[ Thanks to Anthony
Awtrey for this link. ] A WIRED reporter says open source
advocates don't like to hear people who disagree with them, and
uses an example from the O'Reilly Open Source Convention to make
his point. Regular reader Anthony Awtrey provided us with the link
and a brief response.
From the article:
"Why? Because Baker is full of it, a greedy corporate
shill who -- like all those company yes-men -- is intent on
crushing the open movement?
That's not likely -- he chaired the Internet Engineering Task
Force, and he knows computers, and what works and what doesn't work
in tech. He doesn't have a personal interest in crushing the open
movement. And he did have a point -- many open projects are managed
by commercial companies, and it shouldn't be inflammatory to say
So what accounted for the coders' very adverse reactions? They
were blinded by their love for open source -- and that kind of
thing, no matter how happy it makes you, can't be good for a
Reporter Farhad Manjoo asked an open question at the end of the
article and then attempted to answer it for the Open Source
movement. He got the answer wrong. This is a copy of what I sent to
Wired as a reponse to his story.
My company specializes in Open Source / Free Software solutions.
Our experience that software developed using the methods described
in Eric Raymonds 'Cathedral
and Bazaar' provides better software than commercial vendors,
including Mr. Baker's Cisco. Open Source / Free Software is
typically more flexable, provides better features, very high
reliability and reduced costs.
For instance, my company deploys what we call an 'I.D.E.A.L.
Office Gateway' that provides a rules-based firewall, shared
Internet access via NAT, auditable records of all web sites
visitied by employees on the network, automatic network client
configuration and support for Microsoft's PPTP and the IPSec
standard for virtual private network (VPN) access back into the
corporate network. All these features can be remotely administered
for the customer from our offices over encrypted communications
channels for a modest monthly service fee. The software that
provides these services are Free and we can deploy the solution on
our hardware for about the cost of a standard PC or on existing
hardware (486 with 16MB RAM minimum) for the price of our time to
set it up. We regularly have these systems running for hundreds of
days between reboots or any real changes apart from occational
security updates conveniently provided by 'apt-get update ; apt-get
The software that allows us to offer these functions is derived
from the Open Source community and the Free Software Foundation. A
sampling of non-commerical projects and software in this solution
includes the Linux kernel, Squid, DHCP, PPTP/PPP,FreeSWAN, and
OpenSSH. None of these projects have or have needed corporate
leadership in the up to 10 years some of them have been under
active development. This evidence flies squarely in the face of Mr.
Baker's claims that quality software inevitably requires corporate
oversight. Perhaps the reactions of the coders Mr. Manjoo cites
would have been the same if Mr. Baker claimed the moon was made of
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