Sunday, January 29, 2006

A different perspective

The general trend of open-source news seems to be a mix of, "X goes to open-source for application Y", or, "industry figure So-and-So comments on open source", or, "is open-source right for you?" and so on. Daily headlines seem to reflect these concerns on an ongoing basis without fear of repeating themselves. Thus, it seems that almost every day I read a piece discussing OSS on the desktop, or cost-savings in OSS adoption. Another constant player is concern about licensing issues: "will our key business processes be exposed?". I find most of these pieces insufferably turgid, as they are written in that most deadly of all jargons: business-speak about processes, core-competencies and so on.

The concerns in free software settings is markedly different as the discussion surrounding GPL V3 shows: privacy infringements, the morality of digital rights managements, infringements on the freedom of choice of software users and so on. And every once in a while, as Scott's post below showed, something that really is a free-software issue gets reported as an open source issue (and I co-operated by talking about it as if it were!).

The difference in concerns speaks directly to the difference in philosophies. There can be no better illustration of what the concerned sofware user should be thinking about.


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