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The user is a rapidly evolving creature being defined by possibility.
opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] Friday, May 04, 2001

Closed Source-Open Source

Computers add and subtract. Once you get away from the bells and whistles, and cut to the core, computers add and subtract. Everything you see on the screen, whether you watch or produce, is a result of adding and subtracting. Computer Programs are lines of code that add and subtract. Source Code is what runs computer programs. There are two kinds. Closed Source and Open Source.

Closed Source software is code that is written and compiled into machine instructions that allow you to do things with your computer like read this. The source code is held by the folks who developed the program. Microsoft is a closed source company. The primary reason for this is to make money. There is nothing wrong with this. They are the most successful company on the planet on these terms.

Open Source software is code that is written and compiled into machine instructions that allow you to do things with your computer as well. The difference is that the Source Code is available for you to examine, rewrite, change and scratch your head in wonder like me. I use programs, rather than creating them. Linux is the Open Source operating system creating a major shift in personal and corporate computing.

One of the driving forces of repressive regimes of all types throughout history has been to create divisiveness with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It helps if you can close off other methods and information.

A recent talk given by Craig Mundie of Microsoft entitled The Commercial Software Model presents Microsoft's case for business the Microsoft Way.

The business model I am speaking of for Phase 3 is the Commercial Software Model. The taxonomy of this model is built around 5 key elements:
  • Community: a strong support community of developers
  • Standards: promote collaboration and interoperability while supporting innovation and healthy competition
  • Business Model: promotes the growth of a profitable business
  • Investment: level of research and development investment drives resources for future innovation
  • Licensing Model: provides product and source access without jeopardizing the intellectual property rights of those who create or use the software

The passage above is a masterful creation of manipulation. All of the current buzzwords are here: community, standards, profitable, investment, intellectual property.

The Open Source community believes in sharing everything. Jim Allchin from Microsoft said that this was Un-American.

Allchin said he's concerned that the open-source business model could stifle initiative in the computer industry. "I'm an American, I believe in the American Way,'' he said. ''I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat."
Microsoft Executive Says Linux Threatens Innovation (Update1)
read here - go there

Linux is coming.

"That choice is the fundamental threat to Microsoft's business model, and it's the reason they're getting clobbered by Linux in the server market (every month, more Linux installations come up on web servers alone than in Microsoft's entire Windows 2000 customer base). So it's not just individual open-source projects like Linux and Apache Microsoft has to defeat -- it's the open-source way of thinking about software. "
Eric S. Raymond: Beware the Microsoft shell game
read here - go there
"We in the open-source community see this for what it is -- a counterfeit, a trick, a scam. It's aimed at recruiting free labor for Microsoft without giving the outside contributors any stake in or control of the results of their effort. In true open source, all parties are equal. When I give you my software under an open-source license, you have exactly the same rights as I do. That's what I trade you in return for your help in testing and improving the software. That's the voluntary cooperation that built the Internet. "
FSF: The GNU General Public License Protects Software Freedoms
read here - go there

The Internet is Open Source from the front to the back. You can View Source and see the HTML code I have used to write this. You can read it, copy it, change it, save it or delete it, as it is written in a standard language that anyone can use. As for community, standards, investment, intellectual property and making money, I'm not worried. This is called Paying it Forward. People will read and think about what I have written, follow the links to the Source Material and make their own judgements. They may mention this on their sites, quote passages, or even email me to discuss it.

I am personally working to put my entire business on Linux. Don't worry about me. I receive a substantial portion of my income fixing Windows software problems. So you keep making it, we'll keep fixing it until we replace it.

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