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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Killing open source

Did you know that Open Source (yes, I chose to write it with capitals) can be killed? Yes, that is at least what Dana Blankenhorn from zdNet thinks.

I've written last week about my opinion on what Dana thinks. I really like to read his articles, because they get me pissed every time. But that is a good thing. It makes me think about an issue on hand, and sometimes I change my mind about them. Sometimes I don't, because I make my opinion even stronger.

So, this time Dana talks about two possible ways to "kill" open source (just like that - no mentioning whether is he talking about specific software, generally open source software or the concept):

  1. Spam it to death. (He mentions that this is what killed newsgroups).
  2. Keep it from getting raw material.
I personally think that both reasons are dumb. I'm not sure about the possibility of "killing" open source as whole, but this sound like a very cool journalistic trick to draw attention.

So, regarding the first his suggestion - spamming the open source to death...laughable, isn't it? I just can't understand how "open source" can be spammed to an unimaginable death.
If it is software - a specific one at that - then such vendors as IBM, Red Hat, Google, Novell, Sun - might have to say something about it. If it is a community - then spammers will shoot each other's way of life, because many of them use and are actual member of open source communities. And if it is a concept - how can one "spam" a concept with a useless info? I have no idea.

The second suggestion - keep open source from getting raw material, is somehow a good point. If content providers would not allow me to consume their content with my open source tools, that would be a problem. But then, wouldn't that make me to search for another content provider? Such as one that allows me to use the content, especially if I'm ready to pay for it? This would benefit me and that provider, and the former one that never agreed to me using his content with my choice of software/hardware, will loose.

While loosing me is not such a big deal, I believe that loosing such big communities as Ubuntu/Debian users, Fedora/Red Hat users, Solaris users and SuSe users would be a major loss, because these are potential millions of customers who's money will go to other vendors.

And finally, it open source [community/concept] can be killed, then, please, let me know how do you do it with Creative Commons song, book or beer.

Just my 5 cents.

-A.


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