Continuing Discussion from Slashdot.


Mr Kaos has a comment about my comment made earlier on this blog and also here. I have the following to say to Mr Kaos:

1. Well on his Blog Jonathan says “Companies compete, communities simply fracture”. What I do not agree with is that “communities simply” fracture. It sounds disrespecting to communities, like the king sitting on the big throne talking about “hobbyists” as other people say. Companies fracture as well. Companies produce products and some of these products end up having a long life cycle where as other products end up having a very short live cycle. Btw people “fracture” as well. I believe it is in nature to “fracture”. It is a life cycle thing.

2. Communities cooperate but companies have to cooperate more and more as well if they want to prosper in the 21st century. Just because SUN had a great reputation does not mean they will have one in the 21st century. I believe Linux is about a highly sophisticated cooperation model. Modern companies should cooperate more like i.e. the Linux movement does with its professional kernel developers.

3. Well profit is what the stock market wants. That I can understand. But in the long run I believe great companies are about their customers and their satisfied customers. That in return returns the profit. Just doing profit for profits sake is not a long term business model for me.

4. Well yes, I believe Sun and MS will cooperate more in the future if that is what their clients want. I believe software users want more and more collaboration across platforms and software. I believe Sun and Microsoft will share and compete in the future as Gentoo and Ubuntu do. They compete but they still inter operate. The isolationistic approach of one standard for all does not work in a modern democracy, as everybody wants to be as individual as possible. So yes, if the customer profits you will see a collaboration between Sun and MS. Btw MS is trying to get into the Linux business by their own standard of doing business: sining up with Novell, Linspire and a few others. That is the Bill Gates approach ;).

5. I believe great software is about individual leaders, great people and their compassion for software. Linus is a role model and he must be granted that leadership. The more companies like MS and Sun admit that them self the more they will prospers as well. In other words; the sooner SUN gives out their ZFS under GPLv2 the better for SUN! The faster SUN can learn and will prosper because they actively participate in a modern model of software development. SUN can profit heeps from the Linux software development model. I’m sure Blender is great as well but I believe that the Linux Kernel is the better role model.

6. Now this point is highly interesting. Who is looking on whom and who can profit from whom! That is indeed a very good question. I believe SUN can profit a lot more from Linux then Linux from SUN. With “profit” I actually mean learn. Learn and observe how the kernel development process works. Learn how GIT works. Use GIT to develop and improve ZFS. The question – to me – is not if it is in SUN’s interests or not. The question is how fast SUN realizes that it is in SUN’s interest to inter operate with the OSS world. I believe it is the companies who have to look to the Linux kernel development process and not vice versa. Of course both have great people but it is not only about the people but how to get the most from the developers and their creative minds. That is where Linus and the Linux development model excel more/ the most.

7. I do understand that SUN has liabilities to its customers, but: If the court needs to step into a new development process then the court needs to do so. Still I believe it is not about the court, its about the process to develop software in the 21st century. It is about interoperability and customer satisfaction. Linux customers are among the happiest in the world because the kernel model produces great software. Because the process of the Linux kernel model to produce great software works and is a 21st century role model. Linux also has compliance issues (SCO, Microsoft) but they do not build software “in fear of compliance” issues. They build software because they believe in the Kernel. Of course they respect the law and work within the law.

8. All I am trying to say is that Linux works as Software AND as business model. It is not exactly the same but look what happened with Linux. We have Red Hat,SuSE, Caldera, Gentoo, Ubuntu, etc. Some of them are listed on the stock market some art not. We have a huge playing field inter operating and competing at the same time. That is what I mean with “Linux is a 21st century role model”. Yes, chefs have been copying recipes – in fact – nature has been copying itself over and over. That is true for languages. Japanese “copied” Chinese (Kanji) but then extended it to their needs. The OpenSource role model is a great model for Software and for Business, though it my not be identical.

9. You are returning to the fear of “Lawyers” again. I have it like Linus. Lawyers come after the software. Before the lawyers can act, they need a reason (i.e. software, divorce, etc.) to act upon. This is where the importance of the GPLv2 vs GPLv3 discussion steps in. Together with the whole difference between Software and Hardware. Linus is making good statements there as well. See this and this.

10. I will check out that book. Thank you for the hint.

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