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Buying open source?

Posted 04-18-2011 at 12:47 PM by williamfromtexas

Tell me, what's the difference between open source and commercial software?

If you'd have asked me not long ago, I'd say that there's a world of difference between the two, and that they both sat at opposite ends of the software spectrum. "Isn't it BAD," I thought, "to pay for software?"

No!, it seems. The correct answer is that it's perfectly OK to pay for software. ( Open source software at it's heart is a philosophy: it is software which enables and empowers through providing the end user with it's own code. This offers the public auditable standards, and an end consumer has the final option in choices, customization and community.

While most open source projects give away their software and a healthy and growing number of them sell support, it's OK to sell both the open source software and support. Sometimes companies can sell software that they obtained for free and the original author won't see a dime. That's OK, provided that certain rules are followed.

How did OSS get a reputation as free?
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  1. Old Comment
    Isn't this one of those self explanatory things?

    If you didn't have to pay for it to get it on your computer, then it obviously must be free.

    Not to mention, people want everything at the cheapest price possible. I blame the internet and people posting pirated software. If people aren't going to pay for commercial software, why would they pay for the open source software?
    Posted 04-19-2011 at 09:57 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  2. Old Comment
    "You get what you pay for."

    Like me, sometimes people get stuck in old habits. This is a result of our memories from the early days of the internet: "free" software could be mixed freely with "pirated" and often "infected" software. Anything labelled as free was something you learned to avoid; after all, you never knew when you might get burned.
    Posted 04-19-2011 at 03:56 PM by williamfromtexas williamfromtexas is offline
  3. Old Comment
    That attitude is enraging. "You get what you pay for" might work for cars, or whatever, but I'd trust "free" OpenBSD (hell, even Linux) over "$$" Windows or Mac anyday. The company I work for has to scale back on server purchases lately because instead of using Linux or OpenBSD for firewalls/routing/proxying/etc... they're shelling out TONS of cash for Cisco.

    And as a side note, the term "Open Source Software" was born out of a necessity to avoid the term "free software" because of the very attitude you've pointed out, william. Apparently "Open Source Software" wasn't far enough away from "free software" to keep them from re-aggregating.
    Posted 04-20-2011 at 02:50 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline


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