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Inprise Developer News: Programmers or entrepreneurs?

When royalties are out of the question, programmers find
innovative ways of earning profits, such as providing value-added
services. New ways of making business out of open source are being
invented every day.

“Amateurs!” That’s what critics call open-source programmers.
And sometimes they really mean “hackers”: those who lack the
knowledge and attitude required to do the job well. Well,
open-source software is open after all, and anyone, knowledgeable
or not, can take a “hack” at it. But the quality of open-source
software like BIND or Sendmail (on which the Internet lives and
breathes), or of the many components of Linux distributions, leaves
no room for doubt: these guys know what they’re doing.”

“More frequently, though, the term “amateur” is used in contrast
to “professional”; it distinguishes those who work at something for
fun from those who do the job seriously — for a living. Last week
I suggested that those who perceive open-source programmers to be
mere hobbyists were in for a big surprise. Well, surprise!”


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