The Industry choice

Bulba! bulba at
Tue Jan 4 13:26:14 EST 2005

On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 20:16:35 -0600, "Rob Emmons"
<rmemmons at> wrote:
>> This "free software" (not so much OSS) notion "but you can
>> hire programmers to fix it" doesn't really happen in practice,
>> at least not frequently: because this company/guy remains
>> ALONE with this technology, the costs are unacceptable. 

>This certainly is the thinking, but I is the wrong thinking in many cases.
>If companies could some how take a larger view and realize that by working
>together here and there -- they enable and open development model which in
>the end saves them money.  AHHH but that's such a hard argument because it
>takes vision, time, and trust. 

But the vision of what? Do we have clear, detailed, unambigous vision
_of the process_ or just big ideological axes to grind? I'm afraid
we're close to the latter situation - even though Python is remarkably
different in this area than the "free software": clean, pragmatic,
effective, free to include in closed-source. If Python were GPLed,
I wouldn't use it: attempting to force people to share doesn't work.

>It takes a whole vision change to work in this environment -- believing in
>an economy of plenty rather than an economy of scarcity.

Well, I'd say that lack of interchangeability in software is a big
obstacle on this road: not that there's little source code, but
that it's relatively hard (read: expensive) to combine the pieces.


IMHO this:

'The problem is that for all of the rhetoric about software becoming a
"commodity", most software is still very much not a commodity: one
software product is rarely completely interchangeable with another.'

...hits the nail on the head.

>> It depends on definition of "rational", on definition of your or
>> company's goals and on the definitions of  the situations that 
>> are the context. 

>I work for a very large company -- there is an internal culture that
>defines what "rational" is:  (a) Rational means outsourcing and doing less
>inside the company, 

This could be made into a very strong argument for OSS: see the
OSS developers as your "outsourced team" that works for almost
nothing, i.e. "if we want to win them or get them to help, maybe
we should contribute our bugfixes and enhancements to them".

>(b) pretty much single sourcing commerical software,
>(c) releasing nothing outside the company unless there is a direct 
>demonstratable significant business benifit related to our core products. 

That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. 

>I could argue these are not rational in the long run, but this is
>the direction of the company as far as I know.  This will change -- and
>someone will get a big promotion for doing it -- but it will take a lot of
>time.  And of course someone already got a big promotion for outsourcing
>and developing the single source stratagy -- bone headed as it is.

As much as people tend to hate outsourcing, it frequently _does_
increase the efficiency of the industries, see this paper:


Real world is perfectly indifferent to lies that 
are the foundation of leftist "thinking".

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