Open source kant

Summary:One advantage I enjoy here at ZDNet is your diversity.All kinds of solutions are represented.

One advantage I enjoy here at ZDNet is your diversity.

All kinds of solutions are represented. Some of you use open source. Others use Macs, and many use Windows.

So I can't just bring in what I call "open source kant" and expect everyone to nod their head in agreement.

Comments are just as likely to run the other way. If you publish your source it can be compromised, or stolen. It's not safe out there. It's not profitable out there.

Open source advocates brush these arguments aside with a wave of the hand. Bugs are easier to patch when everyone can see the code, they say. Systems and services can more than make up money lost giving away software, they say.

Personally I believe them. Software by itself doesn't do anything. It's only in its use, or when it's part of a virtual machine, that value is provided, so why not collect your money there, at the point of proven value, rather than try and get money for a "software license" that usually promises nothing?

But at some point, for most open source advocates, statements like this moved long ago from the realm of accepted fact to belief. And here, at ZDNet, they are open to challenge.

The problem I've seen in the comment threads is that it's hard to challenge belief, especially when the main thing you bring to the table is a contrary belief. Instead give me facts, give me examples, give me proofs.

As a journalist I should be under an obligation to do that, rather than merely asserting that open source is good.

Feel free to call me on it.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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