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osOpinion: The Ultimate Open Source: NATURE

[ Thanks to Kelly
McNeill
for this link. ]

People who claim that Open Source software cannot become
profitable, or viable, or competitive with the so-called
“mainstream” proprietary software are just plain wrong. One example
that proves just how wrong they are is — Nature itself.

“Open Source means that people who want to use or modify
software have access to *all* of the information necessary to do
so. This is different from the proprietary world, where developers
and hobbyists are at the mercy of the copyright owner as to just
what information is available. The copyright owner may be a Good
Guy, and give everyone equal and fair access to all information
about APIs, interfaces, protocols, and data formats — in a timely
and accurate manner, with decent documentation — or else he/she
may be a Bad Guy, using this vital information to play favorites
and tilt the marketplace unnaturally toward their own private,
closed solution. They may do this by selective revelation, or by
deceptive revelation — actually lying about the innards of their
code. The prime example of this Bad Guy character in today’s world
is, of course, Microsoft.”

“But wait a minute — what’s “unnatural” about tilting the
playing field toward one’s own product? Doesn’t everyone do that?
Yes, up to a point. The use of marketing, innovation, and
hard-nosed negotiation has historically been the competitive
methodology of businesses of every size and in every market. But
the difference is that in the manufacturing and sale of physical
products, such as automobiles, homes, clothing, and foodstuffs,
there has always been a “base” or “core” level of natural law that
is available to all competitors equally….”

Complete
Story