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SubjectRe: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]
Larry McVoy wrote:
> All of this is problematic for open source based business models because
> if the product is truly open source then the vendor is standing on much
> shakier ground. What guarentee does the buyer have that the vendor will
> make it to next year and support the product? No matter how you slice it,
> it's a much higher risk equation for the buyer than a commercial choice.

That's why some companies sell "commercial grade" Linux with all
kinds of assurances. Then it's up to them to figure out how to
ensure that the product is properly maintained.

I mean "up to them" not in "pondering this is beneath me, and
it's probably impossible anyway" kind of sense, but in the sense
that they seem to know pretty well how to do (and finance) this.

The flaw in your reasoning is that you assume that the whole
product lifecycle has to happen within the same company. That is
largely true for closed source, because you're dealing with that
closely guarded precious secret Intellectual Property.

In Open Source, that secret is worthless. So once your program
starts getting boring, you may as well hand it over to a
maintainer, and tackle something new.

You can even take this further, and only contribute a few key
ideas to the project, and leave the other inventions to others.
You can see Linus do this quite often.

Of course, you still have to solve the problem of financing the
initial development. My thoughts on this are in the longish mail
I posted earlier today.

- Werner

/ Werner Almesberger, Buenos Aires, Argentina /
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