Subject: Re: contra-ESR and the principle of infinite exploitation
From: Kevin Dalley <kevind@rahul.net>
Date: 27 Dec 1998 18:47:10 -0800

Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com> writes:

> I read ESR's ``Business Case for Open Source''
>    http://www.opensource.org/for-suits.html
> as almost a pyramid scheme.  He argues various benefits derived from
> open source; those benefits result from, in essence, getting unpaid
> hackers to do your work.  The fact that they are doing your work helps
> you to pay your hackers.  But what are your hackers doing?  If they
> aren't working on other people's open source software, then you have a
> pyramid scheme.  If they are working on other people's open source
> software, then you aren't getting as much of an advantage as you
> think.


Perhaps your hackers are using non-free software instead.  They aren't
working on other people's open source software.  Instead, they may be
working around bugs and inefficiencies in closed source software, with
little chance of those workarounds helping the product they are using.

Open source software is not a silver bullet, but analyzing cost and
benefit is non-trivial.

--
Kevin Dalley
kevind@rahul.net