Ri:Re: valinux goes propietary?

smaffulli at inwind.it smaffulli at inwind.it
Mon Aug 27 12:20:03 UTC 2001

Giovanni Biscuolo:
> Maybe one day users will realize all that, and to sell free software
> will be much more convenient than proprietary one.

The key point here is exactly in your words: "one day". What upsets me 
with this VA thing is that the "one day" when the users will realize that 
software libre is better for them is now more in the future than before.
Like it or not, the general mid-manager perceives Open Source movement
and Free Software movement as the same thing. Or worse, some of 
them have even assimilated the concept of the marketing term Open
With VA giving up their Open Source "faith" and start following the classic
path, lots of mid-managers (call them IT ignorants, if you want: it won't 
change their decisions) will say: "aha -nelson style-! Told ya, it's never
gonna work".
Read the following (and the related articles):
The point I am trying to make is: after VA's decision and ESR's declaration of defeat (I
agree that's what it is, basically) how can we reply to the "nobody gets
fired for installing 'put-your-favorite-brand-name-here'"?

> The moral of the tale is that free software freedoms are convenient to
> the users, while taking away that freedoms is convenient to those who
> like to make money on the lack of that freedoms. It's up to the users to
> understand what free software freedoms really means.

Make me believe that, after one of the most famous companies, with a leader
of some religious-like movement in its board, gives up and says "we can't
do business with Open Source, we start selling old proprietary stuff to suit 
you better". And don't use the argument "free software =! open source" since 
for me (acting like a mid-manager") it's all the same religious-like stuff.
I (myself) know the differences, I am just playing advocate's devil here.

> Im am also persuaded that in a free software environment thare are still
> very much ways to do business.

Again, make believe it: one thing that everybody says is "sell services on open 
source (or free software)" and VA just said they can't.
> > Even animals, at a very basic level, learn by reward. VA closes app, VA gets
> > a cookie as a reward. Good VA. Investors want more of the same. They want
> > more cookies.
> Users decides to give or not to give the money for that cookies.

Users also  buy Oracle, Microsoft, Solaris, even they buy Caldera and probably 
VA's Sourceforge Ent. Ed.  Users buy what they hear from the marketing people
and managers buy what other buy (remember, nobody gets fired for installing 
Oracle or M$).
> > Sad, very sad.
> The very problem is to increase the overall information tecnology
> culture.
> Hard, very hard ;-)

You hit the nail :-)) I am trying to figure out what to say in the upcoming conference
in november about Free software in business. Am I goingo to say to all the audience
(mid-managers) that they are a bunch of ignorants that listen and follow the
marketing hype? That there are alternatives? Which ones? Cannot see many now:
php 4 is not GPL anymore, VA sells proprietary additions, Eazel went belly up, what 
else, Caldera screams against the GPL as a business solution? I only have Red 
Hat on the other side of the barricades and some more little companies. I still did not
understand HP and IBM's thoughts about the GPL, if anyone can explain I am willing 
to hear comments about it.


Stefano Maffulli aka Reed                   | Milano Linux User Group
http://www.zoomata.com a close-up on italy  | http://www.milug.org
GPG key fingerprint: E052 1B13 EB1A A246 A32D  D672 FD30 E9D9 C436 BDCE
To err is human...to really foul up requires the root password.

More information about the Discussion mailing list