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09.04.10

Readers Respond to IDG’s Fauxpen Source Blog

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IDG on open source

Summary: Linux Today readers and also one of our own do not fancy IDG’s attempts to change perception around the term “Open Source” and around Linux

OVER at IDG’s pseudo-open source blog there is some rather insulting new piece from Shimel.

One of our readers responded to it specifically by writing last night: “What a stupid article. The writer makes statements that are full of FUD and disinformation. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He names Linux the most successful Open Source project. Hellloooo: What about Firefox ??? Or Apache ??? And then, he crowns that pile of garbage of an article with this pearl: What works for Linux may not work for the rest of the open source projects, watch for revenue. What a MORON.”

“The writer makes statements that are full of FUD and disinformation.”
      –Anonymous
These attempts to belittle Linux while glamourising 'open' core (proprietary) at Open Source’s expense do not surprise us, but does that belong in a so-called “Open Source” blog? This only leads to further erosion of the term "Open Source".

Over at Linux Today we found just a couple of comments, which we thought were both worth quoting. The first one says: “If the author wanted to rant (and it is a rant) that he liked the “open core” model, he should have just said so. Instead he chose to set up straw men. I mean, does anybody really believe that everything that runs on Linux must be released under an “open source” (free software?) license or that it must be offered w/o charge? If so, that person hasn’t been paying attention! And where does he come up with the notion that all free software will attract a sizable contributor base like the Linux kernel? That is absurd on the face of it. He is correct that one can create “open core” software legally — i.e. w/o violating licenses. (Whether it is moral can be debated. I am sure RMS would be happy to oblige.) One doesn’t need the straw men arguments to do that. However, whether non-free software is *desirable* from a user’s perspective is a whole different question. One the author of this rant conveniently avoids.”

Another commenter says: “Can’t you find something better for marketing your typically closed products than labeling them as ‘open source’ in order to make your customers understand that they can download a free trial version?”

We’ve said it before and it’s worth saying again: be careful of IDG’s “open source” blog. They even have Microsoft employees writing there now. The tone and agenda are set by the selection process.

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