AlwaysOn: How Far Can Open Source Go?
Mar 07, 2003, 10:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marten Mickos)
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"Let's start with the basics. Open Source is a new method for
producing and deploying software. The production piece has been
called 'commons-based peer production' by scholars and is seen as
the third global mode of production. (The first two were described
by Nobel laureate Ronald Coase many years ago as (i) employees
following directions of managers, and (ii) individuals in markets
following price signals.). Linux and Apache, to name just two, are
great examples of superior software being created by voluntary
peers. Consider the huge R&D investments of the market-leading
software vendors in regards to their product quality, and you see
the stark contrast.
"But Open Source is also a method for deploying software.
Through the mechanisms that the software developer community built
for its own development purposes, the software spreads all over the
world at minimal cost. At the same time, licensing schemes such as
the GPL (GNU General Public License) make it easy for a manager to
decide to use the software. On top of this, feverishly active
mailing lists ensure that basic product support is available to
anyone at anytime. Compare this, again, to the legacy of software
vendors and their costly sales channels, and you can see where the
gains come from..."