Tuesday, July 23, 2002

There's Open and then there's Open

It's funny. I agree with the initial statement but pretty much everything else seems wrong.

"If you consider open code a benefit to society, you may want to propagate open-code legislation or otherwise try to stimulate new competition in the marketplace."

For example,
"If it was as simple as Raymond puts it, should not all code be open by now, and why did not Microsoft and Oracle open their code?"

So what is Rotor? What is the announcement at OSCON?

As for Oracle there's a whole book about the OS projects that they've used (Apache, Perl, Tcl, etc):

Of course, Microsoft and Oracle probably won't be GPLing anything soon. So there's open and then there's open. I agree that governments need to legislate changes in - for their own use. But the reasons should be things like transparency, improving effeciency, enhancing economic conditions. There are much better reasons as to why Governments should legislate for Open Source.

The prisoner's dilemmia is also about information and excludes long term cooperation. In the long run it's beneficial to help out, especially if the effort is considerable. Writing useful software requires a lot of effort. Also, in a reasonably functional market competitors should know what the other one is doing. This is not so for the prisoners. The GPL ensures that things get better, not worse, for the software by leveraging long term cooperation.

At the moment companies can still focus on short term benefit. The greedy situation holds. However, in the long run who wins in the Cisco versus embedded Linux, open source databases versus closed, etc won't be greedy.

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