brian carroll on Sat, 10 Jun 2000 03:32:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> * open-source architecture *

 thanks Florian for sharing your expertise...

>Two objections against your arguments:
>Free Software (or "Open Source") is a licensing model, not a development
>Important Free Software projects like FreeBSD and XFree86 use a very closed,
>top-down development model, with few participants and no public CVS. Even
>"bazaar" projects like the Linux kernel rely on clear hierarchies, with the
>"benevolent dictator" Linus Torvalds on the very top, followed by "stewards"
>Alan Cox, David Miller and Stephen Tweedie who are in turn followed by
>important developers like Theodore T'so, Donald Becker, etc.. (The words
>"benevolent dictator" and "stewards" were not made up by me, they are
>actually used in the Linux developer community.)

 interesting. i knew of Torvalds being a benevolent dictator of Linux,
 didn't know of the stewards, but still i have a hard time imagining
 that their licensing process is similar to Microsoft's. there are
 many stories of MS' licensing deals to be corrupting, for example
 when striking deals with hardware vendors to put the IE browser on
 the desktop. the companies have little or no choice, play along or
 face the repercussions of being locked out of MS' favorites list.
 i'd be interested in knowing more about the stewards and how the
 Linux development model is similar/different to MS'....

>On the other hand, proprietary software development may be organized in
>'bazaar'-style as well, with the sole difference that the developer
>community is limited to a company's staff.

 i've just heard that the Mac OS X is going to be open-source. i'm not
 sure if this is old or new news, but i didn't know about it before now.
 i wonder what aspects of creating/developing an OS are the same... does
 MS use a bazaar-style with their legions of programmers (what are the
 reasons for the huge amounts of code in an OS? is this related to a
 specific type of development and-or management?)

>Free Software is a "grass-roots" movement of programmers only. Participation
>is limited and regulated by programming skills, hence it is not democratic
>if you speak of the computer/Internet community as a whole. Users without
>programming skills have little or no influence on the development of free
>software, perhaps even less influence than on the development of proprietary
>software (with its commercial orientation towards end-user success).

 yes, the qualifier for my point was that the users of these systems see
 reduced prices for the OS, which may eventually reach the mass-market.

>It seems therefore not surprising that successful end-user oriented systems
>like the Apple Macintosh and the Palm Pilot are (a) paradigmatic products of
>close-source, proprietary software development and (b) thoroughly different
>from Free Software operating systems like Linux and *BSD in their very

 there's the complexity. how is a Mac OS development model different from
 a Microsoft OS development model? little/no difference? what about the
 licensing of the products?


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