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osOpinion: Coding As An Art Form vs. "The Man"

Aug 03, 2000, 08:31 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Mildenstein)

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"While many OSS projects are not as feature laden as some of their commercial counterparts, they frequently make up for those deficits in other ways (price excluded for my point here, since that would be an obvious one). Truth be known, I vastly prefer the GIMP to PhotoShop. While your opinion might be different, I find that I can do far more, and easier, using the GIMP. This pattern is prevalent among the geek culture, as new users discover and use OSS, they are not always drawn merely by a program's lack-of-financial-investment-necessity, but by its utility, features, and performance...."

"I stopped studying software programming in college because the programs my instructors wanted me to code were too boring, and not of interest to me. Many of the OSS developers (who actually contribute) do it as volunteers because they love what they do, and want to have input in a product. At work, they have to do what "the Man" tells them, whether or not their opinion of the project is different. On their own time, they code what they want to, and many of them code OSS projects. It's obviously not to make money, so why do they do it? Is it because they want to make something better, or perhaps they would like to exert some level of "control" in their lives. If an OSS project is designed better than what they're working on at their place of employment, wouldn't it stand to reason that one compelling reason OSS can and does succeed is because at some level, it is designed to be superior to existing products?"

"Granted, this is idealistic, and not all developers with side projects choose the OSS model, so I'll go on. There are few who are truly experienced with both who would argue that Win9x is more stable than Linux. I know this is flamebait, but lets keep reading for a moment. I've heard it said that commercially developed software will always be superior and desirable over OSS software because money drives said development. I contend the opposite (although there's always room for the occasional exception). Please permit me to show why."

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