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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: [OT] What is OSS [was: Cocoon Stammtisch]
Date Tue, 20 May 2003 07:04:27 GMT
On 20/05/2003 8:58 Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> on 5/20/03 1:22 AM Matthew Langham wrote:

>>However, even in this case, being able to purchase the source may also be an
>>advantage when compared to a commercial product that comes without the
> True, but the term "open source" (even if semantically very weak, I
> admit) is *much* more than having access to the source code and this is
> because having access to the source code *alone* does not allow a
> community to build around a codebase.

Right. We own some commercial licenses of XXE, so we get the source 
code. We haven't even bothered to look at it, since we know we'll only 
get an updated version upon the next release. In-between releases, 
there's no (read-only) CVS with commit messages - just great silence.

Using open source as an excuse to poor API documentation or as a cheapo 
escrow method really sucks. I'd rather pay more and get a decent manual, 
managed release scheme, and serious support from a proprietary software 
vendor, then.

That doesn't mean XXE is a bad product, it offers good value for money, 
but the "you get the source if you pay" scheme is just plain marcom-talk.

Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source, Java & XML Competence Support Center
Read my weblog at  
stevenn at                stevenn at

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