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Re: Oracle: OSS Keeps Vendors on Toes

__/ [ Mark Kent ] on Sunday 26 March 2006 20:41 \__

> begin  oe_protect.scr
> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>> __/ [ Mark Kent ] on Friday 24 March 2006 18:14 \__
>>> begin  oe_protect.scr
>>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>>> __/ [ Linønut ] on Friday 24 March 2006 15:07 \__
>>>>> After takin' a swig o' grog, Roy Schestowitz belched out this bit o'
>>>>> wisdom:
>>>>>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>>>>> | Listing open source "myths," Farrell disputed the notion that the
>>>>>> | main attraction of open source is it is free. Many companies would
>>>>>> | pay for their open source software if they had to, he said.
>>>>>> `----
>>>>> Point of emphasis:  "pay" != "pay through the nose (or other orifices)"
>>>> One prevalent form of payment is a donation. The other is active
>>>> involvement in Open Source projects. Either way, the cycle is made
>>>> complete and the moneyflaw is zero. It's almost like suggesting that
>>>> Linux fixes the price at 0, which is often fine provided that you grab a
>>>> spoon and join in (or rather bake some cakes of your own, then share
>>>> them).
>>> The real business issue is around lock-in.  I don't particularly object
>>> to paying for code to be written, and I don't particularly object to
>>> paying
>>> for support.  I object wildly to lock-in; I can live with standards-based
>>> products if I really can replace them with an alternative module, but
>>> I think that in the long-run, everything will become open.
>>> Then, the businesses which were really offering value for money will
>>> float to the top - those which were capitalising on lock-in will sink.
>>> A few might make a transition.
>> Excellent point, actually. I still program in MATLAB and when the
>> University no longer pays for my licences (thousands of pounds), my
>> programs (code) will be utterly useless. That's why I've been lusting for
>> Octave for quite some time. I guess interoperability with colleagues who
>> work with MATLAB exclusively is out of the question though.
> Interesting - a colleague of mine is doing an MSc at the moment, also
> using Matlab.  I've not asked him what he'll migrate to when he's
> finished - perhaps I should?

Tell your colleague that (s)he will always have the source code; using it
(executing) is a whole different question. Pay $1000, then be permitted to
run the code. With network-deployed licences, this is hard to crack as well.

I have colleagues who sometimes need to work with MATLAB from overseas.
Despite the fact that they use proprietary SW/systems (Windows included), I
have heard from one colleague that "he has had enough of that MATLAB c**p".
He wanted to explore an Open Source alternative; we told him Octave would be
his best bet.

Bear in mind that this nag of mine actually comes from one who is less
inclined than most to complain. I was the most popular MATLAB contributer
world-wide, about a year ago.

>> Lockins affects not just the user from within, but also from outside (e.g.
>> being sent non-standardised messages from an Exchange server). It's a good
>> thing we still work in C++ quite heavily. No interoperability issues
>> *there*. OpenOffice helps as well, on occasions. I only work in LaTeX, but
>> it doesn't prevent uncalled-for junk from being sent my way.
> Lock-in is intended to be viral, and it most certainly is.  As you say,
> sending a document in a proprietary format not only locks-in the author,
> but also aims to lock-in the recipients too.

It can be defended by saying it's a side effect, but I know it is not. My
copy-and-paste snippet remains close to hand; ready to pull the trigger at
any moment!

I do not have a copy of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
I have no plans to buy one.
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint use proprietary data formats,
encouraging consumerism by forcing us to purchase new licenses
every time they "upgrade" their secret formats.
Send plain text, rich text format, html, or pdf instead.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

With kind regards,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "Pentiums melt in your PC, not in your hand"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  8:10am  up 18 days 21:55,  9 users,  load average: 1.02, 0.78, 0.67
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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