[kwlug-disc] interesting piece on the power of open source

Lori Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Tue Dec 1 14:38:49 EST 2009


On Tue, 2009-12-01 at 10:59 -0800, Raul Suarez wrote:
> Lori,
> 
> I think that you are reducing FLOSS to "Desktop Software"
> 
> Even then I find a lot of FLOSS software I use to be production quality. There are new things coming all the time, so there will always be something in Beta but at the same time most of the time there is a stable version.
> 
> On the desktop, the 70% working is not FLOSS's fault but HW vendor support. As FLOSS is more prevalent, this support is increasing.
> 
> We are not there, I think we will never be at a 100% FLOSS just because different people have different value systems. (Read my previous email)
> 
> Raul Suarez
> 

I think everyone has agreed that FLOSS (for lack of a better handle)
software has won a large and stable piece of the server room.  Of
course, all software is flawed at some level but infrastructure FLOSS is
as good (better!) as anything else in that respect.

Your note brings to light a subtle difference between what I mean by the
"70% problem" and what others interpret it as.  I do not mean stable
software vs unstable, rather the missing 30% is in features, polish and
the dreaded "user experience".  It goes back to a term I once used on
this list: Soviet Chic.  Is it in FLOSS to cover that (trivial?) gap?

FLOSS makes great tractor. But can it be taught to dance?

MS can get away with "good enough" because they have the advantage of
inertia.  Examples of FLOSS "good enough" are not going to provide
enough force to overcome that inertia.  We have to be better.

Under the hood, Apple OSX is just some BSD distro.  What makes people
line up and pay big $$ for it?  Whatever it is is in the missing 30%.
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