Open source becoming a meaningless marketing gimmick.
Jan 07, 2006
10:50 AM EDT
|It's just been CES, and the empty marketing has been flying around like crazy again. Everyone wants to claim that they use free/open source software, everyone needs to brag about the fact that they are using linux in one of their projects.
Usually they do use linux, they do use some free software, who doesn't these days? But while they are riding that marketing wave, while they are increasing their margin by saving on development, they have absolutely no intention of returning anything to the various communities they so actively profit from.
VWBinc is a very nice example of this, and one i have been following ever since i had an encounter with someone from cacmedia, a company that packages up mythtv, X and linux and claims that it's their work. Those two companies grab every single opportunity to cash in on the free marketing that seems to come with free software, yet they never have and never will contribute a single thing (feel free to google as much as you like, shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes).
There are countless others like vwbinc and cacmedia (browse linuxdevices for a bit), and they all brag about how they use free software at every single opportunity. But their use can only be categorised as abuse.
There is nothing that really can be done against them, it's free software after all, even parasites are free to use it, just like developers, just like users reporting problems and filing feature requests and whatnot, just like companies that actively contribute even if it's only in a very slight amount.
The only thing that can be done is reduce the noise those companies produce, reduce the amount of the free marketing they are allowed to grab at each and every opportunity.
This is where you come in; you need to be more critical in what you do and don't accept. You will not only be fighting parasites and keep free software from further descending into the marketing gangbang it seems to have become, you will also lift the standard of lxer.
And the fact that you, for instance, repeated vwb nonsense, but failed to echo the release of X 6.9/7.0 even once, means that you have your work cut out for you.
Jan 08, 2006
8:41 AM EDT
|Agreed. I actually just wrote an opinion blog entry where I presented open source as a marketing campaign which may be what is causing this.|
Mar 18, 2006
2:20 PM EDT
|Re the comment from Libervis, "presenting open source as a marketing campaign" is not a new idea; indeed, the term "Open Source" was intentionally created as an alternative to "free software" as part of the campaign that resulted in the first release of the Netscape browser under an Open Source License; this happened in early 1998.
That version of the browser was called "Mozilla", and is the ancestor of what is today known as Firefox.
Mar 18, 2006
4:43 PM EDT
|How about setting up a list of these abusive companies that would warn users to stay away and not to contribute with bug reports or code.|
Mar 18, 2006
8:17 PM EDT
|yet they never have and never will contribute a single thing (feel free to google as much as you like, shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes)......
Funny that you mention google, and not that you meant anything in particular by it except to name a means to an end. Google is one of the biggest offenders of all. I will not deny that they donated a substantial amount of money to various educational endeavors...but as Bill Clinton himself said of Microsoft, "paying millions means nothing when you possess billions."
And the Summer of Code can not be quietly dismissed either. However, we find it maddening that a company was formed and ultimately made billions of dollars on the back of GNU/Linux and will not do something as simple as provide Linux users with tools such as desktop search or Google Earth. Doesn't take them long to pump out stuff for Windows. Certified letters to Larry Page, one of them signed for personally by him, have went unanswered.
They asked him why Google couldn't give a bit back to the community. The silence told me more than any response ever could.
Mar 18, 2006
8:41 PM EDT
Is http://code.google.com/projects.html insignificant? Also http://code.google.com/patches.html ?
I'm not a coder and haven't read anything before regarding code.google.com, so I don't have any frame of reference.
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