The GPL / BSD cultural divide (was ProtoCiv: porting Freeciv to Python CANNED)

Brandon J. Van Every try_vanevery_at_mycompanyname at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 15 22:45:06 CET 2004


Gerry Quinn wrote:
> In article <bu4dii$daqjq$1 at ID-207230.news.uni-berlin.de>, "Brandon J.
> Van Every" <try_vanevery_at_mycompanyname at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Agreed, and more specifically, there is a huge *cultural divide*
>> between
>> most OSS developers and proprietary commercial developers who simply
>> want to
>> add some OSS "to get the boring bits over with."
>
> And guess what bits of a project OSS programmers often tend not to
> bother finishing?
>
> As somebody once said, the purpose of paying wages is not to motivate
> people to work.  It's to motivate them to come in on Monday mornings.
>
> Think of the boring bits as commercial software's secret weapon ;-)

Some boring bits are easily accomplished, and tractable through incremental,
communal effort.  Others take too much pain to bother with.  I think in
theory, commercial developers could alleviate themselves of certain boring
problems through BSD open source projects.  A good example would be
http://nebuladevice.sourceforge.net .  Of course, that project would never
have gotten off the ground without the up front contribution of Radon Labs,
but since they did decide to do that, it's a viable 3D engine for solving
various people's problems.

In practice, there's all kinds of "Not Invented Here" and "Make Myself
Invaluable" out there.  I see a lot of political reasons why human beings
will never cooperate to save humanity much labor.  Even when projects *are*
BSD licensed, like Python for instance, you can get people refusing to
*market* a product properly for predictable political reasons.  Distaste for
commercial developers, "suits," other people's problems, etc.  Consequently,
relevance is diminished.  When relevance is diminished, the available
solutions become fractured and things don't work well together.  Redundant
labor is performed because people gotta be different, they gotta try to make
everyone else march to *their* drum instead of being more inclusive.

-- 
Cheers,                     www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every           Seattle, WA

20% of the world is real.
80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.




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