On Open Source Dying…

Let me make it clear for you Michael Hickins of Eweek. Your Article “Is Open Source Dying?” doesn’t even make it into the outer ring of the target for facts. If you were trying to shoot an arrow into the air with this article, you’d miss.

I can help you though…I can set you straight. Not that I’m an ALL WISE & KNOWING person, just that I have the ability to do research, ingest said research, digest the research and learn from the research. You stop at ‘do research’. Let us examine where your train derailed (not the physical place…because this obviously is at the beginning…but rather, where in your subject you go wrong).

Open Document does not equal Open Source

Any conclusions you try to draw between adoption or non-adoption of ODF in any state or local government amounts to NOTHING. Whether ODF succeeds in being adopted or not does not mean Open Source will succeed or not. They are not inversely proportional and they are not directly proportional. If ODF get’s thrown out for MS Formats, Open Source will still be there and still be developed. This is like saying that

Disagreeing with Yourself doesn’t Validate your Message

Disagreeing with the title of your article saying “Is Open Source dying? Of course not” does not bring instantaneous credibility or make the reader sigh a collective sight of relief. Instead, it makes you look ridiculous for even writing the article in the first place. Afterall, we know you’re comparing elephants to chickens with the ODF = Open Source thing…and now you’re trying to make up for it. Try is the key word there. You fail because of your closing paragraph (see below)

Sabre Rattling and Finger Shaking Makes you Look Even More Silly

[quote]But the open-source community needs to get over its overweening sense of superiority and messianic inevitability; the alternative is just good enough that if it doesn’t get its act together, open source may find itself the subject of retrospectives like “Remember Unix?[/quote]

Um..ok? The open source community doesn’t need to get over any overweening sense of superiority or that other made up phrase you used. Why? Because the GPL makes it that way. It cannot be snuffed out, bought up, or killed…it will never die…it will never fade away…because the moment someone decides to try, it will replicate itself due to the openness and sharing within that same community you chastise (or did you mean ODF Community? I forget, since they’re so synonymous right?). So, I guess that makes people angry…it’s a smudge that won’t go away. A blemish right? A light that won’t go out. Well, keep trying. Keep giving resistance…please :) Open Source will win without a fight :D

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without
fighting.” Sun-Tzu

Why Having 500+ Distros is a Good Thing

I just browsed back across some old bookmarks I had made on subjects to blog about. I’ve been playing catch up for the last few days as some of my projects I’ve been working on are slowing down. During this browsing session, I happened upon a blog entry titled “So Many Distros, So Little Time” which originally jumped across the RSS reader during January of this year. I gave it an honest read and was disgusted with the article quite a bit. Let me go point for point on this:

1. “We don’t need to keep reinventing Linux, creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places.”

This couldn’t be more wrong. We DO need to keep reinventing Linux and creating distributions that put critical bits in interesting and inventive if unusual places. Without these multiple distributions and their drive to do what isn’t “normal” or “business as usual” innovation would be left up to a small number of distros and developers. Innovation thrives in the current environment…we have seen how desktop Linux has lept & bounded during the past 3-4 years. This statement is not only false, but it shows how much people (even industry consultants/analysts/journalists with over 25 years in the business) totally miss the mark when it comes to Linux and Open Source Software.

I assume you’d prefer a ‘unified distro’ or at least fewer to choose from…one where everyone can stop spinning their wheels developing for that small time distro and all join hands and work on that larger distro and make it 1000% better right? That’s something that won’t happen and shouldn’t happen.

Perhaps you think new users will be scared of all of these choices? I bet these same new users walk around in circles when picking out a new shirt or shopping for a pair of pants…there is just too many of them isn’t there? Using this as a reason for justification of having fewer distros is silly and stupid.

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InfoWorld Employs Ignorant Journalists

NOTE: ComputerWorld Senior Online Projects Editor, Ian Lamont, has contacted me and asked that I provide a correction to the information contained in this post. The original article by Neil McAllister did not originally appear at Computerworld. It was first published by InfoWorld…however, there was no originating link published with the Computerworld posting of the article linking back to this original posting…so assumption was justified but wrong. Thus, Computerworld is not the employer of ignorance, rather, InfoWorld is :) It is important to note that Compturworld is a subsidiary (is that the right word?) of http://idg.net of which InforWorld is as well. Unfortunately, due to syndication, the title of this article is the URL and has been passed around at many, many different places.

So, I’ll be retitling and editing the article accordingly to provide seamless redirection. I apologize to Computerworld if in any way, shape, or form for my mistake did any character damage or incurred the rath senior editors and/or caused anyone to lose face or get made fun of (unless they’re dressed in horrible attire or didn’t brush their teeth this morning, in which case, they should apologize to everyone else). The original Computerworld syndication of Mr. McAllister’s article is located here. A copy of the original article I penned is available upon request via the comments section of this article. Thanks!


Articles like this one are so misguided. Giving you a brief overview what the article from InfoWorld says: Open Source supporters build fortresses around them that make them unapproachable and have infinite animosity toward Microsoft. Yep, that about sums it up. I’ll show you below how this article was written by an ignorant journalist…one that probably is too prideful to ask for help when writing his garbage. Next time you go to write something, why don’t you ask someone? Heck, ask me…I’d help you not to make a fool of yourself and stay accurate with the facts. Instead, InfoWorld shows mud on its face while pretending they’re subject matter experts.

I’d expect it from say…a standard blog discussing technology or perhaps a publication site that only has a technology section with a writer or two that pens just enough to wet the appetite of the computer savvy portion of its demographic. But InfoWorld? Come on! These guys should do a bit more research…afterall, they’re part of IDG which is the leading distributor of computer and technology based magazines and newspapers on the entire planet…you’d think that they might hire someone with a bit more knowledge in the arena of open source. They lead off the entire article with the following:

“If you support open source, one of the initial things you learn is that you must bash Microsoft.”

Well, I missed that memo. Last I checked on Sourceforge, there were around 6,000 pieces of open source software available for Windows and the Microsoft platform. Perhaps the author is confusing the term Open Source with Linux as many people do. They sit there and think that Linux and Open Source are synonymous. That just isn’t so. Linux is just one of many Open Source programs available…and one of many that can be said contain a philosophy biased against Microsoft Software. I always take note that some of the best programs out there that have a GPL License make my job eaiser on the Microsoft Platform at work. When you generalize things like this, you should at least get the generalization correct. In this instance, he didn’t.

Now…perhaps the author just opened up with the wrong sentence right? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and take a look at the second sentence:

It’s understandable; of all the
proprietary software companies in the world the one in Redmond takes
the cake for ill-will towards the open-source community. Just look at
the famed “Halloween documents” to see the extent of the bad blood”

Uh…last I checked the Halloween Documents were penned by Microsoft which was why they were so damning. So, the benefit of the doubt was given but shouldn’t have been. The author is implying that the Halloween Documents were somehow written by Open Source supporters in an attempt to bring ‘ill-will’ toward Microsoft. Funny isn’t it? This means that the author didn’t even read the Halloween Documents enough to know this simple fact. The author probably didn’t even read the Halloween Documents FAQ. Does it get any better later in the article?

Nope. Read on for the full digression.

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Opinion: Why Some Linux News Sites Aren’t Succeeding

I always hate it when a Linux “news” website publishes things that aren’t news. It would be like having a hosting website that doesn’t do hosting…what’s the point really? IF you can call a news article the gathering together of various other news sources, threading them together in one incoherent and blabbering “news” article and then ending the entire article on a point that the headline doesn’t even address…nor the first paragraph for that matter…then I guess LinuxInsider has got a dollop of fecal inspired “journalism” for you right on their front page. A retarded baboon could thread a bunch of stories together and draw a conclusion that doesn’t have anything to do with any other part by smacking a brick on a typewriter. I suggest LinuxInsider employ a retarded baboon as opposed to the author of this horrible piece.

What’s going on with many Linux news websites today? It used to be about the proliferation of Linux and Linux IN THE NEWS. Nowadays it’s about who can be the most creative with their Linux aphorisms and who can draw the most conclusions about nothing all while ensuring that as many advertisements as possible barrage their readers. This is why I only go to 2 websites for general Linux NEWS…Lxer.com and LWN.net. Newsforge is a good place to go as well…but the rest seem to do nothing but dance around the idea that they can widen out and cover all business news, report a little bit on Linux, and become a ‘catch all’ for savvy “geeks” while being sure to saturate themselves with ads. Sites should understand more about their target audience…and that just isn’t happening now.

I think it comes down to a faulty business model. Target audiences are changing faster than the technology that is released daily. Larger news websites whether Linux based or not are counting on “clickthroughs” and ad “impressions” to tell them what their readers want. They’re counting on their names to carry them and they’re wrong in accepting this matter. In the past, Linux has been somewhat geeks only…or at least rumored to be. That has changed. Most news sites haven’t.

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Information Week Slams the Kernel…Finger Lickin Good.

Information Week, who strive to be at the forefront of business innovation through technology, have recently lashed out (subtly mind you) at Linux…specifically the Linux Kernel.

The article is entitled, “The Linux Kernel’s Fuzzy Future” and they are oh so careful not to directly bash anyone or anything. However, it is obvious that they are trying to show that the kernel “ain’t no Microsoft” (thank God for that…we’d all be broke). These types of articles are normally known as FUD when directly attacking different parties. They are spread across the internet through syndication and other means to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (Hence, FUD). In this case…the FUD is only a thin coating and you barely notice it…but it’s there.

Here’s the problem with ebusiness sites and corporate news portals critiquing Linux and open source in general…Linux is not Micro$oft, and Micro$oft isn’t Linux. End of story. So should Linux be viable for business? Who cares? Linux is free and designed for the community…not for the business.

My reasoning comes from this notion…how can you compare something designed to be free for all developing at the leisure and pace of thousands of developers worldwide…to something designed to be closed source developing on the backs of some choice employees…it really is apples and oranges. Micro$oft needs deadlines and roadmaps to live…because without it…we’re left wondering when the next patch for this or next security pack for that will be out.

With Open Source…there is no NEED for roadmaps. The next patch to a security flaw…the next update…will be out within a few hours in most cases. Why? Because worldwide there are hundreds of thousands of developers communicating simultaneously toward a common goal. I don’t think there is a single company that can actively compete against that. I also highly doubt if any major business has seen the speed at which a project can develop when it is open sourced.

So this article strikes a nerve, albeit very craftily and indirectly, with me. Take it or leave it, my two cents on the matter.

Sources

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=54800186