[kwlug-disc] Open Source

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Wed Oct 6 22:29:04 EDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 2:12 PM, John Van Ostrand <john at netdirect.ca> wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> > Initially I was going to complain that $1,200 is too much for stuff
> > that we
> > regularly have for much less, and even for free.
> >
> > E.g. OLF, FSOSS @ Seneca, and even Geek Toronto on 23th Oct.
> >
> > e.g. http://fsoss.senecac.on.ca/2009/node/126
> >
> > But this is a full day workshop, not a one hour talk.
> >
> > In a way, it is good to have businesses willing to pay for this stuff.
> What bothers me is that this is likely some late-comer to the open source
> space asking $1,200 per person to make money and give bland information on
> open source.

As an ecosystem evolves, it eventually has parasites.

There are various relationships between organisms, some are commensals
(live along side each other), some are one sided relationships (one benefits
from the other, without harming it either), and then there are the true

In Open Source, one of the rules of the game is that you are not REQUIRED
to give back. And that is fine. You are strongly encouraged to, but not

It is hoped that the few who do participate continue to drive the project
As they burn out, lose interest, have other needs, move on, ...etc. others
come and replace them.

But this opens the door to "we are big on open source" while they are really
big on their own benefit only.

I have seen this in the Drupal world too. Some appear to be excited about it
promoting it, ...etc. but just want to ride the wave of popularity and
from it. And again, that is fine ...

All in all, the less savory types will continue to exist. As long as they
harm the overall ecosystem, we can just ignore them.

Except now that I've checked it appears this is likely a technically
> incompetent duo of companies producing this event.
> Lexpert (lexpert.ca) is in the "Business of Law"and Thompson Rueters (
> thompson.com) is in publishing and doesn't have anything Linux related on
> their site.
> So what will one get out of this conference? I'm betting a lawyer talking
> about open source licenses and citing case after case of where companies got
> into trouble with open source. The conspiracy theorist in me smells
> something fishy.

This is the potentially scary part.

If they spread FUD on open source, then the seminar is harmful.

If they just tell business: do your due diligence and don't incorporate it
in your
products without reviewing the licenses, then that is fine. When I worked
a local corporation, there was pretty good understanding of licenses, and
shops were held for purchasing/contracting people to know the pitfalls,
and work around them / avoid them as appropriate.

They just did not want to get sued.
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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