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04.08.08

Dilution, Not Commercialisation, is the Problem of Open Source (Corrected)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Too hard to tell what is “open source” nowadays

There is a certain misconception which suggests that open source becomes the hostage of companies. It is, to a large degree, a self-serving hypothesis whose purpose is perhaps to demoralise volunteer contributors. Maybe it’s even a Gartner-style self-fulfilling prophecy whose repetition strives to make it a reality. In this new interview with Eric Raymond he too denies this, ascribing it to the “trade press” (possible incentives here).

[Question:] Does widespread adoption and commercialization of open source software create new challenges or pressures for open source projects?

[Raymond:] I don’t think it creates any new problems; it just changes the scale a bit on issues we’ve been coping with (fairly successfully) for at least the last decade. Frankly, all the “will commercialization spoil open source?” worrying that the trade press is so fond of already struck me as old and boring five years ago. Next question?

Dilution, not commercialisation, is the problem, as we last stressed a few days ago. There are also many open source fakers and the following new article seems like a good example. (See corrections in the comments below)

Open Source Trading Software Firm Marketcetera Raises $4 Million

[...]

Wouldn’t big money like that call for expensive, proprietary trading platforms? Ravi Mohan says precisely the opposite is true: “Our investment will help Marketcetera provide trading firms a low cost scalable solution that better meets their needs than the expensive proprietary, trading platforms that they currently have access to.” In other words, the expense of the proprietary trading platforms–including the expense of maintaing code–is the sticking point for many traders and investors, not the reliability of a competing open source platform.

They probably just use “open source” as a marketing ploy based on their Web site, which you can have a look at yourself for personal judgment. There is nothing open source about it. (See corrections in the comments below) Remember Aras and its marketing ploy with Microsoft. Microsoft will remain allergic to Open Source unless it can redefine the term to suit its own agenda.

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8 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    April 8, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Gravatar

    Marketcetera produce their code under the GPLv2:

    http://trac.marketcetera.org/trac.fcgi/wiki/Marketcetera/License

    They also distribute the code and working appliances for download and running. What evidence do you have that they are “open source fakers”? Did you read their website at all?

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, I visited the Web site and could not find anything to do with download or development. I spent a couple of minutes searching. Is the entire codebase GPL-licensed. if so, I wish to correct my post. Asay’s report with the dash (“open-source”) raised some suspicions as well.

  3. AlexH said,

    April 8, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Gravatar

    Well, the previous link I gave you to the Trac site has the full download section plus links to their version control system.

    On their “main” site, the links to download, source and license are right there on the front page of http://www.marketcetera.com/ – the box on the left has links to download (which includes source), and the top external link on the right gets you there too. Finally, they specifically say “For more information about the open-source Marketcetera Platform, please see our product site”, again right on the main page, which links into the (open source) trac system they’ve set up.

    I think they deserve an apology as well as a correction; it’s really not hard information to find, unless you count “hiding in plain sight” as “hidden”.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 8, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Gravatar

    Thank you, Alex. I apologise for this mistake and I’ve corrected the text, which hopefully makes up for this.

  5. AW said,

    April 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Gravatar

    Ah, yet another fine piece of investigative factual journalism.

    Surely if one couldn’t see anything in plain sight or otherwise, one would ask the company for clarification? That would be somewhat better than supposition and derogatory remarks. In my eyes your article is certainly defamation of character and also worthy of litigation against you for such.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 8, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Gravatar

    Considering the pace of this site, “investigative journalism” as you call it would be too time-consuming to be doable. Luckily, as it’s all in digital form, we can interact and make corrections as we go along, which we do.

  7. henrysim said,

    April 8, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    Na, ‘jouranlism’ it is not. Altogh bloggs often are asociated with it

    ‘Bad-mouthing’ is the right word.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 8, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Gravatar

    “Journalism” is not any better and is sometimes less accurate. Moreover, journalists fear criticism, but that’s just a totally separate story.

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