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From Stephen McConnell <mcconn...@apache.org>
Subject Re: How BSD hurts OpenSource
Date Wed, 14 May 2003 09:14:21 GMT

Andrew Savory wrote:

>On Wed, 14 May 2003, Stephen McConnell wrote:
>>1. open-source is free and that is a problem for department managers
>>because this means they loose budget
>Fair comment up to a point - but there are vendors of open source software
>out there, so there are ways around this (although admittedly, not nearly
>enough vendors yet).
>>2. on the pragmatic front - open-source means you have to have the
>>resources to be able to continue independently
>>back to the question - is it better to go with a commercial solution
>>(a.k.a. problem transference) or take responsibility (a.k.a. internal
>The fallacy in this argument is assuming that commercial software will
>never go in a direction that's incompatible with your requirements, and
>that the commercial company will always be around to support your needs.
>In fact, what often happens is that the commercial company (or
>'proprietary software vendor') tends to release bug fixes labelled as
>upgraded software, stuffed with irrelevant new 'features' to entice you to
>buy. This software often heads in a direction you don't want to go in, but
>you are forced to upgrade by the need to ensure continual support (and the
>previous product is rapidly dropped from the commercial company's list of
>supported products).
>It's a catch-22 situation. The only difference is that the proprietary /
>commercial solutions tend to be wrapped up and sugar-coated in management
>friendly 'upgrade/new feature' lingo.
>I'd opt for internal responsbility every time, but I'm a massochist ;-)

Me too!


So what are the things that strengthen the OS proposition:

 1. lowering the barrier to engagement
 2. reducing the risk (technically and legally)

I think the Apache license is doing the right thing in lowering the risk 
legally - simply because it enables liberty in usage (irrespective of 
any underlying agenda).  Reducing technical risk is a community issue - 
all of the usual stuff concerning roadmaps, release management and so 
on.  Lowering the technical barrier is something I figure we have a long 
we to go on.  But again, Apache is well positioned top address this via 
the infrastructure team together with new developments in packaging and 
service management - but that's another topic!

Cheers, Steve.


Stephen J. McConnell

Sent via James running under Merlin as an NT service.

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