|By Sean Rhody||
|October 3, 2005 06:30 AM EDT||
I'm not opposed to people who want to develop for fun, or for the pure joy of programming. Lots of students in college do this, and many hardcore programmers who don't get enough code during the day seem to grind it out after hours as well.
Eventually though, the economics catch up. Businesses will use whatever they can legally obtain in order to create a competitive advantage, or maintain parity. Even though an application server provides capabilities that would cost millions to develop internally, corporations balk at buying one for tens of thousands of dollars - which is where the open source people come in.
Consortiums such as Apache make it easier for developers who are interested in building a free version of some tool to come together, manage a project, and produce software that is free and useful to the community at large. Linux and Apache Tomcat are probably two of the most useful and successful results of this type of endeavor.
Of course, when you get something for free, it seldom comes with a warranty. This is one of the biggest challenges for open source - the fact that no apparent support structure exists. Corporations that are buying software often look not just at the technical features of a product, but also at the organization's support team and financial outlook. A troubled software company with a good product can often spiral down because of its financial position, even when they have a superior product. Support is crucial to acceptance of software.
Enter the companies that provide support for open source. Some are new, such as Redhat, and some are existing companies like IBM and Novell, all of whom reap the benefit of the adoption of open source by providing a security blanket for when things go wrong. In one of the oddities of open source, the developers who contribute their brilliance get nothing, while companies who package free software up and offer support services make tons of money.
However the biggest challenge to open source remains legal. Intellectual property is a funny thing, and it's hard to separate the TCP/IP stack you wrote at work from the TCP/IP stack you wrote for fun at home. Concepts and ideas comingle and the legal ownership of things can be contested furiously. Also, the risk of being held liable for not purchasing a software license once someone wins a court victory is still a factor that prevents the adoption of Linux and other software in corporations today. It's not a simple world we live in, and free may end up being costly.
Nevertheless, open source software is clearly in use, and it's useful in the corporate world. Many companies have adopted Linux, Apache, MySQL, and other tools that help them reduce their cost of ownership. Things are no different in the world of Web services. Freeware tools abound that make it possible to run a Web services stack without paying any licensing costs. Our focus this issue is on just some of those tools and products that can help you deliver Web services without costing you a fortune - at least until the next lawsuit.
|Luke 10/12/05 09:38:43 AM EDT|
Joe doesn't sound bitter or anything, does he?
But I don't work in commercial software, I work as a software developer for a commercial oil industry supplier. We love open-source! With the money we can save moving our Windows servers to Linux, and moving our database from Informix to MySQL, we can pay the equivalent of many developers' salaries. And we get excellent support on both products from Red Hat and from MySQL AB.
We very carefully thought about embracing open-source, and it has been great for our business. Our IT costs are continually falling as we move more and more onto OS technologies, leaving more money available for developers' salaries.
Open source is generating lots of these kinds of jobs - developers using open-source inside non-software businesses. The smart and productive programmers change gears and will be in work for a long time to come.
|Joe Meree 10/04/05 04:21:37 PM EDT|
It's a little late for regrets. I was in commercial software for 20 years and have seen this coming for years. Once companies zero out their budget for software, they won't easily restore it. Those of you who went off without thinking about the consequences of your actions and created good software for free (on your own time) have done a great job and you will put a lot of programmers out of work. The jobs that remain are moving to India.
|Jerry Lowe 10/04/05 09:53:26 AM EDT|
You make an incomplete argument. Many of today's technologies / products / works of art were done because people loved what they were doing. It created a usable product, and the market came afterwords. I hate to think what would have been had Steve Jobs and Woz taken your attitude towards creating something that had no initial guarantee of success. People who write literature (as a magazine type, you should know this) do it because they have to, they can't stop themselves. They don't do it because there is a pre-existing market for what they're doing. Innovation doesn't require a safe area to be born into.
|Kalevi Nyman 10/03/05 10:14:25 PM EDT|
People who like programming computers are often students, technicians or even medical doctors for that matter. What do you think is the easiest way to get started, to learn something?
As long as all programming tools are freely available for Open Source Software, who has the money to pay for Windows and associated high end tools?
Microsoft is digging it's own grave with present policy, despite all freelance whiners. There is no stopping for OSS. If you don't want to do it for free, change trade or keep charging what ever you want! This is a free world, isn't it?
- The Odd Couple: Marrying Agile and Waterfall
- Fanning the Flames of Agile
- Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers Now Open
- April and May 2014 Server and StorageIO Update newsletter
- MangoApps to Exhibit at Cloud Expo New York
- WSO2 Introduces Industry’s First Enterprise Identity Bus With the Launch of WSO2 Identity Server 5.0
- Practical WebRTC: From API to Solution
- Last Chance to Register for LTE World Summit
- The Butterfly Effect Within IT
- The Business Challenges Impacting Digital Transformation
- Stay Current on the Internet of Things
- Setting the Bar for Agile Architecture
- How to Get the Best From Virtual Employees
- Global Financial Firms Can Effectively Address Technology Risk Guidelines
- .CLUB Domain Name Extension Now Available for General Registration
- MapR Technologies Announces Upcoming June Conferences
- More Mainstream Businesses Depend on Open Source
- AMAG, HP, ImageWare Systems, March Networks and StrikeForce Discuss Security Solutions in SecuritySolutionsWatch.com Interviews
- F5 to Present at Upcoming Technology and Investor Conferences
- The Odd Couple: Marrying Agile and Waterfall
- Flexera Software’s InstallShield 2014 Release Introduces New Support of Cloud and Virtualised Installations, High-DPI Displays and Touch Devices, and Agile Development
- FlexNet Manager Suite Wins CODiE Award for Best Asset Management Solution - 4th CODiE Award for Flexera Software
- Fanning the Flames of Agile
- WSO2 Guest Speakers at WSO2Con Europe 2014 Will Examine Technology Developments and Best Practices Enabling the Connected Business
- The Top 150 Players in Cloud Computing
- Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?
- Where Are RIA Technologies Headed in 2008?
- Success, Arrogance, Rise and Fall
- AJAX World RIA Conference & Expo Kicks Off in New York City
- The Top 250 Players in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem
- Personal Branding Checklist
- i-Technology Viewpoint: Attack of the Blogs
- Exclusive Q&A with Jeff Haynie, Co-Founder & CEO, Appcelerator
- Cloud People: A Who's Who of Cloud Computing
- Ulitzer Names the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers
- Web 2.0 News and Wrapping Up "Real-World AJAX" Seminar