[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RFC: closing the net on proprietary software

From: Bernd Jendrissek
Subject: RFC: closing the net on proprietary software
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 18:28:53 +0200

BTW is mail to supposed to be gatewayed to USENET
as well?  I appear to receive mail from this list only from 1/2 people.

A paper titled _Understanding Open Source Software: A Nonprofit Competitive
Threat_ by Jenny Kuan refers.

A google search for {"open source" "jenny kuan"} should find it.

If I understand it correctly, the important part for us Free Software
zealots is that consumers can be subdivided into four types along two
dimensions: willingness to pay and programming ability.  With economic
arguments I can't quite grok, Kuan shows that low willingness to pay
consumers are likely to choose to make their own software, since by doing
so they receive positive consumer surplus as opposed to none.  That's
boring.  I know I'll always prefer Free Software <g>.

For high types (those willing to pay big bucks) the situation is different.
For both it's a toss-up between make or buy, but the uberhackers are more
likely to choose make than are the non-hackers.  (BTW see ASCII map below.)
Not *really* surprising.

I must emphasise that at least some of the prejudice against Free Software
is rational; it is not exclusively hysteria and fear of the unknown.

How do we as the Free Software community address this prejudice?  Simple.
We flame the victims of proprietary vendors in our advocacy newsgroups ;)
Seriously: we make it easier to write programs.  This is where the 'RFC'
of the Subject comes in - I don't know if my insight holds any water.

By making it easier to program, would that somehow magically transform at
least some programming 'low' types into 'high' types?  ISTR that these
neo-hackers would now find they can make greater, more meaningful,
contributions to the software they use.  That shifts the advantage in
the direction of time spent hacking versus time spent earning money to
buy the software.  A Good Thing?

What would be steps in the right direction for making it easier to make
more meaningful contributions, for more 'down-to-earth' projects?  After
all, we can't expect PHBs to fix the latest gcc bootstrap failure.  Is
it just a matter of marketing, or rather deFUDing the victims?  Programming
is soooo hard... you actually have to TYPE to get anything done!

I suppose many people will *never* be able to program to save their lives.
Maybe they can still make meaningful contributions if we could somehow
recruit them to act as (useful!) feature request robots?

Enough babble.  Cape Town has nice beaches.

Likelyhood of choosing 'make' vs 'buy'

c certain
M maybe make
m maybe make, but less likely

  pay H    L
 L  mmmmmccccc

Bernd Jendrissek

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]