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New Media says Set your Code Free 45

Caleb Shay writes "The cover of New Media Magazine this month declared "Free Your Code, Free Your Mind" and "If you love your online business Set Your Code Free". They have a pretty good article on Open Source and Linux and give some compelling reasons to switch over.You can reach the online version of the article here. "
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New Media says Set your Code Free

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  • ID Software does something like that, only the opposite - rather than publishing the game engine, they publish the game logic to enable people to create new variations on the classic shoot-em-up, like Air Quake where you fly around in planes or Quake Superheros where you get to have super powers. The numerous mods out there greatly enhance Quake's replayability, and so greatly drives sales of the main game. It's not completly open source, but it is a good example of the synergistic relationship between the game's creators and an active development community.
  • I didn't read that comment as Microsoft-bashing. It seemed to me that the guy was saying that he didn't really see any downsides to free source, and if you wanted to hear about downsides, you should go talk to Microsoft... they'd point out plenty of FUD^H^H^Hdownsides for you.
  • Red Hat makes money, but not what anybody would call "a lot of money." A lot of their money comes from investments from people such as Intel. Also, they don't really make money from writing Open Source software. They distribute software other people wrote - the authors themselves don't make money from it (apart from the few Red Hat employs).

    IBM makes "a lot of money," but that's from the very expensive computers and support contracts they sell to very large customers. Surely you don't think Jikes is what brings in most of IBM's income?

    O'Reilly doesn't write Open Source software for a living. They make money on books about Open Source software, which isn't relevant to the issue of trying to make money from writing the actual software.

    Caldera does not follow the Open Source business model. You'll notice that much of OpenLinux, apart from the kernel and other GPL'd parts, is closed source. In fact, AFAIK, everything that Caldera *could* keep closed source, they did.

    Va Research also does not make money from writing Open Source software, they just sell computers with it installed.

    So I'm still looking for a good example of a company that makes money writing Open Source software. POV-ray seems to make some money, and the source is available, but the license isn't an Open Source license (it's copyrighted freeware). I can't think of any company which actually makes money solely from writing Open Source software.
  • Posted by antivert:

    Scenario 1: Company A sees an open source product it likes, and decides to build a value-added product using that tool. The open source project still gets credit, everyone's relatively happy.

    Scenario 2: The company starts an open source project. Programmers on the internet help create the package, and the company gets most of the credit. As well they should. They're the ones who organized the project and wrote the initial code.. just as Larry Wall gets credit for Perl. Everyone knows it's an open source project.. it's not as if we think Larry Wall wrote the entire thing.

    Forgive me for saying so, but I really don't see anything wrong with either of these. (as long as the programmers at least get mentioned and thanked! ;)
  • Posted by K8_Fan:

    This writer at least mentioned that, in the begining (pre-Microsoft) most software was Open Source. Only a lunatic would have purchased an operating system that didn't come with source.

  • Heck with this, I want to make a buck off my code thank you. What I want to see is Open Law - free legal representation. Open Medicine - free health care. Open Farm - free food. Open TV - free cable without adverts. Open Movie - free movies without previews [let's start with Star Wars!]

    Methinks you misunderstand the meaning of the term "Free Software", troll. If you understood it, you might actually think it to be a Good Thing® to have the various Open* things you've mentioned. But don't forget your Visa.


  • Read the GNU manifesto a few times. Software is a sequence of numbers... on today's hardware, it costs next to nothing to reproduce (and when it's "stolen", it's not even on the CPU or I/O time of the vendor, but on some unattached customer). If you're talking movies in a theatre, your admission supports the services provided (paying for shipment of the reels, staff to run the projector, clean up the theatres, etc). If you're talking just the content of a video tape, or a DVD, well, it's not much different from the software model. Same with CDs. It's the recording industry and movie industries of the world gouging its customers on licensing fees.
  • by sterwill ( 972 )
    The QT way isn't free software. The user isn't free to do a whole host of things with the code he has, like make major improvements and share them with his friends. I think it's better to make money off the services often desired from a software vendor (support, customization, consulting).
  • Oh, yes, I thought I implied the licensing fees there. I've never run a theatre, so I don't know the breakdown of the business model, but I realize the motion picture publishers are the ones making the big money.
  • Ok. It's nice that more and more people are being introduced to the world of free software. However, I'm not convinced that "Open Source" isn't being marketed too heavily. When I see quotes like
    Brown is quick to add that the open-source model can help large companies trying to keep an innovative edge. "It lets them engage as many minds as possible," he says.
    I worry that people are seeing Open Source as a means to release their code, let the "thousands of programmers" work on it, and then sell the result with no labor cost. I'm probably oversimplifying a bit, but that's how I see it. Granted, it does get the source available (unless they try to base their license on the Open Source Guidelines, but that's another rant []), but I'm not sure if they're doing it for the right reasons.

    This is just another mini-rant from a person disillusioned (yet again) by the corporate world.

    Additionally, I'd like to complain about Rob's HTML. I know that it's a script generating the page, but he could at least put in some line breaks to make the source more readable. All of the content on the first page is on the same line.

    --Phil (My recent posts all seem to have off-topic bits pasted on at the end--need to focus more.)
  • I would rephrase your clue as such: Releasing your source is a good idea, but you should do it for the right reasons, and understand what you're doing.

    People shouldn't release their code in order to let the "teeming hordes of programmers on the Internet" play with it and polish it up for them. In many cases, that won't happen--people often only work on things that they want to work on, and if they don't want to work on BigCorp's Nifty Widget Counter v3.7, they're probably not going to. I think that people releasing their code because they hope to get their programming done for free are going to be disappointed. (Well, unless they're Netscape...) People should release code because they want others to benefit from it. If a company can say, "We have these internal tools that we custom-wrote and we're not making any money from them. Let's release the source so that, if someone else needs something similar, they won't have to reinvent the wheel." Omnigroup did this [], and I hope that someone can benefit from those tools.

    Note that I'm not sure how this would work with a company deriving its primary income from sales of software. Altruism and profit seem so often to be mutually exclusive. Changing the business model to a more service-oriented one would work, but a lot of companies are resistant to change.

    --Phil (I hope I'm not being too optimistic.)

  • As a technology and a business model, copyleft/open source + widely available internet access seems to be disruptive (a new way) both to existing business and to society. duh.

    Whats wrong with the "model" relying mostly on people simply wanting to continue learning and developing where they see fit, and possibly profiting from their efforts on the side? Or for the more motivated/gifted, possibly quite profitable. Have we forgotten the meaning of the word "acadamia"? Why do we think big business must drive all aspects of our society? Have we been all hypnotized by big business marketing? Methinks so.

  • Nobody should be expected to provide their hard earned money or effort to give you (or anyone) free beer.

    What we are talking about when we say "open software" isn't free software. We are talking about an open exchange of ideas and information. Oddly, this kind of open exchange is one of the few things we humans are good at. Should we abandon such an open exchange of ideas and information, we'll just end up spending our time on other things we're good at, like war, making cool war toys, and having sex scandals.
  • Given that MacOS and Windoze dominate multimedia production (flame shield: this is a generalization..), I'm surprised New Media paid any attention to Open Source, and Linux.

    There is a "web" spin on this, Apache and all, so technically it fits within some of their user's line of work.

    I'd love to see an OSS version of a multimedia-centric development tool for Linux... like Director, or Jamba (used to be Jamba QA...).
  • That was a well written, positive, honest article. It will be a good year (and I'm not just talking about open source... :)

    Oh, Happy New Year, folks.
  • "Viable" means: making a living. Like in staying alive and fed. Bill Gates is not typical of a successful business. Creating employment for lots of competent, hard working people is success, in my book, not exploiting a fulcrum of discretionary control to amass billions.

    As Bob Young of Red Hat puts it: He doesn't want to conquer the Microsoft OS market, but cut it down to size -- by destroying the scope for monopolistic exploitation and creating service opportunities instead.

    And by the way: if you don't see a way to make money out of open source, too bad for you. Others do!
  • Loved this line!
    Can Veen think of no downside to open source? "A downside? I don't know, have you talked to Microsoft?"
  • People tend to spend a lot of time bashing Big Corporations when, in fact, a LOT of our salaries are paid by those same corporations. Less $$$ spent on buggy proprietary software means more $$$ to push my way to work on other interesting things. Sure, Open Source isn't going to take over ALL the software in the world, but just because CEO's and their assorted Fat Cats like Open Source doesn't mean it has to be a Bad Thing for us peons...
  • As much as I have personally gained from open source software, and as much as I'm generally in favor of the concept...I'm not sure about it as a business model just yet. No one has demonstrated that they can make a lot of money with this model. And no folks, Red Hat doesn't qualify as having made "a lot of money".
  • That's right; it's contraction of "open source" and "successful".
  • There are a few problems with this reasoning. First, while it may cost next to nothing to reproduce a piece of software, consider the costs associated with its production:

    1. Initial and ongoing development
    2. Support
    3. Sales/marketing
    4. Distribution
    5. Overhead

    Just as there is value in the experience provided by a movie theater, software also provides value. Consider the difference between having to produce a hand-written report, complete with graphics, vs. firing up the word processor and doing it all digitally. Why is it more reasonable to pay $7.50 for a movie ticket (each time), than to compensate a company for the value provided by a software application that saves you a great deal of time, makes your job much easier, and enables you to produce something of much higher quality than you could manually?
  • There were some noisey comments about the target="_blank" thing here. Looks like they have been killed. Oh well.

    It prompted me to try to hack a way to stop Netscape from popping up another window every time some idiot decides to shove one down my throat. Here's what I came up with but only briefly tested

    mv netscape.bin netscape.bin.bak
    sed 's/target/XXXXXX/' netscape.bin
    chmod a+x netscape.bin

    Don't forget to disable JavaScript.

    I've done this to my 3.04 Gold and it seems to be working.

  • If no one is making money, it sure isn't my fault. I paid $22.00 to IDG for a book with RH4.2, I paid $49.95 for the RH5.0 box set, I paid $22.00 for Sams/RH book and $17.00 to O'Reilly for a nutshell:)
  • This is excatly what bothers me about this whole GPL problem. Where one draws a line ?? What is so special about software that does not apply to say, movies ???
  • by warmi ( 13527 )
    That's what I think. Sort of like QT ( old license.) One pays for software , gets source code that he can use to enhance or adapt soft to his particular needs , but does not have a right to redistribute any part of it. This keeps businesses happy and still alows people to fix, enhance code withour waiting for vendor to get around with the patch.
  • Or what about Cygnus, they release the GNU ProToolkit, great compiler. The source isn't FREE, yet it is open. Anyone who pays the fee for the compiler receives the source. So there is ANOTHER example of money making via open-source. :)

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.