[kwlug-disc] interesting piece on the power of open source
unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Dec 1 16:07:12 EST 2009
Lori Paniak wrote, On 12/01/2009 2:38 PM:
> On Tue, 2009-12-01 at 10:59 -0800, Raul Suarez wrote:
>> I think that you are reducing FLOSS to "Desktop Software"
Of course. That's all that, in the end, matters. That's where the
eyeball's of the masses are.
>> 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.
The central point I took from Lori's original post, more than any
Lori Paniak wrote, On 12/01/2009 1:25 PM:
> Maybe "open source" will always be a synonym for "perpetual beta"?
> That's OK for the lab and server room, but probably not good enough
> for Best Buy.
And until it is good enough for Best Buy, nothing will change.
Robert P. J. Day wrote, On 12/01/2009 1:50 PM:
> On Tue, 1 Dec 2009, Lori Paniak wrote:
> and yet, microsoft has made a living out of being nothing more
> than "good enough." not spectacular, not great, just good enough.
I disagree. MS has made a living because it's there. It's on the
appliance they just bought. And that's all computers are.
>> On the desktop, the 70% working is not FLOSS's fault but HW
>> vendor support. As FLOSS is more prevalent, this support is
Sure it's FLOSS' fault. MS took over control of its environment, so
can deliver that hardware support. Somehow it solved that problem.
In some ways, FLOSS' silo attitude (stdin/stdout/pipes) means when
something says I did my job, it's a bug in the pre- / post- processor,
or the problem lies elsewhere and not with my code, it's somewhat
self-defeating. In the end, the user doesn't get where they need to
go, and it's incumbent upon them to figure it out. When it all needs
to 'just work.'
>> We are not there, I think we will never be at a 100% FLOSS just
>> because different people have different value systems.
I'm not sure I agree. We will never be there because a critical mass
can't be hit because it isn't purchasable at Best Buy.
> I think everyone has agreed that FLOSS (for lack of a better
> handle) software has won a large and stable piece of the server
So what. Big deal.
> 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".
Agreed. It comes down to, can I get it from Best Buy, which implies
Best Buy's willingness to carry it. Which implies just a whole host of
other mostly sales / distribution infrastructure issues.
> FLOSS makes great tractor. But can it be taught to dance?
We know it can. Technically. Practically? I suppose only time, and
from current/past track record perhaps we're STILL talking decades,
> 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%.
And they're now in Best Buy. And they're marketing well, including
ipod (itunes?) was a huge marketing success, and they're leveraging
it. I do wonder with ipod/itunes where Apple would be today.
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