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

Ruben Safir ruben at mrbrklyn.com
Tue Jul 14 19:31:03 PDT 2015

On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 09:13:43AM -0700, Don Marti wrote:
> 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.

This is a decent summary.  There is some minor differences in my
observation, but overall this is about what I see.  What is also fueling
the movement away from free software is the complete lack of desire to 
know how things really work but the new students/users, and the fuel 
of the investment capital.  Add to this is the economy of the "developer 
and the user is your product" business model, and it gets really scary.  
Free Software is not positioned to deal with this at all, and it was 
not designed to.

See this



> -- 
> Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org>                   
> http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
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