future or proprietary software

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by linuxforall, Nov 13, 2012.

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  1. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/interview/jim-zemlin-linux-vs-proprietary-software-98767

    What are the main challenges facing the Linux Foundation member companies you work with?
    The main challenge is to have collaborative business process becoming second nature. We’re seeing companies like Toyota, Twitter and HP forming groups within the organisation, specialised in managing external development resources.

    I think the main challenge is to convincingly demonstrate that collaborative development is the best way to create products and services.
     
  2. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    There's been a "proprietary software is doomed" article every few months for the past 10 years.
     
  3. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    There has been enough FUD against LINUX period so time for some good counter FUD.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2012
  4. The death of proprietary software is kind of like the Technological Singularity... Always supposedly looming up ahead, but never actually happening. I get the feeling it's going to go on not happening for a very long time.
     
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    There will never be a death to proprietary software. We may start to see more open software break into environments but that's it.

    Being able to obfuscate code is critical to some applications.
     
  6. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I don't understand the "closed is evil" statements I hear a lot. What's wrong with closed source? I don't see what's wrong with having both. Usually when I ask this question, all I get back are the same, tired MS is ruining everything complaints and lack of alternatives to big closed source software, which is becoming less of a problem compared to a few years ago. I understand "inspecting the code" from a security/privacy perspective, but that can happen whether closed or open and in the case of closed, somebody always finds out. Clean code is a good argument too, until you've seen enough crappy-coded open source projects. This whole thing usually boils down to an MS vs Linux argument which doesn't interest me in the least. I like both systems and can use both if I so choose. Neither I nor most users are being stopped by closed vs open.
     
  7. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Have you seen the college tuition prices lately? Of all the commodities in the US which has seen a big rise, college tuition has shot up 558% relegating education to the elite. Closed is the same approach, it creates huge gap in the digital divide and its getting worse by the day.
     
  8. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I disagree. Privatization of software is not a bad thing just as privatization of education isn't a bad thing and it's an oversimplification to point to tuition rates blindly - for one thing most colleges have state funded projects, endowment, etc. I don't want to talk about the educational system or my government as both are things I could talk quite a lot about and none of it's relevant.

    Some code has to stay private. Let's take PatchGuard as an example; were PatchGuard made open source (PatchGuard is built into Windows to detect modifications to the running kernel) it would make it easier for attackers to bypass it, it's a technique built on obscurity. Naturally people have taken it apart and bypassed it, but the lack of documentation etc. forces attackers to reverse engineer it if they want to get around it. I, more than many, have said in the past that open source security is the best kind but there are exceptions.

    That's why I hate the GPL3, it goes too far. It forces freedom whereas the GPL2 is much 'freer' in that it can be used in any way, not just a way that's open. It's much more conducive to progress because progress necessitates flexibility.

    If I create a heuristics engine for detecting malware and I open source that engine I may be making things easier for an attacker. There are a lot of areas, even in security (or even especially in security), where open source is not the best idea.

    That said I wish more software were open source, I think open source software has the potential to be faster, more secure, and generally better. I also thing that it's better philosophically - I like that the software is built in a way that lets the community verify it and even modify it (and in this case I'm talking about specific licenses).

    Regardless, there will be no end to proprietary software. People will always want to sell software and closed source software has a much simpler business model with far less risk - any open source model usually involves investment; RedHat has to hire people to pay for support, they hiring those people on the assumption that they will be able to pay them based on future investments of their would-be customers. This is in contrast to a closed source model were customers exist immediately, they pay immediately, and there is far less risk.
     
  9. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    The cost of education has relegated and created an outcast who can be easily manipulated and exploited, same goes for software.
     
  10. IMO the problem with proprietary software basically boils down to lack of competition. The OS market consists of a few effective monopolies at this point, which is terrible for end users.

    Personally I think that a new, popular proprietary OS would be the best thing that could possibly happen in desktop space*, since it would be able to compete with Apple and Microsoft on their own territory. Linux is unfortunately not equipped to do that.

    Re affordability, that is a problem, and I do think FOSS has a role to play in it. Then again, IMO FOSS has been doing a remarkably bad job of that lately, with software bloat making people's low-end computers unusable.

    BTW, in higher education it's not just the private colleges that have inflated their prices. I'm unsure what exactly is going on, but I think there's more to the story than just too much privatization.

    * Assuming that some semblance of fair play was enforced, i.e. no silly patent lawsuits. Good luck with that.
     
  11. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Totally agree with you there on all counts. I don't much like the direction MS is headed lately, and there isn't a lot of viable choices left, sadly.. A new player in the market would be great.... I don't think linux is equipped to do it either.
     
  12. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    There's only so many ways you can "change up" an OS though as far as what an OS actually does. Anything resembling Windows in the slightest but still "different", would get sued out of existence. Linux, past the big players is a distro wasteland of people who did things "different". Apple is not all that different and anything resembling it but "different" would get sued into oblivion. I'm not sure what all could be "changed up" beyond the near useless security-minded projects that pop up every now and again and you hear about it a few days and never again. Google already has the "cloud OS" covered.

    I'll just say the current Linux environment is much better than it used to be and leave it there, because I've stepped on the Linux criticism landmine enough to know better than to get into that argument.
     
  13. That's why I specified the enforcement of some semblence of fair play: to prevent ridiculous and proabbly fatal patent lawsuits from flying.

    To my mind the real problem is "getting the whole thing started." To my mind the best bet would be:

    - A UNIX variant
    - Equipped with some proprietary windowing system totally unrelated to Xorg
    - Equipped with a native graphical toolkit of some sort
    - Source-compatible with Qt applications, Firefox, etc.

    This way maybe popular FOSS desktop apps could be trailblazers, followed by freeware and eventually proprietary software that made use of the native toolkit. Or so I'd like to think...
     
  14. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    But this thread complains about the very existence of proprietary. FOSS and that very word do not usually go in the same sentence without being shot down by a million open source fan missiles. Open Source vs Closed is an idea war, it's not really about lack of competition. There is no sense of fair play unfortunately, the patent wars are ruining that and quite a few other things. The courts should have never opened up the door to it, but that's a done deal.
     
  15. Well yes, that's the current situation, but I don't see why things have to be that way. IMO open and proprietary software both have their place.

    That said, I am... somewhat upset by the attitude of zealotry and elitism that the FOSS community sometimes shows. I'll bet that many a good programmer has turned away from FOSS early on, due to that attitude.

    (There is a similar attitude I've seen against FOSS enthusiasts at times - see for instance the infamous Linux Haters blog - but that seems to be a lot more limited in scope.)
     
  16. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    There are..overeager..people on all sides. You're right though, some have turned away from FOSS because of the, at times, almost militant attitude shown. I guess some people just have way too much time on their hands to be that hardcore, no matter whether it's proprietary or open source, FOSS or no FOSS. There is room for both as you said, and, I honestly don't see a totally open world happening as perfectly legitimate security reasons have already been mentioned plus, as always, there's the money issue. Namely making as much of it as possible.
     
  17. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    I don't think that argument works. Linux is 100% open-source and it doesn't have the security issues Windows has, even when Windows utilizes "Patchguard."

    The only reason there is such a thing as closed-source software is because people want to make money off it. Nothing wrong with making money, but it doesn't always lead to the best quality.

    I think closed-source software is going out of style, with a few exceptions. For instance, there will always be some proprietary stuff out there like games (games take a lot of R&D and manpower, so they will likely always remain closed-source). And you might have some specialized stuff like CAD that has a good closed-source business model. But your generalized software like OS's and browsers and e-mail clients, etc. are going to all be open-source. Microsoft and Apple will eventually come around.

    Ten years ago no one would have ever thought M$ would have any open-source projects, but today they have their own open-source license. Technology is changing and the money to be made isn't in selling software anymore (just ask Google). Linux is making proprietary OS's pointless just as Chrome and Firefox have made proprietary browsers useless. People understand that today such software is nothing special and the free alternatives are so good, there's never any reason to buy proprietary alternatives.

    Microsoft is going to have to change its business model. Apple has already adapted -- they realized a long time ago that the future is not in selling software but in hardware and devices.
     
  18. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Linux doesn't implement anything like PatchGuard. I'm not saying PatchGuard is required for security, I'm saying secrecy is required for PatchGuard. And it's not specific to patch guard - there are other software implementations that would not work if they were open source. A heuristics engine could easily work through secrecy, even if not relying on it. All sorts of things rely on secrecy.

    People want to make money off of software period. Open source software can be sold just like closed source, and both have their respective and overlapping business models.

    MS's open source license is a bit of a joke. Only two of their licenses are recognized as being open source.

    My point is that there won't ever be one license, there won't ever be one business model, and software in general is an entire ecosystem of overlapping goals and demands, each with a different licensing requirement.
     
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