Being Open About Open Source

By Phantasm66 · 5 replies
Jun 23, 2004
  1. "I still have mixed feelings about the open-source movement, mainly because its most popular component, Linux, is offered by over 100 vendors, each of whom has a slightly different product. Other than Linux, all the other open-source projects move along at a rate best described as glacial. Even principals in the community are sometimes shocked at the slowness of open-source development. This probably is a function of how motivation and lack of fear work among open-source developers. Often they're motivated like hobbyists. And there is no fear to drive anyone to do anything—no fear of getting fired or yelled at by a mean boss."

    In this nice article by John C Dvorak, he talks about the current state of open source, where Linux is going, what kind of threat Linux might be to Microsoft and whether its worth any of us bothering with open source at all.

    More here.
  2. I think that the first (cited) lines of the article are misleading: they may let you think that the author is against Linux, which he is NOT!

    I have two specific comments on the article:

    1.- The author says "And there is no fear to drive anyone to do anything."
    I found that sentence really disappointing. I am not fear-driven, in any sense. The day I feel that in order to be more productive in my work I should fear my boss (or anyone) is the day I quit and look for a better job.

    So, assuming that free-programmers are less productive because the do not feel fear is to narrow-minded.

    2.- The author also says "There are over 100 different versions. (..) The scene is a confused mess for anyone wanting to jump in."
    Well, I am plainly against this sentence as well: it is the diversity which get us forward. As long as only one company has "owned" the rights to decide whether we can do this or that with our computers, thins were fairly unexciting, and we were doomed to be consumers the rest of our lives (Oh! Amazingly nice looking games and products... made by someone else. :-( ). Now we have the opportunity of experimenting with a huge variety of things before deciding. That has to be definitely better.

  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I agree, entirely. If some fat pratt thinks he is better than me and wants me to fear him, then

    a) I will laugh at him,

    b) He had better watch his own back,

    c) I will be leaving.

    I don't have to take this sort of thing and I don't think any of you who read pages like this should either.

    A working relationship requires trust and mutual respect on both sides - only then can it blossom into something that's effective. Its like playing in an orchestra together. You are all doing the same thing - all working towards a common goal. You need to try to be friends and to look out for one another - to give one another a gentle nudge when one is playing out of tune, to praise one when a solo is performed well and with spirit. A modern, high tech work place should be a symphony of ideas, thought and effort. If you put fear into the equation then I just e-mail a recruitment firm. I or #!&* you up. One or the other.
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I think he really mean't to say 'motivation' rather than 'fear'. In order to be suitably motivated, there has to be a consequence for failure, and a reward for success.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    The consequence of failure should of course be

    a) being overlooked for promotion

    b) not getting a bonus

    c) in worst case dismissal

    all of this is fairly healthy.

    but what i was addressing was this "culture of fear" type workplace where its "do your best or die" - I'll do my best if the work is good and my boss is not an ***. end of story.
  6. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I agree with Nic, it seems as the problem here is the word "fear" and that both the author and you actually agree.

    Although I'm not sure he agrees with the way you've rated the consequences. I know I don't as I feel a is a given if you don't do your job properly, and the same with b. I'd instead have
    a) not getting a raise in salary
    b) dismissal
    In which case you can talk about fear of being let go.

    Sorry if I struck out on a tangent, just wanted to add a little bit.
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