Sins of Opensource

Well, you are an opensource user. Your geek rating is much higher than any of your other puny friends on facebook. You bask in the glory of being clean and untainted. But dont confuse being opensource as “not being evil”. The real trick is to use the good will of opensource and still use it for your nefarious (defination) purposes. Behold the sins of Opensource and how/where to use it in your own company:

  1. As Strategy (aka Greed): Most evil are those who employ opensource as a strategy, this not only allows them to publisize there product but also gives them a GNU loving status. Google like always leading the way with Google Gears and Libjingle. By making Gears opensource it caused a 3 way effect
    1. It allowed the people to look into the code and ensure that there are no google spies sitting in it, hence building trust.Without this nobody would opt for it
    2. It also became instant favorite to all those who hate The Microsoft way, giving them the satisfaction of using an opensource alternative on an opensource platform(firefox).
    3. Allowing other people to step in with it and start making more tools to replace more softwares(ZOHO, Offline WIkipedia etc)

    So using it as a stratigic weapon you can assasinate a lot more quickly than otherwise.

  2. As a User (aka Gluttony): You reading this blog in firefox and me writing it in wordpress doesnt make things a whole lot better. If you have used a product of opensource and have never cared to:
    1. Submit a bug report.
    2. donate for it(and are never planning to).
    3. Contribute back.

    then you are evil. You are another one of those selfish people who just wanna use the product for free and run away with the benifits. I wouldnt blame you for it but we are all sinners

  3. As a developer(aka Pride): If you are a developer associated with a opensource community because of any of the following reasons then you are also a sinner:
    1. Even if you see your own project suffering because of unsufferable GUI, you still stand by and keep working on core internal library which is already ruthlessly efficient. Since GUI is one of the most boring things to work on you choose to ignore it and because of that your project suffers. This is the sin that leads to poor interfaces of so many opensource software.
    2. You have been laid off, and just want to code to keep your skills sharp and to build your CV and have no interest in the concept of “greater good” and benifit of all man kind.
  4. As a startup(aka Sloth): If you are a startup or for that matter any company and you are using opensource software because of any of the reasons then you are also sinners:
    1. Using your expert skills you are able to disprove Microsoft’s TCO model and use opensource as cheap software.
    2. Use plenty of opensource tools in your company but have never released any of the scripts etc neither have cared enough to put even a simple logo on your official site.
    3. You rely of free service of opensource community that is 10 times larger than that of any company’s support staff.
    4. Worse are all are those developers who use the free experience provided by opensource community in development of features that they eventually want to put in there own software(best oppurtunity is GSOC).

Disclaimer: I’d like to apologize to anybody who feels offended. This article fundamentally represents how opensource is practically being used by different catagory of people(coders, users and companies). There are several other ways of employing/deploying opensource which will be discussed in future articles.

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