MIME-based file types for the second, and system-wide file translators for the third).

    Unfortunately, the zealots have convinced the mainstream media that operating systems are a generic product. Perhaps it's true; perhaps it isn't. What that amounts to, however, is that a product that fits my needs far better than Linux can (now or for the forseeable future) has effectively been driven off the market by PR. It smacks horribly of the same tactics Microsoft is berated for by the Linux community.

    When I first got into the Linux community, I was amazed at how farsighted it was. No stone was left unturned, nobody was ignored, and every possible repercussion was considered, both in software and in politics. Yet, in the thirst for a taste of Microsoft's blood and caught up in its own delusions of grandeur, the Linux community is acting more and more like the very people they claim to despise. Any action is sanctionable as long as it furthers the goal of open source. Great products, whose only technical "flaw" is that they aren't open-sourced, are gone after with the same ferocity and tenacity as if they are the latest incarnation of bloatware from Microsoft.

    Freedom my ass. Paraphrasing somebody else in another article yesterday, if it were left up to the OSS community the only choice I'd get is which open source, free UNIX OS I want to install on my machine.

    Maybe tonight I'll back up my BeOS files, format the disk, and install the latest version of Slackware. That way, I can hang out with a bunch of superhumans who know everything.



  • by WNight (23683) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:22AM (#1362175) Homepage
    Perhaps it's destroyed anyone's chance of selling an OS in this market, or perhaps it's just destroyed the chance of selling an OS that's not at least as good as the free ones.

    Why should anyone pay for an OS when there's a free one, and why should anyone expect to get paid for an OS until they can provide something better than the free one?

    You could just as easily say that the release of Quake1 under GPL destroyed the market for companies selling Wolf 3d-era games.

    I think a quote says it best...

    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit. That is all."


    -- Robert A. Heinlein ("Life-Line")


    If a company can't beat the free products, made by the users themselves, they don't deserve sympathy.

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