Software Inevitably Must Be Free
A comment by Greg Loeppky on some forum:
First, this article is much like what security guys call honey pots. You are writing this article in a matter designed specifically to draw out zealots. You are pushing buttons to get a reaction to prove there are Linux zealots out there. Same works for any topic you choose to write about as I’m sure you clearly know. If you pushed buttons about MS, you would have Linux haters here, advocating MS.
So to the core of this article I say, whatever… But there is a particular point that I haven’t found anyone talk about yet. Occasionally, I almost hear the argument in the comments, but I figure this time I will put it out there and see if it gets any traction.
The second point is based on an argument I’ve been looking for someone to make. That being: Linux is an example of the inevitable direction of software. How many times does one have to pay for the same piece of software? Once you’ve figured out how to make a solid base of software, eventually everybody does it. (How rich do you think the original inventor of the chair would be if he could continue making people pay him for the design principles.) It just makes sense. Eventually, the core components of software have to become free. It doesn’t make sense to constantly pay for them, particularly since there is no manufacturing costs.
Open Source software is merely the inevitable direction that software must take. This is what Microsoft is scared about. It’s most lucrative business is turning into a commodity and it hasn’t found a replacement to continue to pay it’s many of thousands of employees.
Eventually all popular software will become Open and Free. After all, when you boil everything off, the copyrights, the intellectual property, and the money spent into making/discovering, it’s really just knowledge. And eventually someone else comes up with a similar idea. You can’t hang on to it forever, just because you were there first. That’s silly; childish even. Eventually you have to grow up and share.
What we are seeing is the first signs of some software finally becoming mature. There will always be proprietary software out there. There has to be, new software is rarely popular because it generally doesn’t work well and/or costs a lot because the original developers want to have compensation for the efforts. I’m speaking as a software developer who is definitely feeling the pain of lost cost software.
But despite, it’s still the best way to go. It’s far more comfortable working in a space that you know is going be around no matter what happens to any one company. There is always going to be access to the source, and as long as the software is popular it’s going to be supported.
Also, quite nice to work in an environment where the answers to your questions are not always surface answers designed specifically to protect the inner workings. There is no roadblock when developing on an Open Source platform.
The only real shortcoming of Open Source software is the lack of hardware support for it. Hardware manufacturers are still too busy protecting the Intellectual Property and not releasing full specs for their hardware so that Open Source software can make use of it. But rest assured, eventually this industry will mature as well. It has to. That or we will be stuck, in our communism-veiled-in-capitalism world.
Unfortunately, my post is nearly at the bottom of a long list of comments, so few people are going to see this one. But hopefully Mr. [censored by ed.] will, and use his significant media exposure to present this idea in a fashion that many more people can see, than I could manage. So feel free to take my intellectual post, modify and redistribute to your heart’s content. And you don’t even have to give me credit for it.
Leaving only Greg’s comment here. My surrounding thoughts appear overwrought to me at this later date. I still think it’s a good comment to share. In this later year, I work with a mix of free and proprietary software, and it seems to me that free software is winning. I could be biased, though.