On Wed, 2004-09-15 at 14:51, Ronan Cunniffe wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Sep 2004, Paul O'Malley wrote:
>> > Perhaps I should have written: The problem with open source is that with
> > everything in the open, it can be hard for people to find the door upon
> > which to knock to gain access.
>> I don't understand this metaphor (though I'm not the best person to
> complain about that). The "door" is either a website (from where you
> downloaded the code, or referred to in documentation that came with it, or
> a developer's e-mail address in the source.
I concur with the methods suggested in your mail as being usually the
best way to discover what the methods a particular project uses for
obtaining source, accepting contributions etc.
My metaphor should be taken in this light.
When you first look at any open source project it is not obvious where
to "read me first".
When you first come across shrink wrapped software typically the licence
is what you first see through the wrapper.
With this in mind, when you first come across open source software it
just appears to be "*there*", there does not appear to be any "*form*"
as one understands with a company, but this as we know is because it is
not always a company that produces FOSS.
We, and I imagine I can include those who subscribe to ILUG in this,
tend to understand that open source software is there to fill a niche,
or scratch an itch, that the developer first came across and usually
choose to defeat with a passion. SpamAssassin is a particularly good
example. OOo, and it's ilk are different and not for discussion here.
Linux flavours tend to be in the same vein, SuSE tackles a particular
need different to the one perceived by Mandrakesoft.
Debian and Gentoo also do the same things they fill a need.
Now what I was referring to in my metaphor was that when you come across
this FOSS place it is not obvious where it starts ends, which is
different to your typical every day reaction. A company or organisation
on the other hand usually has defined limits and this is easy to grasp.
When you stumble across FOSS it seems to be in a field and seems to have
spontaneously arrived there and has no limits. This flexibility is what
startles some people and then they take up what is happening
For instance there is a company I have had dealings with. Their IT
director and I have known each other for over 25 years. He spent over 20
years using proprietary software, in his former lives he has been
involved in localisation and a PLC designer and programmer, and a
general IT contractor. All around bright guy is how I would classify him
Two years ago I dragged him kicking and screaming to a Linux desktop. He
got back into development, using LEX, then he did a bit of C (nothing
new so far) and then he discovered LAMP. He has been involved in
developing on this platform since. Creating solutions for others and his
own company. By the way he has in his own way passed on this to others.
He now uses it for all except for ROS (Revenue Online System) which does
not support Open Standards, let alone Open Source.
On the other hand a friend of mine who has a small business is now using
OOo and Modzilla as are my family. I have to work some more magic to get
them to move base O/S.
If you come at this from a software business line maybe you do not see
what you classify as your usual metrics and so you go this is "broken",
or not suitable.
It is not it is just different. So using criteria that do not match the
environment one gets measures that do not (A) make sense (B) show open
source in a good light. The outcome of this is that some myths created
That is some of what was going on in my head when that metaphor was
To paraphrase myself: "The open field is not a place these new comers
are comfortable with."
I hope this helps give some context to how I got to the comment I made.
There are only so many words in the English language, you may have seen
some of them in this order before, does that mean that my thoughts are
not my own?
http://www.tldp.org howto learn about linux
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!