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*The Chronicle of Higher Education*, which is more-or-less
authoritative for US university administrations, is spon-
soring a discussion on the place of open-source in
universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges
....?"), starting in about an hour. Bluntly, I think it's
time to rally 'round the flag.

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...ource/chat.php

Pass it on.
--

Cameron Laird <Ca*****@Lairds.com>
Business: http://www.Phaseit.net
Personal: http://phaseit.net/claird/home.html
Jul 18 '05 #1
11 1996
URL correction:
http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/2003/08/opensource/

ka

"Cameron Laird" <cl****@lairds.com> wrote in message
news:vi************@corp.supernews.com...
*The Chronicle of Higher Education*, which is more-or-less
authoritative for US university administrations, is spon-
soring a discussion on the place of open-source in
universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges
....?"), starting in about an hour. Bluntly, I think it's
time to rally 'round the flag.

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...ource/chat.php

Pass it on.
--

Cameron Laird <Ca*****@Lairds.com>
Business: http://www.Phaseit.net
Personal: http://phaseit.net/claird/home.html

Jul 18 '05 #2

According to Cameron Laird <cl****@phaseit.net>:
:*The Chronicle of Higher Education*, which is more-or-less
:authoritative for US university administrations, is spon-
:soring a discussion on the place of open-source in
:universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges
:...?"), starting in about an hour.

:
:http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...ource/chat.php
To me, this appears to be the correct URL:

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...urce/chat.php3

--
Tenth Tcl/Tk Conference is this week! <http://www.tcl.tk/community/tcl2003>
Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting
should be construed as representing my employer's opinions.
<URL: mailto:lv*****@yahoo.com > <URL: http://www.purl.org/NET/lvirden/ >
Jul 18 '05 #3
On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 16:21:38 -0000, cl****@lairds.com (Cameron Laird) wrote:
*The Chronicle of Higher Education*, which is more-or-less
authoritative for US university administrations, is spon-
soring a discussion on the place of open-source in
universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges
...?"), starting in about an hour. Bluntly, I think it's
time to rally 'round the flag.

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...ource/chat.php

Pass it on.

Gee, I thought the soul of academia was supposed to be the mother of open source.
Sad to see there's any doubt that the right thing is to get her away from streetwalking.

Regards,
Bengt Richter
Jul 18 '05 #4
On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 16:21:38 -0000, cl****@lairds.com (Cameron Laird) wrote:
*The Chronicle of Higher Education*, which is more-or-less
authoritative for US university administrations, is spon-
soring a discussion on the place of open-source in
universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges
...?"), starting in about an hour. Bluntly, I think it's
time to rally 'round the flag.

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/20...ource/chat.php

Pass it on.


That link didn't work for me, but chopping its tail did:

http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/2003/08/opensource/

But it's over ;-)

The guest -- Bernard W. Gleason -- was a proponent of open software, and
answered questions reasonably, I thought.

But I think open source needs a simple metaphor for politicians and non-geeks to understand.

Open source is a digital potluck. The dishes available depend on who volunteers to cook, but
digital dishes don't get used up when they're served, so there's plenty of the best to go around ;-)

Regards,
Bengt Richter
Jul 18 '05 #5

Bengt> But I think open source needs a simple metaphor for politicians
Bengt> and non-geeks to understand.

I keep thinking that the constant security problems with Microsoft-based
systems should be a wake-up call for IT departments of all large
organizations and get them to start diversifying their systems. In theory,
no metaphor needed. So far that hasn't happened though.

Skip

Jul 18 '05 #6
Kyler Laird wrote on 01/08/03:
I'm going to do my best to try to get people to stop making such a
tight coupling between "open source" and "volunteers." Any ideas on
how to do it? I've found that when I say "Red Hat" some people seem
to nod as if they understand that there's nothing contradictory about
"commercial open source software."


I think that another big question that strikes many companies is: "if I
make the source available, what will stop anyone from compiling the
source themselves and using it for free (illegally)?", or "if I make
the source available, what will stop anyone from using some of my best
ideas and becoming my competitor?"

That kind of fear tends to result in rejection of the OS model or a
further crave for protection, i.e. patents. I prefer living with closed
source to living with more patents. And no patent would make any
difference against illegitimate use of software (piracy). The
protection provided by passwords and serial numbers is feeble, but most
companies seem to be happy enough with it.

I think Open Source is great, but it also seems to prefer to pretend
that we live in an ideal world. We do not. Reality is brutal. Besides,
RedHat is not the average case. They are like Yahoo and Microsoft in
that they can afford to enforce certain ideas that most of the players
cannot.

--
Luciano ES
WARNING: fake address on reply!
<lu*******@ggmmxx.nneett> (domain is obfuscated)
Santos, SP - Brasil
Jul 18 '05 #7
Kyler Laird wrote:
People pay (what I consider to be) lots of money for me to write software
for them. I insist that it be open source (which makes for interesting
contract negotiations sometimes). I would be *thrilled* if someone took
my code and used it. My value is in providing solutions - not shielding
intellectual property from use.


While I do agree with you, another problem is that you spent your time
and your customer paid you to do the software.

Would it be fair if at this time, some other programmer took your code,
added (not replaced) him to the copyright notice, changed about 5 things
and charged the same for that?

I do not know the "right" answer to that. My previous software is
closed-source, mainly because it is too tightly bound. That is why I try
to split my new programs into reusable components and components related
with the customer or with a specific problem. Then I can release the
reusable parts (for example a lot of code to handle DB, DB gui, richtext
editing :-). The benefit is that if someone else will use the code,
he/she will probably find some errors that I and my customers haven't
found yet, and probably correct them and send me back a patch - then my
development time on the code will get a bit shorter, and I'll use that
to solve another customer's problems.

However, this is just theory for now, mostly based on experience with
other opensource code I used.

Note that I do not plan to release customer's application as opensource,
only parts of it. I think this is a bit better than releasing all of it,
since my company and my customer spent a lot of time on developing and
facing problems. If some other company wants to solve similar problems,
they can always come to me either writing the software, or consulting them.

--
WK

Jul 18 '05 #8
Wojciech Kocjan <wo******@n0spam-kocjan.org> writes:
Kyler Laird wrote:
People pay (what I consider to be) lots of money for me to write software
for them. I insist that it be open source (which makes for interesting
contract negotiations sometimes). I would be *thrilled* if someone took
my code and used it. My value is in providing solutions - not shielding
intellectual property from use.
While I do agree with you, another problem is that you spent your time
and your customer paid you to do the software.
No, the customer paid for me to provide a solution. I've done that.
The customer is happy. Any further usefulness of the code is gravy.
Would it be fair if at this time, some other programmer took your code,
added (not replaced) him to the copyright notice, changed about 5 things
and charged the same for that?
If it's allowed by the license (which we've been terribly loose about),
then sure; that'd be dandy. The code is almost incidental to the
solution provided. It would make me happy if the same (or slightly
modified) code helps someone else solve a problem.
Note that I do not plan to release customer's application as opensource,
only parts of it. I think this is a bit better than releasing all of it,
since my company and my customer spent a lot of time on developing and
facing problems. If some other company wants to solve similar problems,
they can always come to me either writing the software, or consulting them.


Even if it's open source that's likely to happen. There's a good chance
that using a little of your time is going to be cheaper than hiring
someone else to get started.

--kyler
Jul 18 '05 #9

"Wojciech Kocjan" wrote:
Would it be fair if at this time, some other programmer took
your code, added (not replaced) him to the copyright notice,
changed about 5 things and charged the same for that?

I do not know the "right" answer to that.


That's why a license like the Lesser GPL exists (altough
the original purpose of it was different, and someone likes
it lesser). You can release as free software only modules
implementing some technology (an image format, a compression
algorithm, a net protocol, an interface to software XYZ) and
sell the whole application to make money.

Ciao.

--
Marco Maggi
Jul 18 '05 #10
Wojciech Kocjan wrote:
Kyler Laird wrote:
People pay (what I consider to be) lots of money for me to write software
for them. I insist that it be open source (which makes for interesting
contract negotiations sometimes). I would be *thrilled* if someone took
my code and used it. My value is in providing solutions - not shielding
intellectual property from use.
While I do agree with you, another problem is that you spent your time
and your customer paid you to do the software.


So, if it is open source their maintenance cost has the potential to go
*way* down and their new features per release has the potential to go *way* up.
Would it be fair if at this time, some other programmer took your code,
added (not replaced) him to the copyright notice, changed about 5 things
and charged the same for that?
The company thought they got their value for their dollar -- how is it not
fair. All we are talking about at this point is residuals -- and would
they have received any if they did not open source it. Vs the benefits I
mentioned above.
Note that I do not plan to release customer's application as opensource,
only parts of it. I think this is a bit better than releasing all of it,
since my company and my customer spent a lot of time on developing and
facing problems. If some other company wants to solve similar problems,
they can always come to me either writing the software, or consulting them.


Ok, you have the tradeoffs mentioned above. Also if you are consulting,
having good open source software can be considered a form of advertising
(people can see what you can do -- and may well pay you for "small" changes
so they don't have to come up to speed on potential side effects and to
ensure that the changes will not be conflicting with future development).

--
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------+
| Gerald W. Lester | "The man who fights for his ideals is |
| Ge***********@cox.net | the man who is alive." -- Cervantes |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------+

Jul 18 '05 #11
Wojciech Kocjan fed this fish to the penguins on Sunday 03 August 2003
05:10 am:

Would it be fair if at this time, some other programmer took your
code, added (not replaced) him to the copyright notice, changed about
5 things and charged the same for that?
"Charged the same"? Sounds like you are on a "product pricing"
scheme... Stuff sold en-mass on the market.

The first development effort was likely charged by time needed to
produce the software.

Any subsequent modification (by anyone), if done under a contract
effort, is likely also being paid based upon time -- modifying "5
things" is probably not going to take too much time, hence not going to
earn as much money (especially if the client is performing decent
reviews, and the developer has to reveal what they started with, what
they changed, etc.).
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wu******@dm.net | Bestiaria Support Staff <
================================================== ============ <
Bestiaria Home Page: http://www.beastie.dm.net/ <
Home Page: http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/ <


Jul 18 '05 #12

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