Europe fights for the open source wheel

Europe fights for the open source wheel

Summary: Before dismissing  Jesús Villasante's attack on corporate open source as mere carping from "Old Europe," let's ask if there is some justice in it. (The picture is from the conference program.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Before dismissing  Jesús Villasante's attack on corporate open source as mere carping from "Old Europe," let's ask if there is some justice in it. (The picture is from the conference program.)

Villasante isn't demanding anything. He's not calling for European leadership of open source. He's not even threatening to do anything about his complaints.

What he's doing, in my view, is pointing out a simple truth. As "Deep Throat" (allegedly Mark Felt) told Bob Woodward, "Follow the money."

The money, in this case, flows mainly to hardware giants, such as H-P, Sun, and IBM. It flows from their customers, and it usually flows then to products and services of the hardware vendors' choosing.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. But many, many open source projects are begging for support, for time and money, for users -- well, mostly for money. It's a common refrain. My item earlier today on Rodi came from just that, a lead developer's cry for help in bringing what he thinks is a good open source solution to the community.

So my response to Villasante is very simple. Sir, put your money where your mouth is. Find more money for open source projects. Don't just use us to make political points. Get us good jobs with good wages.

Or as my old high school German teacher told me, nearly 35 years ago now, "Call me sour, call me kraut, just don't call me late for supper."

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Duh - ya think?

    Wow - to think someone else yet again has said what others have been saying - but since he's got a title, he's not an MS Shill....

    So what's the next step - Open Source Guilds? Cause no matter what you are going to do, the Open Source movement has set up a huge economic incentive for hardware companies to steal - oh I'm sorry, to Use, then Share, then Return (in nowhere near the same value as they have taken) to The Community (snicker).

    So get your tights out, put on your codpiece, hoist up a pole with a wood carving of Linus the Benovolant, and go march in the next Open Source Guild parade - cause that may be your only hope.
    • Nobody returns the same amount as they use

      with open source software. Some return more than others, but I assure you that no one has given more to free source software than they have received from it, not even the big name contributors like Stallman or Torvalds. But that's the beauty of it. With so many contributors there's virtually no threat of ever giving more than you receive.
      Michael Kelly
  • giving back

    The open source community can be called many
    things, heroes,entrepreneurs,geniuses,thugs,
    thieves, hackers. I think the real acceptance of
    the community will come when it is recognized
    that they are the former, not the latter.
    Linux is a powerful OS, which demands that you
    understand the underpinnings of computing to
    participate in any meaningful way. I really
    believe that if you are smart enough to come up
    with a brilliant file sharing program, you are
    also smart enough to find something that falls
    into the "more useful" category, something that
    can make the OS a legend, and not a legacy.
    While I do like to listen to music, watch movies
    etc, my real concern is not hiding them, or
    downloading at work, both of which seem to imply
    some sort of criminal activity. I believe that
    the market WILL drive down the price of
    downloads, along with the prevalent use of the
    internet in the near future for streaming media
    of all sorts. Sharing an encryption key,
    spoofing addresses and things of that nature seem
    dubious, dangerous, and troublesome, especially
    since I don't know what kind of data is being
    passed, unless I'm really watching the flood, and
    chances are I would not know until decrypting the
    files. The copyright police are small potatoes
    compared to the NSA,FBI, or CIA or whatever
    relevant government groups come down on the
    scheme. Fair use is fair, I believe that it
    should be done above board, at home, with the
    rebel spirit in mind. Torrents of encrypted data
    scare me. The cheating the isp out of a chance to
    take down my personal data can be done simply
    with an encryption key, which implies that the
    sender and recipient know each other, which I
    believe is the basis for fair use. Haven't you
    got enough music yet?
  • Like that's going to happen.

    Ummm clue, the EU is financially up the creek.
    • Irrelevant

      It doesn't really matter whether the EU offices in Brussels or Strasbourg are broken. The existing EU treaties continue to hold. It is still a Common Market. Thus, it's important.