[linux-elitists] What ever happened to the Open Web? (and other topics)

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Tue Jul 14 09:13:43 PDT 2015

begin Tony Godshall quotation of Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 05:02:34PM -0700:

> What's not clear is a course of action,
> except to perhaps note that free software
> has often grown out of frustration with
> proprietary "solutions", as a more usable
> less well funded, more distributed alternative,
> where each author scratches their own itch-
> it's a slow processes but it will come, and
> unlike in the old days, most of today's
> vendors realize it.

In the early days of the Free Software movement,
joining the free world had a huge transaction cost
advantage over going into the proprietary software
business.  From the user POV, getting started with
GNU was a weekend project, not a corporate sales and
training cycle.  From the developer and distribution
POV, releasing free software to a massive user base
had more overhead than it does now, but still less
than distributing through conventional channels.

Today, it's just as easy for a developer to do SaaS
or an app store app as it is to do Free Software,
and SaaS and app store apps are easier for most users
to get started with. The free side has lost some
friction, but the friction level on the proprietary
side is qualitatively different--low enough that an
individual developer or all-developer small team can
realistically be a "software hoarder", or more likely,
a brogrammer seeking primarily network effects and
using a mix of free and non-free licenses to get them.

Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org>                   
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