Linux Magazine: Open Source is Dead: I Read it on the Net

“Of course, open source advocates are going to have to develop
tougher skins and get used to criticism, founded or not, because
open source is mainstream now. The critics you hear these days
declaring open source unsustainable tend to look rather narrowly
over the past few years of development, and largely Linux
development at that.
Never mind the fact that open source has
been going strong since guys in the 60s put paper tape rolls of
code on display for their colleagues with the invitation, “Hack
away!” Oh sure, there are plenty of cases where open source hasn’t
instantly translated a perfect product or mass riches and success.
Contrary to what last year’s IPO and venture capital mania may have
presaged, in the long run it will remain a challenge to make gobs
and gobs of money developing and promoting a free product.”

“Dreamers who think open source will lead directly to a global
gift economy by 2003 or some nonsense like that aside, the
challenge for “commercial” open source has been and will continue
to be finding a sustainable support and services revenue stream to
make the books balance at the end of the year. If you take a little
peek over at LinuxCare and their recent financial and management
troubles, you will see that this sort of business plan takes
careful planning, execution, and luck.”

“Open source doesn’t have to cure cancer, feed the starving, or
make anyone who ever set an environment variable a paper
billionaire for it to survive. None of these things mean the death
or failure of the open source movement. I don’t think one CEO
behind a Linux IPO swore a solemn oath on a copy of Linux Unleashed
to strictly adhere to open source business principles. That doesn’t
mean they won’t continue to benefit from and bolster in turn open
source development.”


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