That is really, really not the case. You don't pay for someone holding your hand. You pay for support because you either simply have the resources to do so or your business requires you to pay for the things you use.
If you need help setting up Kubernetes, glusterfs or something else you get help from a third party contractor. That's what we do.
You pay for support because your want someone to keep sending out security patches even if upstream should roll over, and you pay for Red Hat specifically because you want to have an upgrade schedule your business can adhere to (as opposed to when upstream feels like it).
Put another way, you pay for the privilege of having someone to sue.
A nuance: many big businesses require that you pay for software you use, and part of what you are paying for is an indemnification via the vendor, which makes sense to purchase for big businesses with deep pockets
edit: clarified acronym
You find out frequently that people who use the tool have ten things they never asked for because the tools don’t even handle basic common sense concerns. It feels like asking for a pony, possibly from a neglectful parent.
You fix a few things and get labeled as clever or useful. People come to you with more stuff and it expands your grasp of the organization. For me this strategy has opened up leadership opportunities.
You can still be laid off but everybody else will wonder who was the idiot who got rid of the person who was keeping the ship afloat.
Yes, but it's not really a satisfying work experience!
> who was the idiot who got rid of the person who was keeping the ship afloat
the same that chose the shitty tool for a shitty strategy in the first place
I dunno, I like it when people come to me with problems they need solved. You get to work with a stimulating variety of issues, get to meet more of your coworkers and earn their gratitude, and there's a real satisfaction in knowing that people see you as a capable problem-solver. I'd actually really enjoy having a job as "the guy who makes the tools work better for everyone else."
I think that comes down to your disposition. I find meetings and scope negotiation very energy draining but one in one problem solving doesn’t tax me that much. As long as I’m not spinning plates when you come up to me I can usually stop what I’m doing and get back to it later.
Hard to solve problems often conceal architectural problems or irreversible decisions and I’d rather be involved long before it becomes intractable.
But if you poured resources in A with the hope of making supporting A your bread and butter, and A is so easy to use no one needs help, well, you kind of wasted your time and money, UNLESS you managed to make it so popular that the 5% of people who still need help anyway are enough to keep you afloat. That's hard though.
Everything must have a legal contract that specifies support terms, penalties, etc. Large company's motives are risk avoidance to ensure profits for shareholders.
Basically companies will pay a premium to have someone they can call and yell at if something goes sideways. Usually corporate finance departments have no logistical way to accept a reimbursement from a vendor for missing a SLA but they like to put clauses like that in a contract.
The other part is the professional services arm tied to the sales process. RH can provide experts that only they can provide - they are the ones writing the code sometimes. Other companies like Oracle have professional services but I doubt they are committers on the products being sold.
Some of the best documentation I've experienced covers concepts, some of the worst doesn't.
I don't want to wade through lots of text and other clutter. I'd much rather have a tutorial or training be a different thing I can use when new to the technology.
The article I'm referring to: https://www.divio.com/blog/documentation/
1) Is the model of keeping software open but education material closed a necessary compromise to fund the project?
1.b) If so, have you explored other funding models that weren’t viable?
2) How is the experience of publishing through OReilly? Do they take considerable profit shares? Do they provide editors, advertising, and/or other valuable services? Essentially are they worth it?
2. You have to know the right people. Go to the conferences and ask them. It took a long time. The profit shares aren't much. I more did it for the exposure at their conferences. We found it to be worth it as part of a larger package and networking with others in the field more than anything else. The notoriety has really helped as well. It's a lot of work, but definitely worth it if you can get it. Just be ready to put in a metric ton of work.
However, almost none of them (myself included) succeed at it, not even close.
Of course, you can work around the core incentives (eg by marketing), and a lack of competition changes everything (consumers take whatever they can get, producers sell as high as they possibly can without bankrupting the consumer), but in a well-behaving market it should be fine.
Your RH-upstreams examples can probably be sufficiently explained by lack of competition, due to a captured market. Which isn’t behavior specific to OSS, but to every market. Notably, breaking RH’s stranglehold would be naturally easier than say apple’s
The incentive you identify only goes away if the software is a product with no support - and then businesses won't buy it, because there is no support.
Yeah but reality shows that standard unix utilities are not used by the majority of people. So many people use unix based systems, especially macOS which has much more simple/bare-bones tools than GNU/Linux and still few people do read man pages for instance
I typically see this attitude at the developer level, but the line of business never sees it like that. Devs don't have incentive to care about these things. They also just want to deal with the vendor.
What you sell is more "insurance" and a guaranteed timeline on bug fixes/releases.
As someone who supports OSS, why should you be able to demand I ship something on a certain schedule if you're not paying me? If it's a business transaction, then there's a contract and aligned incentives on both sides.
Taking this a step further, this is usually not enough which is why we then see open core business models like elastic search, gitlab, (and also my company skymind) selling a combination of support + licensing.
Of course if they made it perfectly easy they would be out of a job since the software is free. But so long as it's within a certain margin it works out.
It is powerful, but was never made remotely easy to set up or administer. They finished it and called it Databricks.
In such a place, people would be free to work as hard as they want for additional gain. They could also, however, take as much time off as they desired to go to school, learn on their own, spend more time with loved ones, or just relax and explore life in their own way.
In such a society, I think many people would be motivated to give their labor to open source projects. I think the machines that run such a society would necessarily be open source, and many people could give back to society by contributing to the design and improvement of the machines that provide for us all.
What do you all think of this? Would you want to live in a place like that?
Sure you can delete someone’s job. But you just leave a job-shaped hole in the person that then goes and finds a new purpose. It only seems like a disappearance for the season, and then you find something new growing there.
The idea that we are anywhere near “doing all the work” is batshit. We are presently doing maybe 1% of the work that needs doing. You could automate the entire economy 50 times and still have 50 more careers waiting for the globe’s population.
Bioremediation in he wake of climate change alone could occupy an entire generation of earth humans. Mental health another. Building permaculture cities will be the work of an entire generation. None of those things will be amenable to robot labor.
The point is that a society that requires everyone to work all the time sucks for a lot of people - particularly those at the bottom. We can and I believe should build a world where working a job is optional. I fully expect people would still work a lot, but it would be optional in the sense that their basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, access to computers and internet) would be provided to them by society.
It is certainly possible to build this. And many people want it. The key, I think, is to build the system based on voluntary interaction. Find people who are willing to help support others and then have those people collectively drive the cost of that support down through engineering.
I’m not trying to eliminate work. You can never eliminate work. I want to eliminate jobs.
but who is going to want to pay for such things? The whole reason "jobs" exists is that it's a task somebody wanted done, and is willing to pay some resources for it.
Yes, but you're going to need to have the political capital to ratchet down the work week and split productivity gains with labor and capital. That does not exist yet, and without it, the advances you speak of will be used to funnel more wealth to the top.
Disclaimer: I am active on the political side, and will be running for office in the next federal Congressional election cycle. Drop me a line if you want to chat on how we can work together to obviate the need to work down the road; that's the future I want for everyone.
You should make an announcement or something for us in HN (when the time comes)! I'm sure there would be quite a lot of people here to support your candidature.
> and without it, the advances you speak of will be used to funnel more wealth to the top.
All the technologies for mass production so far has indeed funneled to the top huh? And this I believe has also slowed down advancement in technology (unless it's something that is very profitable).
> split productivity gains with labor and capital
You'll be called Socialist. Giving what the laborers deserve is Socialism. "Share the means of production!"
However, the fact that Bernie had a following is a good indicator. There's also Corbin whom is pushing for a 'right to own' policy.
I don't agree, in that we haven't gone far enough with regards to automation. It's still much too expensive, putting it out of reach of anyone without deep pockets or access to capital markets.
> All the technologies for mass production so far has indeed funneled to the top huh? And this I believe has also slowed down advancement in technology (unless it's something that is very profitable).
The majority of productivity gains has been captured by capital, yes: https://i.stack.imgur.com/iCTuo.jpg (the dismantling of labor unions in the US is also a contributor to wages being held down, but that is out of scope for this comment)
> You'll be called Socialist. Giving what the laborers deserve is Socialism. "Share the means of production!"
I identify as a Democratic Socialist politically. The distinction is important.
There are many points of entry: Using FLOSS for governments, for schools, releasing all government funded code, etc.
Generation or so back in the USA that was the the general over-the-rainbow vision of where technology would take us.
The robots would do the work while people would afford more time to spend on leisure/artistic oriented lifestyles.
1. Put a 1000% tax on advertising spending.
2. Taxed property at a much higher rate, but gave each person a basic income.
3. Set a ceiling for the ratio of funds that education institutes can spend on non-professor things. (At least here in Canada they waste most of the money on things that don't actually teach skills, they just look impressive or market the university in some other way.)
4. Set caps on how much individual patents or works of art could earn before they lost financial protected status.
5. Set corporate taxes as a function of in-country sales and total affiliated market cap.
6. Punished corporate region shopping for tax havens and other advantages with trade agreements.
7. Made public healthcare optimize on happy person-years saved and with emphasis on prevention.
8. Make more areas that are 7 storeys tall so people can walk or bike to get their daily things.
9. Set high taxes on cars and invested in high speed city-to-city trains.
Then we'd have houses that were safe, but affordable. Cities that had some quiet areas, but were dense enough to be viable for everyone. Great education via well-paid professors and TAs. Reasonable returns in investments in technology and art, without Walt Disney and other soulless corporations milking the same characters year after year. Products that competed mostly on quality instead of advertising.
Instead we have almost the opposite. Nobody can afford anything because property gets sucked up into mortgage fuelled bubbles and in classes of 100 people where each person is paying $40k per year after subsidies we have professors and TAs struggling to get grants to fund their research.
Why? A single course for a four month term is $350–$500k worth of product. Where did all the money go?
Same place all the money always goes: Competition for the best students to get the best reputation to get the best students to get the best...
Also, I don't believe in high taxes across the board and funding everything with the government. I primarily want the state to stop arms races. It's not like I want them to take over shoe manufacturing, for example.
While it's nice to think of a FLOSS utopia, unfortunately human behaviour will never allow it to happen.
But the silver lining is that we are creating a collective conciousness through tools like the internet. Humans can naturally create this collective sentient being when forming a tribe for instance. Our problem, in our particular point of history of civilization, was always the problem of scale.
Now with the internet we are again able to form this collective mind in a bigger scale. We are still in the infancy of this process, and thats why this collective is acting as a dumb giant. But I think that as we evolve in this process, this collective mind will get more sophisticated. And soon we will be able to collectivelly control whats best for the greater good, trying to repel all hostile movements that could try to control the resources to the benefit of a few.
The problem is: it will take a lot of fight to get there, some of us will fall, but i believe that some of us will get there first.
It's a problem that ethereum.org is working on. They have an mvp, but not yet ready to scale.
But one can argue that the internet has enabled some of that utopia. And the printing press from the point of view of those who weren't allowed to read. Yes the Church didn't want people to learn how to read, but humans have prevailed. Hopefully we can solve current problems before the Doomsday clock reaches midnight.
Whenever some human has amassed more power over others, and a group feels ill, the robots solve the problem.
All such a robot would have to do is apply current laws, facebook is too big, google is too powerful, banks are bankrypt, robot just swings the hammer the elected politicians failed to do.
For some projects a couple hours of my time might be more valuable to everybody than the twenty bucks I’m willing to donate. And ten hours a week would increase your take home pay by about 6%, versus working 50-60 a week for your employer for a slightly bigger raise.
The parent comment didn't want to get rid of work. Just focus open source work improving robots that did the jobs we used to.
All of human desires for competition and struggle would still be catered to.
Maybe. This discussion is a little abstract, but if OP is proposing a system where there is an outlet for ambition that lets crazy people push themselves to raise themselves above others, then I have no qualms against that. The problem is that such a system is going to look a lot like capitalism or some sort of market-economy (maybe with a social welfare state). That is, such as a system is going to to look like either our society, or it will be a disaster like Venezuela (in the extreme) or Argentina and Brazil.
You point me to a past, or present society that is a model for what OP is trying to argue for?
Most of the "labor" on a plantation was done by slaves which will be very similar to the automated labor provided by robots of the future.
But those slave owners still had jobs to do, they were still competitive with each other. They still used money and tried to acquire more wealth.
Sparta was a neat example too. Menial labor was provided by slaves, but Spartan Citizens competed with each other for military honors and societal placement.
Wow. Ok. Setting aside the humanitarian disaster that the South was in the 1800s, here's some qualification to your example:
- The South was poor, much poorer than the North, both in economic and technological advancement.
- The vast majority of Southerners were NOT slave owners. Meaning that Southern society was extremely stratified with wealth concentrated with a relatively small number of plantation owners. So your example is more inline with a bunch of rich people hanging out together.
But your example does touch on the actual deep problem with automation. The Southerners that prospered under Slavery did so because they owned most of the capital (land and slaves), but the poor non-plantation-owning population still had to work to provide for themselves! Under a cynical (but realistic) views on automation, we expect to see owners of the automatons do great, but what of the masses? Bolting either UBI or increasing our social welfare state is not a solution, because redistribution of wealth is not the core problem (we know how to redistribute wealth - with plenty of examples from modern market economies with social welfare, to less-market/more-socialist attempts as exemplified by your traditional Soviet-style economies). The problem is we don't know how to run a society where the vast majority of people have nothing to do.
I have full faith that if work is this valuable, we’ll do it voluntarily. I cannot believe the fantasy that we have to be forced to work or we’ll be miserable. Humans are way too intelligent to just sit there getting more and more miserable because they don’t have to work. Yes, people coming from a capitalist society usually don’t know what to do when their work goes away. But people in a society where no one needs to work will find things to do. Maybe they’ll repair motorcycles as a way of finding Zen.
There is a lot of work we can do that is not focused on economic productivity. In a world where people don’t have to work to survive, they choose what they do. Some will waste away, just as some do now. Most will not.
We have multitude of examples of populations with generational unemployment, accompanied by crime and drug use even though basic necessities are provided for by the larger welfare state. We see that with rich trust fund kids who also degenerate into drug use, crime, and suicide and are shitty people too.
>Yes, people coming from a capitalist society usually don’t know what to do when their work goes away.
This is not a capitalist thing. This is a human thing. Many people (not all mind you) need some pressure to push themselves ... because if not you can always find a way to fill your time with drugs. I don't think I could survive in a society where you don't have to do anything.
My second point was that you need an outlet for ambition because there are people who will push themselves extraordinarily hard in order to raise themselves, and their families above others - in those cases material wealth is major a factor in that even if there are other goals (like saving the environment, or improving patient outcomes). Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk are examples, startup founders are too, and even immigrants are examples of that. My father left an eastern european communist nation to work (much harder) in a western capitalist democracy even though though his country did not suffer from political instability, nor was it the case the he could not provide food or shelter for his family. Within certain constraints you could live a comfortable life, and yet, a third of the country left over 50 years.
>But people in a society where no one needs to work will find things to do.
Again, we have many many examples where that isn't the case. I can't think of a SINGLE example that illustrates this however (even under communism, it was illegal not to work)
People will do creative things.
Ambition will exist even if the useless work we do today (getting clients richer with more software).
Related - Interview of Noam Chomsky regarding Work:
Would we? Many (most?) people push themselves not only to satisfy some abstract goal (save the environment, build the best widget for industry X to improve efficiency, etc.) - and that's great, but the material wealth is a major component of that. This is literally the startup culture that resulted in the biggest corporations on the planet. It was a bunch of people who wanted to change the world for the better, with wealth being a secret (or not so secret) secondary goal. This also explains economic immigrants, or anybody who decides they want more than they have and so push themselves to get it.
Also, why is Noam Chomsky an expert on everything? I understand he is a brilliant linguist, but what could somebody who self-identifies as an Anarchist could add to a reasonable political discussion? That is, his political ideas are clearly crazy and so his political reasoning is suspect because who the hell could think Anarchism is a good idea. Anarchism is an unworkable utopia that manifests itself as warlord-based tribal disaster akin to what is happening in Somalia and Afghanistan with warlords holding all power in a region, or El Salvador and Honduras with gangs and crime.
What special credentials or expertise give him insight into work?
Only the investors (or gamblers) are in it for money.
> This is literally the startup culture that resulted in the biggest corporations on the planet.
So you think having these corporations are good for us? These are simply big because it allowed gamblers to take a share in the pie. Once the actual people who truly want something worthwhile happen leaves, then we are left with Oracle or Balmer.
> Anarchism is an unworkable utopia that manifests itself as warlord-based tribal disaster akin to what is happening in Somalia and Afghanistan with warlords holding all power in a region, or El Salvador and Honduras with gangs and crime.
What do you really think Anarchism simply means chaos? It's like talking to this person then:
> What special credentials or expertise give him insight into work?
His credentials doesn't matter. What matters is what he said.
... I disagree.
>Only the investors (or gamblers) are in it for money.
I think you're severely downplaying the incentives that material wealth and ambition and wanting to rise above others, have on people's behaviour. It doesn't matter whether the person is a startup founder raised in a rich, upper-class household, a gang member from the 'hood', or an 'economic' immigrant (i.e. not a refugee) resettling in an another country, this same base incentive drives all them. In all three cases, the individuals have their basic necessities provided for, but they choose to struggle because they want more.
>What do you really think Anarchism simply means chaos?
That's the colloquial understanding but that wasn't why I made my pont. The utopian Anarchism (as described by the 'Anarchist FAQ' which was my introduction to Anarchism) isn't actually that far from the colloquial understanding. In practice there is no mechanism under Anarchism to prevent violence, and there is all the incentive to engage in gang and tribal warfare (why farm, when you and your friends can go beat-up the hippy farming commune for their supplies). The typical Anarchist answer to this is that under their utopia people would simply not do that because they only do that today because they are brainwashed by capitalism. OK. SURE. Good luck with that. You may think I'm strawmanning that position, but think again, this theme that every single vice of humanity is only there because of Capitalism comes up in Anarchist writings all the time. And you're doing the same thing! You attribute common attributes of humanity, that cross cultures and history, to a socio-political system that was only in existence for 200 years. This is just utopian thinking, not reasonable thinking, and this is why your view isn't taken seriously outside of internet forums populated by like-minded people.
>His credentials doesn't matter. What matters is what he said.
Right. And what he says is pretty dumb.
What matters more to me is that we are just so far away from all the important work being "done". As long as there are sick people, people in physical or emotional pain, people needing better housing or better education or any form of improvement to their lives, and as long as the global population has yet to figure out how to exist without harming the environment, there will be work to be done, much of it of great importance and urgency.
This idea that we are within reach of all the important work being "done" so we can all just live a life of leisure seems fanciful to me; I haven't heard anyone propose a realistic pathway to bring about that version of reality - at least not one that doesn't just rely on handwavy concepts from science fiction.
I'd be happy for you to point me to any solid material on this if I'm missing something.
 I personally think all kinds of things can give people meaning, and those things may be considered "work" by some people and not by others (E.g., caring for loved ones, learning to create art, or indeed, writing open-source software), so it quickly becomes a futile debate over definitions.
Later, its true even some engineering, doctoring, lawyering (wait that happened already) jobs will be automated too, and those folks will find the UBI useful.
Its a strawman that work just comes to a halt at some date.
"Make work drudgery" will still need to be be done by someone.
>its true even some engineering, doctoring, lawyering (wait that happened already) jobs will be automated too, and those folks will find the UBI useful.
How?! How will they find UBI useful? It is really frustrating to hear people argue that UBI solves problems that it does not actually solve.
UBI has no answer to automation. For one thing our current welfare state can already provide the basic necessities (for example, nobody ever starves in developed economies), and we can keep adapting it as things change. What we don't know is how we can have a functioning society where the majority of the population doesn't need to do anything.
UBI also has no answer for third world countries which have no capital to drain on a social spending. How is UBI going to work with failed states like Congo? Or Somalia? Or a developing nation like Bangledash? How is immigration going to work? Right now there is an economic case that developed nations can make for new immigrants, but in a fully automated world immigration is ONLY charity since every immigrant you take in will be a drain on your social system and provide no contributions back.
UBI is also ill-defined. Libertarians think UBI will replace our social welfare state (including healthcare system). Progressives, Leftists and Socialists will NEVER EVER agree to that. At best, they may see it as a complement to the existing welfare state.
So what problems is UBI actually solving for us?
Everybody needs to do something. But we're not all brainwashed drones that only live for work. This is getting ridiculous. What do we do when we leave work? Go to a game, play on a team, socialize with friends, help a buddy renovate her garage, fool with our car.
The world doesn't collapse every Friday after work as it is. We muddle along somehow until Monday morning.
And who is resisting now, is not any kind of argument for who will go along in the future. It may take 30 years for the old farts with the almost religious work ethic to fade away (grow old and die), but it will definitely happen.
Society isn't going to fall flat if we don't have to sit in a chair for 8 hours, 5 days a week. Just the opposite.
Has there ever been a functioning society where the vast majority of the population did not have to work for a living and all their needs were provided by a massive central bureaucracy?
Why is it so obvious that such a society would work given that we also have many examples of populations (within existing societies) that suffer from multitude of social ills when their basic needs are provided by the welfare state but no jobs are available.
>But we're not all brainwashed drones that only live for work.
What brainwashing??!?!? You make it seem like working for a living was invented last week. This has been the reality for all of human history.
FUD and naysaying isn't the same thing as informed argument. Lets table this for now, and maybe read up on the subject some?
You don't have to ask me for permission - you're a free individual, do what you want.
The problem however will still remain. The Capitalism system encourages businesses to work for profit mindlessly, and so we have invoked Oracle from the depths of hell. And a demagogue who can possibly tweet us into nuclear annihilation.
Prices will keep increasing and economist will confuse us by calling it 'inflation' and put a bunch of fantasy-based math to delude themselves. The money I got from the mailbox won't be enough to afford me a much need vacation to unwind. And so I will have to gamble my meager UBI money into buying shares, insurance, retirement etc.. Then the corporations will keep exploiting the countries you mentioned, sending firearms to fanatics while extracting resources like oil.
The answer? There is no guaranteed answer I believe. There are simply just too many moving global variables. With that said, I found the idea of worker-owned-cooperatives to be one good path to improvement. The idea is for employees to own the corporation and vote upon what to do with the profits. Ofc, this will require maturity of the employees just like how Agile requires that the team members to be seasoned in building software. The Mondragon umbrella of cooperatives is a good case study of this working in scale. Not perfect but still a success. The worker-owners used the profit to build a school, compensate for the effects of recession etc. Prof. Richard Wolff whom ironically is an Economist himself has been working hard to push this idea.
You know you can have today, if you want to. You can go on food-stamps and make use of the plethora of social programs to provide your basic necessities and then you can spend your days writing your 2D game engine in Java. ... But you won't do that. And we both know why.
>The Capitalism system encourages businesses to work for profit mindlessly, and so we have invoked Oracle from the depths of hell.
OK. So this is where hysterics start against the best socio-political system we have developed. And you do agree with that, right? That the modern iteration of capitalism (i.e. a market-economy with democratic government oversight and social safety net) is the best system we have ever tried?
>The Mondragon umbrella of cooperatives is a good case study of this working in scale.
I have nothing against Mondragon or worker-owned coops in general, but ownership structure doesn't really change anything. The core challenge that people have with Capitalism is 'creative destructive' because it means constant change, and change is always hard. If you've been making horse-and-buggy wheels for 20 years and you've been put out of business by automobiles, it doesn't matter whether you're employed by a Capitalist corp or a co-op - it is still hard. So worker-owned coop doesn't solve this or any problem. In fact, I'm not even sure what problem it does solve.
And that is because these basic necessities is not enough. To be human is to have family and travel (in economy not in business class).
> OK. So this is where hysterics start against the best socio-political system we have developed. And you do agree with that, right? That the modern iteration of capitalism (i.e. a market-economy with democratic government oversight and social safety net) is the best system we have ever tried?
Doesn't mean it is good enough. And you do agree with that, right? Feudalism, Caste System, Slavery, Central Planning, Capitalism, Church control. One replacing the other. And with less centralized power, we get a better system.
> and you've been put out of business by automobiles, it doesn't matter whether you're employed by a Capitalist corp or a co-op - it is still hard.
Well during 2008 recession. One of the big products of Mondragon was creating Washing Machines. Then demand suddenly fell, and they had to lay-off man-power like many other Capitalist corps. However because their policies was made democratically, they have handled it better than traditional Capitalist corps.
Any excess worker of the Washing Machine Cooperative (remember Mondragon is a group of many Co-ops) is offered two options:
1) Keep their membership in Mondragon. Company will re-skill you and get you to work in another coop. Any additional commute time will be compensated by the company.
2) Retire early. You get your retirement benefits. And parting compensation.
Mondragon, since they are not servant to investors can afford to do this. The profits are used for the workers, not for the 1% capitalists. Oh and by the way, compensation for managers and CEOs are only several times the lowest salary. Unlike your capitalist corps where CEOs get a bajillion times more than the avg salary. The key is in the details.
If you mean the communist one, then their program was rather different, and included things such as "dictatorship of the proletariat".
Note that all economic systems are concerned with distribution of resources so the idea of distributing capital is not unique to a "welfare state".
This is currently not even close to possible based on our current technology level. In order for everyone to have their basic needs provided for free we would need full automation for all of these things:
* all of healthcare
* all of food production
* all of shelter construction and maintenance
* all energy generation
* all transportation
* all waste disposal
* all water collection and treatment
* maintenance of the things that automate all of the above
Given that this is not the scenario now, countries are forced to tax the currently economically productive people to pay for some of these things for those not currently participating in the economy.
There is no country in the world that provides all of these things for free to all citizens because there would be no incentive for anyone to do the work to support all of the basic needs. It's already hard enough to incentivize people to work to support the economy when they have to do it in exchange for food/shelter/transportation.
>Capitalists are not workers
This is completely false. Anyone with a retirement account or money sitting in a bank earning interest is a capitalist. Even as a worker with no money earning growth, you are a capitalist selling your own labor/skills/time.
> Given that this is not the scenario now, countries are forced to tax the currently economically productive people to pay for some of these things for those not currently participating in the economy.
It's at least as valid to say that capitalism is incorrect in valuing people only in relation to the value of their labor. We have massive social and financial structures to subsidize students, because we recognize that activity has a great deal of future value to individuals, nations, and the world at large. We provide a great deal of support to mothers, and the elderly, because societies are more than just economic engines.
> There is no country in the world that provides all of these things for free to all citizens because there would be no incentive for anyone to do the work to support all of the basic needs.
Contradicted by studies. People work because they want to, and because they want more than a basic existence. You would also need to show that it's less expensive to have a bunch of homeless and/or sick people, which is not really possible in a democratic society. Not paying for things that are necessary for your fellow citizens to survive usually ends up being the most expensive way possible to pay for things.
I think that you should rethink a great deal of your sociopolitical philosophy.
Based on capitalism though. We incentize it because educated people are must more useful economically so their future earnings potential is the reason they are able to take pictures of out student loans in the first place.
Places that offer student discounts aren't magically treating them better because they are thinking about their future, they do it because it's an easy way to ensure that someone is likely poor and unable to afford your regular price. It's no different than grocery stores giving coupons to people via annoying mailers so only people with lots of time get the discount.
>Contradicted by studies.
Which are all bullshit because there is no place where this is done on a national level. Nobody unplugs toilets just for fun. You'd have a lot of artists and carpenters contributing things that society doesn't need.
>I think that you should rethink a great deal of your sociopolitical philosophy.
And I think you should spend a little time learning about economics.
This is close to a non sequitur, and it doesn't help that you're talking about student discounts as if they were a particularly large component of student financial support. Mentioning that is absurd. Massive subsidies are not "based on capitalism", and they're particularly antithetical to the laissez-faire capitalists.
A blanket dismissal of related studies is simply prejudice.
You are wrong.
That may be true, but doing it well certainly does imply a welfare state.
A better target than automoting away cashier jobs at pointless retailers would be to target universal access to healthcare and social services as the key economic drivers
Then folks aren’t tethered to dumb jobs and can make jewelry or chairs and such for personal needs when they’re on vacation from their job that supports the health economy
Creating is an important human outlet. Don’t think it’ll do to automate it away. But we can open it up to anyone learning to create whatever so long as they don’t need to be tethered to a dumb job
VC's love the winner take all big platform investment world. I suspect (and hope) that era is coming to an end, not open source...
No, we won't see another company that's exactly like Red Hat. That's how the technology industry works. We're not going to see another successful Facebook, either. But we will see many more companies that push our expectations and moves the industry forward. Many of them will absolutely be based on open source software and communities.
That recently many historians have began to consider this line of thinking "wrong" because of the rise of illiberal democracies, i.e. Russia, Hungry and the success of China as a Pseudo-Capitalist Dictatorship.
You bet 9/11 had huge effect on our political system. Went from a corrupt democracy with cops and courts that went too far sometimes, but occasionally reigned in, to a police state where folks could be kidnapped and tortured with criminal immunity on those doing it. The few times they've gotten caught on this stuff, like with the leaks, nobody running the programs did time, Congress often gave them retroactive immunity, and some were expanded. That's so bad that blackmail is about the only explanation I can come up with at this point for how they're behaving. Surveillance programs make that easier to do, too, esp if running in black programs. J. Edgar Hoover situation possibly repeating but with wider net.
ECHELON was an unlawful surveillance program that intercepted satellite/radio traffic with a focus on foreign personnel. Patriot Act allowed surveillance of Americans on all mediums with financial penalties or imprisonment for non-compliance with backdoors (see Core Secrets where FBI "compels" companies to "SIGINT-enable" products).
NSA management used to limit what was collected on Americans specifically to avoid trouble with Congress and FISA courts. After 9/11 and Patriot Act, they were told 9/11 couldn't happen again. They're maximizing what they collect on Americans with more cooperation between them and organizations that imprison Americans.
The differences between the isolated cases you pulled out of decades of government and the total, officially-blessed elimination of our rights today is difference between day and night. Hell, a good chunk of America votes in favor of what's in the Patriot Act. They're willing to give up their freedoms for false claims by NSA etc that they'll stop terrorists. I'd have never seen it coming back in school after reading on all the progress activists made before that time.
Also reminds me of The Siege. Mainly, the fact that they'd declare a state of emergency that suspends the bill of rights due to terrorist actions in New York. Which they did. They renew the state of emergency annually, which keeps specific executive orders going.
EDIT: I don't have my old write-up on CoG. The link below which was in top of Google has a lot of the same info, though. I haven't fully vetted this source so obviously fact-check anything on there.
That’s how it feels to me anyway. Europe certainly has it’s growing share of racists.
As a Spaniard, here thankfully not really, thanks to (I'd claim) our disunity as a "Nation" or State.
We love to hate each other more than hate foreigners or whatever.
ICE is a very easy example, pre-9/11 it would have been unthinkable to keep migrant children in cages; the power that that agency has has grown immensely. there's also been significant expansion of other apparatuses, e.g. NSA surveillance of the internet, FIVEEYES, etc. the increased military investment in drones is also a direct result of 9/11 (well, technically more from supreme court decisions regarding Guantanamo prisoners, which, also, direct result of 9/11!).
Pre-9/11, you had the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_America..., which actually targeted citizens.
Sure, there was an expansion of surveillance and drones, but I don't see how that's categorically different from what was already happening; it's still the same system, as far as I can tell. I mean, pre-9/11 US had COINTELPRO, ECHELON, McCarthyism, and all that stuff described in the Family Jewels report: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Jewels_(Central_Intelli...
The worst we got in the Clinton era, when Fukuyama was writing, were the crypto wars and the Clipper chip, which look incredibly tame today and were both resolved in the public's favour.
So yeah, in the '90s, a lot of people thought "the West" had turned a corner. Fukuyama went beyond that and posited that the world had turned a corner. And instead, we fell right back into fascist nightmares as soon as we were attacked by a bearded guy on dialysis that we ourselves had armed a few years before; the Russians and Chinese decided that not starving was preferable to being "democratic", whatever that might mean; and most of the Middle East, Israel included, doubled down on its eternal fervour for holy war.
That was my point - history never "ends" and nothing is inevitable, including a return to feudal rule. Many progressive movements tried to tell the elites that, by singing a triumphalist note for late-stage capitalism, we were planting seeds for a massive backlash. They were ignored, like they would be ignored in 2003 on the risks of war and again today on the risks of ignoring global warming and rejecting migrations. Sooner or later, chickens will come home to roost, and it won't be pretty.
Regarding the Middle East and Isreal, he writes:
> In the contemporary world only Islam has offered a theocratic state as a political alternative to both liberalism and communism. But the doctrine has little appeal for non-Muslims, and it is hard to
believe that the movement will take on any universal significance.
> There would still be a high and perhaps rising level of ethnic and nationalist violence, since those are impulses incompletely played out, even in parts of the post-historical world. (...) This implies that terrorism and wars of national liberation will continue to be an important item on the international agenda. But large-scale conflict must involve large states still caught in the grip of history, and they are what appear to be passing from the scene.
And both of these seem true to me; there's no great spread of Islam ideology, nor of Zionism, they are isolated ideologies that can affect others, but not actually compete ideologically with Western liberalism.
history never "ends" and nothing is inevitable, including a return to feudal rule.
Maybe not - and in fact, like Fukuyama, I hope not; as he writes, "[t]he end of history will be a very sad
time" - but I'm also not convinced that we've actually seen evidence of that. As of now, it seems possible.
Building a business model on top of my open source Sidekiq project was the best decision I've ever made. That doesn't mean my approach will work for all (or even many) projects but anyone who is trying to build a popular project needs to consider: if I succeed, what will the project look like five years from now? Will you or a core team still be helping users every day?
However, seems like there's lots of features that is proprietary (or at least non-free licensed).
Almost all of those features are available as OSS plugins. Do you want to gather 5-10 complex plugins, integrate them all, debug them and support them for years to come? Or pay for a turn-key solution that takes literally one minute to buy and get running?
If a business can afford a laptop, it can afford my Enterprise product.
An external auditing company with APIs to streamline the process of rev share and attribution back to the open source community and contributors, so that open source projects will make revenue and have the resource to reinvest and improve the projects.
Yes: writing open source for companies. Much fewer do it as a hobby, and those can't sustain large projects.
When I do something is just the outcome of dabbling in something as part of learn process, just contributing back some bug reports or minor fixes.
Hence why I tend to pay for the software I use, either via donations, buying author's books, distribution CD/DVDs, or actually buying licenses.
I believe that the authors from the tools I earn money with, should also get a piece of the cake.
Attribution isn't the issue, it's balancing the need for building a community vs the financial incentives to actually support the people building the thing you're using.
Well, SUSE isn't public, but they're mostly "standalone". And there are plenty of other companies based around a single open source platform.
Sure, they aren't $1B+ companies, but they don't need to be.
IBM just made it's biggest acquisition ever on an open source company... It seems strange to use that as evidence that open source is not an effective tool--in certain circumstances--for building your business.
What about Cloudera? What about Automattic? What about MongoDB? What about MariaDB?
The podcast has 9 episodes, and we have about 20 more in the queue for 2018-2019.
Tune in... Some of the gurus of open source software share some valuable insights.
It's more about sustaining the business. Redhat's most recently reported quarterly earnings growth was negative. Did they sell now because IBM approached them with an absurdly high price? Or did Redhat executives need to shop around for a buyer, because they felt they were near a local maxima and things were starting to go downhill?
edit: that said, this is a subject I care about and will be adding your podcast shortly. Hopefully you figure out podcast sustainability as well =)
IBM obviously thinks it's worth it, but I'll be honest and say that no matter how bullish I am on Red Hat's business model, I'm sceptical that they can grow it significantly larger without some help. Clearly the focus is on cloud computing and you're up against Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Without at least a strategic partner with someone like IBM (or, ick, ick, ick, Oracle) it's going to be pretty hard to go toe to toe with those guys. In that context, making a "partnership" (agreeing to be bought out) and making a massively big payday for the principal stock holders is pretty win-win for Red Hat.
Having said that, I seriously wonder if IBM is at all interested in maintaining Red Hat's business model...
Red Hat would probably have reached a local maximum sooner or later, so it's probably a mix of the two, but I don't think it's correct to say that growth was negative.
Just going by yahoo finance data:
Quarterly Earnings Growth (yoy) -10.50%
None of this is evidence suggesting there will be another standalone open source vendor. The model seems to be converging towards taking open source technologies, buying a bunch of servers and sysadmins, and renting them out to customers on an ad-hoc basis. In which case, I won't call it winner-take-all but there's obvious economies of scale to be had. If we look at the recent Redis and MongoDB relicensing debacles, it seems like a direct acknowledgement that the cloud service model is eating their lunch.
Now-a-days everything we work on is FOSS, and for almost all of our history the major products we've had also were FOSS. You could even call up SUSE in the old days and ask for a CD with all of the source code for SLES without being a customer. These days you can download all the SLES sources from OBS (it's what openSUSE Leap is based on), and SLES has a Factory-first policy that requires all new changes to first be sent into openSUSE. All of our products (to my knowledge) are FOSS licensed and we provide the source code for all of them as source RPMs -- even if they aren't copyleft -- and on GitHub in most cases.
I would very much argue that Red Hat and SUSE can easily trade blows on which is the "more open" company in this regard. For instance, SLES sources are far easier to get access to and work with than RHEL sources in my experience (and our kernel sources are actually separate patches rather than a single patch blob). But that really doesn't matter at the end of the day -- we both work diligently on free software and contribute upstream consistently. Canonical I'm not as sure about, but from my experience collaborating with them they also do an absolutely immense amount of upstream work. In the past, they were quite sheltered and didn't contribute back, but this changed significantly many years ago.
[I work at SUSE, and all of my work is upstream and free software work. I've never touched nor seen a single piece of proprietary code in my 3 years of working here.]
The problem with freemium is always how much you give away and how much you charge for. One idea that I have not yet seen is to do the split in the time dimention - sell licenses that convert into a Free Software or Open Source license after a year or two.
For example https://www.redhat.com/en/store/red-hat-enterprise-linux-ser... specifies that this is a 'Self-support (1 year)' contract - this sounds like there is no support, training or access to consultants being bought there.
Correct. There are trademarked components (graphics, etc.) that cannot be redistributed but they are not software. The same is true for Mozilla Firefox, for example, even though it's both gratis ("free beer") and libre ("free speech").
There are also a few "supplementary" packages that are non-free but it's stuff like Oracle JDK or Adobe Reader. It's more akin to Debian nonfree than to an open-core model.
> Self-support (1 year)' contract - this sounds like there is no support, training or access to consultants being bought there.
Correct, in that case you only pay for certifications, knowledge base (which is also part of support) and access to the updates.
Yeah, so "easy" that we had to debug and extend microdhcp code to properly support PXE booting and add option 150 because you guys offered nothing with which to properly boot XEN VM's; XEN was so woefully unfinished that we had to finish it for you and now you're telling us how complete of a product it is and patting yourself on the back.
"Details-schmetails", it's "the big picture" that's important, which is that someone cashed out, am I right?
This is one of the reasons why my passion and love for computers turned to bitter disappointment: the lies and really bad, half-cooked software. Damn it all, Keith Wesolowski was so right.
You want me to give you a copy of the software? Pay for it. And here's a gratis sample to see what could get, but it doesn't have all of the features I wrote for it.
You want access to login to the web platform? Pay for it.
You want the source code for it, so you can modify it and/or redistribute it? Also pay for it. The GPL has explicit provisions for allowing access to the source code only if you pay, for example.
Surely some money is to be made this way. Maybe not enough to create a giant monopoly that completely dominates the market, but enough to make a living. Not everything has to be a winner-takes-all unicorn.
If we are to believe that the copying of non-free software that happens right now happens and companies are still profitable, surely explicitly allowing that copying wouldn't make it any less profitable?
One word. Centos.
It's easy to devalue most of the engineering work put into a premium distro. Businesses might still pay for it for mission critical stuff, but that's not enough volume to run a business on.
> You want the source code for it, so you can modify it and/or redistribute it? Also pay for it. The GPL has explicit provisions for allowing access to the source code only if you pay, for example.
This isn't going to work.
1. You aren't going to get much money. From the GPL (3.b):
> for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution
2. Only one person has to pay for the source. Once the source is out, other people can just get a copy of the copy.
Also, you've cherry-picked the GPL. It talks about "equivalent access", i.e. you can charge as much for the source as what you charged for the binary.
That this is not even illegal at all.
And piracy in business settings is much more seriously and effectively prosecuted. Pirating at an enterprise is nothing like the free-for-all of pirating music or movies at home.
Honestly, the future of Open source software is probably going to be like Sqlite, in the best case scenario:
1. The core of the software is open source
2. Useful extras like unit tests and documentation from developer might only be available to paying customers.
There is no other way to make money from OSS otherwise and please don't bring up consulting. It doesn't scaleup and to make money you're incentivized to keep making your software more complex, see a nearby comment on Elastic admitting that.
Our startup tried a bit to explore this idea during the .COM wave, but it just doesn't work out as most business look at open source as a legal way of doing piracy.
I know it isn't the same, I am just oversimplifying here, given how many companies leech FOSS projects.
So the solution ends up being dual licenses, hiding the key features behind server walls, or just go commercial and forget the whole FOSS ideals.
This is specially bad in the consumer software, as this is a domain where no one is willing to pay for services, trainings or books. And the few that are willing to do so, don't do it in a sustainable volume.
Given the big indie market as well as the modding community, I'm surprised it's not done more often.
Basically, the more you make ongoing support and "community leadership" part of your business model, the more room there is for the community to interfere with business goals and push for self-governance. This leads most game devs down the path of controlling everything and dictating terms: their game, their codebase, their servers, their account system, their official tournaments, etc. They often do things that make for a worse experience overall in the process, but it lets them set their own targets.
With smaller developers there's more of an issue of not having the resources to support a community properly, and often stepping into success with no preparation for adopting any kind of collaborative governance. In those cases the community just generally overwhelms the dev and does whatever they want, fragmenting the game and creating various secondary power struggles in the process.
It's all fairly vicious stuff. When you have something popular, everyone will look for an angle of personal profit, and while in other media the rules around derivative work are mostly known and straightforward, there are many original ways to create derivatives of games that have had little legal testing. Open sourcing is just a way of leaning toward a derivatives-encouraged stance, but it only describes part of the whole work(assets and any "live data" also count).
The author does just as you say (and even charges a pretty hefty $20 per copy). Admittedly it's a multi-player game and you can't get access to the main servers without paying, but you can easily run your own server.
I think the reality is that most people are perfectly fine with paying for software if you actually ask for money. The people that won't pay, often won't pay anyway. They only real downside to this is that you can't control competition who may decide to undercut you.
For example: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wereviz.ev...
In this case, the undercutting group have the complete support of the original author (who is uninteresting in building a mobile version). However, there is also nothing stopping someone from competing directly in his target market except that most people are decent. Eventually it is bound to happen, though, if it were popular/lucrative enough.
I think the main thing that the success of Red Hat shows is that you can still build a business with that kind of competition. The key, though, is that your business needs to be better than your competition. If you charge more, then there needs to be some value that drives people to your business rather than your competitors (or just getting it for free). How you find that value is how you build the viable business.
I've found that most business people are uninteresting in this kind of work. They would rather be sales oriented rather than solution oriented. They have a product. Nobody else has that product. They try to make sure you want the product and since they have complete control, they can get you to pay for it. Giving up that control gives up their most powerful tool and transforms their job into something they don't actually want to do.
I wonder if the author of the game will still get a decent living despite the freeloaders. Seems to me, setting up some kind of in-game cosmetic shop (and make it like Fortnite) will surely get loyal fans put in the support.
But looking at the website, it looks like it's gotten popular enough to support a decent living for years to come.
Because free software licenses mean anybody that buys the software and code, gets to redistribute it for free if they want to.
It’s difficult to get by, what with rising rents and prices. The only way to get around the bottleneck of needing investors would be to live a quasi-monastic life with as little as possible until a minimum viable product is developed.
This is plainly untrue. The GPL allows you to charge a nominal fee for distributing the source code, so you could charge $5 for the costs of burning a CD and mailing it. It doesn't let you restrict that source code afterwards though. All it takes is a single customer paying $5 for a CD and now they can freely distribute that source code as much as they want to. The provision in the GPL is not there to allow people to profit from selling the source code, it's there to compensate for just the costs associated with sending them a copy. Those costs are never going to be anything substantial.
> Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange;
I believe that "equivalent access" is intended to mean the more restrictive interpretation that you're not allowed to charge a fee for downloading the source code without also charging an additional fee for providing the binary to customers that already have a license. I.E. If you provide binaries for free on your website you can't pull a Mikrotik and demand that any requests for the source must be mailed in to an address in Latvia along with $50 (or something like that) for them to mail you a CD a month later while at the same time have binaries available on your website for free.
The spirit of that clause has always been that the distributor should not put some onerous burden on anyone requesting access to the source code. They can charge what it takes them to provide the service for GPLv2 and from what I can tell for GPLv3 it's limited to what they charge for binaries.
From scams (https://proflightsimulator.com/ - rebranding of OSS FlightGear) to just people compiling and released the source (RHEL -> CentOS).
This is like when people were selling Firefox CDs:
While I know it's permissible, it does leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
I sort of feel like there should be a banner on the frontpage acknowledging it.
If you're selling a Firefox CD for $5, then the price ostensibly covers the duplication/distribution/convenience. If you're selling that CD for $60, then the buyer likely believes they're paying for the software itself.
And while markets rely on some level of arbitrage, the magnitude is what makes it a "scam".
From RH I always expected they will open their successful product at some point (e.g. Tower); from Elastic, I'm expecting opposite.
 "open source" I mean OSI approved license, not some cryptic text which can get you on court
I was at Elastic.on beginning of the year where they talked a bit about their thinking. They referred to 'other' OSS companies having contradicting goals where in order to sell support/training, they make the base OSS product harder to use and more complicated so that people actually need the support and training. E.g. having great documentation directly conflicts with selling training and consultancy. They did not want to differentiate between a hard to use OSS version and a nicer commercial package. Instead they want users to pay for added value in the form of bundled stuff that is not OSS (but now mostly available for free), or cloud based SAAS products that they run for you. The core product is the same for everyone.
So, their strategy is already exactly as suggested in the article: great OSS that they actively help build complemented by SAAS business and other services where they are making a lot of money.
Looking at their acquisitions, they have been buying companies that do SAAS business on top of their core technology or support that business in some way. Elastic cloud is based on one of their early acquisitions (a company called found.no). Another more recent one is Swiftype which provides easy to integrate search as a service for small websites. Then there's Prelert which provides incident management and analytics tooling. In addition they've been investing in building out geospatial data for the purpose of supporting analytics use cases using their Kibana tool (another of their acquisitions) and now included as part of Elastic cloud. They've bought packetbeat and opsworks that both focus on infrastructure OSS that supports getting data to Elasticsearch and Kibana.
Of course they also still do support, consultancy, training, etc. as well. But that is a tougher business to scale because it involves lots of handholding. That's actually a key problem with this business: you need lots of sales to close deals and then you need lots of consultants to actually keep the customers happy. Looking at IBM and Oracle, you can clearly see that they are struggling there. IBM is looking to buy credibility for their cloud solutions through Red Hat. They've been struggling for years with consultancy as their core business and have been laying off people aggressively as revenues have been disappointing. They have at this point very little in house tech to draw in new customers.
AWS is all about selling their cloud stuff. If it's OSS and widely used, you can bet there's an AWS service from them that you can use (e.g. Elasticsearch, Hadoop, ActiveMQ, Mysql, Postgresql, Redis, etc.).
Interestingly enough, I've heard the same criticism about OpenLDAP, that it's deliberately hard to set up and poorly-documented because the main developer owns a consulting company and wants people to hire him to set up their OpenLDAP installations. What's ironic is that this is one of the reasons Red Hat is deprecating OpenLDAP in favor of the 389 Directory Server.
I've often felt that way as a user. It's why I run Arch Linux now. There's nothing in the Linux world as comprehensive as the Arch Wiki.
Sure you can cash the checks you get from your customers and write out a check for AWS. Or you can run a data center the old way or some new way. So can anybody else.
There is just no moat. Running the service you can pocket the money you make learning how to run it more efficiently. You share some attributes with Salesforce.com but you don't have the patent portfolio and other proprietary IP that makes Salesforce a great product for what it is.
Where they particularly struggled were higher order architectural abstractions and their consequences and system engineering for backwards compatibility.
Their bugzilla.redhat.com is chalk full if examples of struggling to understand and debug the code and arguing with customers.
I sure as hell hope there will never be another computer company like redhat.
I sure hope not.
The original intent of ICOs was to monetise open-source development, and now there are many great teams with huge treasure chests building great software, funding research and providing grants for anyone wanting to work on blockchain and the wider web3 ecosystem without having to go through a token offering, given the current sad state of affairs.
I know this isn't necessarily appealing for everyone, but for those interested:
The mechanism used was itself a revolutionary development, fungible digital tokens (ERC20). There are new protocols for fundraising that are designed to give token holders more control over the disbursement of rewards to the development teams but the wider market still needs a good cleanup imho.
The big banks would love everyone to think ICO's are wild west country, just as the early days of open source were laughed out of the room as crazy give aways of ip. Look were we are now with Oracle 'openworld' a few years later...
Why is RedHat compared to the biggest companies on the planet?
Most OSS that comes out:
1. Either funded by giant megacorps because they're trying to commoditize their competitor's edge: See kubernetes, LLVM etc.
2. Common frameworks that people sell consulting around. This is tricky because if your software is easy enough for consumers to use, they won't have use for your consulting. This leads to this bad incentive of complicating software where not necessary. See: Pivotal selling consulting around Spring and Redhat etc.
3. Anything that doesn't fit in #1 or #2 above is mostly not possible with OSS. To think about it, we can just examine the most consumer facing software that we use. Where is a OSS developed messenger app that is as popular as Facebook or Hangouts? 20 years back, we had OSS for most consumer facing software, Unix coreutils etc. Basically, today OSS is reduced to professional frameworks and middleware libraries because that is beneficial to megacorps and they fund this kind of software, but OSS by indie developers is pretty much dead.
I have never seen a viable "business model" around F/OSS end-user application software. Every time I ask the F/OSS fanboys for this, they either come up short or ramble about "selling support."
The closest I've even considered was the OpenBSD model, where you keep everything free and open, but sell the "official distribution." The modern app store ecosystem actually improves the viability of this. However, that approach probably has a lot of limitations.
That being said, I prefer to open-source anything I do that I don't intend to make money off of. I personally despise the "closed-source free-as-in-beer" model that some indie non-Linux developers seem to opt for.
Another model is that of sqlite, where the core code is open but unit tests aren't available. In effect, this is somewhat similar to selling consulting but with fewer chances of you having to complicate your software.
At the end of the day, what's important is that the base computing be available in an OSS fashion. Base Computing = Decent OS with GUI + An App store. I think that's the direction Canonical should be going in and attempt to make money by hosting an App store for Ubuntu, just like Google makes money off PlayStore.
That's not OSS.
It might be best to just use Unreal Engine like license where the source is available for inspection and personal use but still being charged for commercial use.