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Re: [tlug] GPL vs. paid version and ethics

Attila Kinali writes:

 > Any references to those papers?

Eric Raymond's papers "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", "Homesteading
the Noosphere", and "The Magic Cauldron" are available from his home
page (or one of them, anyway):

The Gang of Four response was Bollinger, Terry, Russell Nelson,
Karsten Self, and Stephen J. Turnbull, ``Response: Open-Source
Methods: Peering Through the Clutter,'' IEEE Software, July/August
1999, pp. 8--11.  Steve McConnell's leader is in the same issue.

 > And which Front Side Bus do you mean? ;-)

The Free Software Business list at, run by Russ Nelson.

 > > That's not to say that there aren't significant, high-value areas of
 > > software where hobbyists can do the job, namely those areas where the
 > > hobbyists are the users who matter.[2]  Prominent examples include the
 > > Linux kernel itself and the Apache webserver.
 > Uhmm.. a prominent counter example would be libav/ffmpeg.
 > It has been started by hobbists, and 10 years later it ist still
 > run by hobbists.

You don't get to use counterexamples.  You're the one who made the
sweeping claim that you'd expect a team of hobbyists to produce better
software than a paid team.

 > > The thing is, there never would have been a Mozilla without Netscape,
 > > and no OpenOffice without Sun Microsystems.  
 > s/Sun Microsystems/Star Division/ ;-)

I stand by my spelling.  There was a piece of crap called Abiword,
too.  It had some financial backing but it wasn't something that you
could really substitute for MS Office.  These programs need a *lot* of
muscle behind them.

 > > Admittedly, Mozilla today
 > > is a more open project and still is a big improvement over IE, but
 > > OpenOffice is just a wannabe.
 > I dont follow exactly what's happening around Open/LibreOffice, but
 > AFAIK it went completely OSS after the Oracle debacle and is still
 > going strong.

AFAIK under Sun's ownership it's always been OSS.  But like Mozilla
and the kernel, OOo and LO development is dominated by people who may
not be paid to do it but put in their 40+ hours a week on it anyway.
"Well, no, Dave, it's not the kind of project any ordinary Joe can do
in their backyard."

With apologies to Neil Young:

 > But those that survive the first couple of years are of a lot
 > better breed than their comercial counterparts.  IMHO

Perhaps if you're a hacker.  I doubt that very many non-programmers
would agree with you.

 > Then you have a much better experience than i.

Learn Python so you can hang out with a better class of people and
employers, and get a better job is all I can say. :-)

 > I've done that for MPlayer for a couple of years. Filter all incoming
 > bug reports for stuff that would be real bugs (most of them were user
 > errors) and pass them on to the developers. Unfortunately, nobody paid
 > me anything for it...

And someday you'll quit and maybe somebody will pick up the slack and
maybe they won't.

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