in reply to How far Open Source has come...
My interest in his comments centered around a few of the things he mentioned, as well as his tone and apparant assumptions.
He works at a city government owned cable TV company, that brokered out ISP provision to a former (Big Name, Now Quite Defunct) company that left them and their subscribers in a lurch for Internet service. One of the former (Big Name) company's higher technical execs showed up, convinced them to let him build and operate ISP services in-house, and took over.
He has been relentless and technically excellent, achieving highest throughput ratings nationwide as measured by a couple of testing services.
To me, the excerpt also seems to display that the Open Source disposition isn't all expense based.
- They are knowingly hesitant to seek commercial solutions for apparantly many things, not just for budget control issues, but "due to the shakiness of the current industry". Will the software providers be around to help them once they start depending on them?
- Regardless of their civic funding procedures (many company funding procedures are often more onerous), their concern is speed-to-fixes for security holes. They are clearly thinking that not only will they not have to necessarily contend with upgrade fees, patch or engineering costs, they are probably considering that well supported open source ware will fix more quickly. This is a large philosophical leap for years past. Impressive. (And, for the record, I'm not an Open Source Do or Die guy.)
- Aside from one software alluded to, he says nonchalantly they are "completely open source." The attitude appears certain and well reasoned.
I agree with Abigail-II that Open Source won't soon supplant commercial software. It's clear it is continuing to make inroads in a variety of places, but ubiquity is a long, long way ahead. And, it's possible that that's a good thing, though that debate is for another time.
The software industry becoming obsolete? Nah, it's just moving. A trend dozens of industries have experienced in past decades. Is that good? I can see several poignant arguments why someone would want their work done domestically, by people they know or can go see. Plus, I'm still unclear on the smorgasboard of possible risks if someone scoped some new software product they're betting the farm on, and offshore it for development. Copyright issues? Increased piracy risk? Heightened opportunities for competitive intrigue? Less immediate control?
The role of proprietary software is far from disappearing.
chunlou mentioned "Many Open Source software is often developed by the users themselves. That advantage starts to evaporate when the software are more moving towards Consumer software than Developer software."
That was an intriguing concept to me.
Will (or are) consumer-focused OS initiatives languish in some measure because the contributors are less motivated than they might be on more system-level projects? I'm thinking probably not, but it would interesting to hear about.
One wonders if there are two or more office suite projects, will the developer base thin across more projects?
Is there more panache to tweaking a fix in a key kernal issue than making the next OS Photoshop clone?
Does the somewhat recently discovered value of a resume item connected to a known OS project drive participation more than is guessed? Maybe an increasing number of OS participants are less idealistic than the PR suggests... (I'm certainly not casting a broad net here. There are clearly big-hearted talents in many, many projects.) It's also possible that OS projects are more philosophically commercialized in that contributors exact 'pay' or 'exchange' in the form of the resume item, reputation, etc.
In any case, we certainly continue to live in interesting times.
... just my continuing 0.02