[kwlug-disc] One way to kill open source

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Mon May 11 16:19:16 EDT 2009

john at netdirect.ca wrote, On 05/11/2009 3:12 PM:
> kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 05/11/2009 02:33:34 PM:
>  > This is unlikely, if enacted, to apply to Free Software; no contractual
>  > agreement.  It will increase the cost of proprietary software as they
>  > scramble to pay for insurance.  Proprietary software quality will not
>  > improve.  
> Then insurance companies raise premiums in accordance with increased 
> payouts but provide discounted premiums to companies that use 
> yet-to-be-standardized testing and auditing to ensure quality products.

I wonder ... how different would FOSS be treated vs., say, buying 
something at a garage sale? There is no real expectation of warranty, 
nor guarantee that it actually works.

	If it's free, is it not a 'gift'? ('gift' meaning many different 
things, e.g. CCRA vs. Uncle Joe.)

	vs. Caveat Emptor. Mind you, the proposal would seem to be (in some 
eyes) an attempt to move the bar back from no consumer protection to 
holding for cost software to some level of accountability.

	Why do people, particularly I.T. people, resist being held 
accountable to the same standards they expect of other professionals. 
e.g. Engineers. Yet they wish to be regarded in a similar manner.

I'm not sure laying out software quality standards for all to 'comply' 
to (as in regulatory 'best practices') may be a bad thing. Remember, 
quality = 'conformance confirmation'. It may well foster a universal 
set of tools and techniques you can run your code (product) against as 
a reality check. Given the standard 'suitability for a particular 
purpose' disclaimer, how would anybody ever be held accountable for 
anything, anyways? Perhaps part of the point is that if a product says 
it will do X, it better darned well do X - all disclaimers aside.

	Suppose such tools became built in to project sites such as 
sourceforge? I can see the advantages. Good luck on getting consensus.

Yet again, you can download a torrent, or porn, and that person is at 
risk. Too bad they (EU, etc.) expend their efforts in this way rather 
than in forcing carriers to be responsible and responsive for the 
traffic that transits their lines. <sigh> [Probably mixing issues 
here, and certainly this smacks of censorship, but c'mon people, 
there's got to be a line out there somewhere - at what point do we say 
enough is enough to spam and be effective in reducing it.]

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