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Clemens Vasters: Indigo'ed - Where do you want to go, Aiden?

Clemens Vasters: Indigo'ed - Where do you want to go, Aiden?

It's a very interesting "treatise" on why a person who wants to "have a life" should "get real" and stop advocating open source or free software. However, it is attacking the issue of propagation and not the core of free/open source software. That should be a very distict observation that anyone reading the open letter should be able to keep in mind.

The letter deals with the more practical side of FOSS, and as such not a lot of arguments could be made. I myself am 20 years old, and I haven't exactly made a lot of software yet that impacts other people's lives -- but in this country we call the Philippines, the concept of bayanihan is innate (back then in the past) and the idea of getting a bargain is definitely welcome. I'm not saying that FOSS will work only in 3rd world countries like ours, but making other people's lives a little better by giving services (like what Free Software offers) to financially crippled people definitely makes it so much more fulfilling and meaningful. People in the first world countries tend to disregard the idea of people in other parts of the world who don't have 3 meals a day nor could even dream of affording a car nor sustaining a family in the future.

In the end, he is right in saying that we should get real and get to where the money is at. But then does that mean that you have to stop advocating open source and free software? The premise and the conclusion do not match. See, you create free software for a different reason than say getting onto a bus to commute for work. A software company should be able to create free or open source software, and pay the developers with support contract money. See RedHat, and the other open source companies that offer solutions to enterprises and end users -- the software is open source and the support is not free.

So should all software be made open source? YES. Should it be free? To a reasonable extent, yes (except for realistic issues like cost of media and labor for packaging, etc.) Should open source advocacy stop because open source doesn't bring you the money? Definitely not. Does Free software mean that it should be absolutely free? NO (Read the license). Should software developers starve and die when all software is made open source/free? Hell NO -- there are other ways of making money than selling software.

Just my 2centavos worth.

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