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caged 01-25-2004 07:33 AM

why do we have so much free software availble?
 
how come theres so much free/open source software available?

don't get me wrong I'm defiantly not complaining.
but it does seem strange that in a world where the dollar is so important that theres so many people dedicated to making free and open source software.
no other industry has the mass of enthusiasm that we have. iv never heard of any carpenter growing trees, cutting them down, making furniture and then giving them away. but we do have plenty of people who don't mind writing a kernel, designing an installer, organising releases..... and then not charging or making a cent.

does anybody have any opinions as to why they or others would be so heroically selfless?

big ups to all of ya anyway.

have fun.
Ben.

Megamieuwsel 01-25-2004 07:44 AM

Quote:

in a world where the dollar is so important
I get the feeling that's exactly , what's causing this ;
All around me I feel a growing unease with the way money is deciding every aspect of our lives. People get fed up with everything being counted by the coin , so to say , and look for ways to thwart(the negative aspects of) the system by providing the fruits of their spent time freely.
It's like the proverbial spit-in-the-face of capitalism , saying : "See? We don't need your stinkin' money to achieve what we want.".

It's the Gentle Revolution.

And it scares the hell out of the establishment......

acid_kewpie 01-25-2004 08:14 AM

I don't really think there's much of a myth behind this. as i see it it all fits well into "Necessity if the mother of invention" There are few companies developing commerically for Linux, so people have a go at it.

And even if there were plenty of commerical sources, the thought of invention is so much more tangible in the Linux community.

And sure as hell, it's working wonders....

Skyline 01-25-2004 04:31 PM

Quote:

but we do have plenty of people who don't mind writing a kernel, designing an installer, organising releases..... and then not charging or making a cent.
Yep - however, its worth noting that there are people who get paid by companies to work on Open Source software/projects - the ratioanle is often that they inturn get to use an enhanced/improved product at some point in the future - not to imply that this is representative accross the board, largely the reverse, just worth noting though....

Quote:

does anybody have any opinions as to why they or others would be so heroically selfless?
The work is ackowledged and appreciated ( they've created an excellent body of work) - however - people also often gain self-esteem/respect from peers/better work portfolios for future employment and many, many other positive rewards from contributing to Open Source projects.

BajaNick 01-26-2004 01:01 AM

Because when people are really free and not tied down by capitalism people can get things done, how and when they want to and that means that we could think, live and do as we want. If we would all work together as the Linux community has with software we could eliminate poverty, hunger, homelessness, and a whole host of other problems in the world but we must make the leap over the greed and selfishness of capitalism before we can really be free.

XavierP 01-26-2004 05:52 AM

Let's not forget that there will always be people who want to create. This is not limited to the Linux world - there are a number of freeware programs in the Windows world. It's just that in the Linux world, programmers have much more leeway. Just think how much better Windows would be if we had access to all the code.....

caged 01-26-2004 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by BajaNick
Because when people are really free and not tied down by capitalism people can get things done, how and when they want to and that means that we could think, live and do as we want. If we would all work together as the Linux community has with software we could eliminate poverty, hunger, homelessness, and a whole host of other problems in the world but we must make the leap over the greed and selfishness of capitalism before we can really be free.
awesome post.

ComfortablyNumb 01-26-2004 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by BajaNick
Because when people are really free and not tied down by capitalism people can get things done, how and when they want to and that means that we could think, live and do as we want. If we would all work together as the Linux community has with software we could eliminate poverty, hunger, homelessness, and a whole host of other problems in the world but we must make the leap over the greed and selfishness of capitalism before we can really be free.
That's wonderful.......

I do suspect however, that most freeware is written because of an need to Improve, Impress
and possible future monetary gain.

Capitalism (free enterprise) is a excellent motivator, please do not confuse this with the bloodthirst and powerhunger of despots.......

Unfortunately, there will always be war, poverty, hunger, homelessness, etc. This is human nature.

Socialism is not a good concept, mainly because people have different needs, wants and so on.....
The linux community works so well together, because the community's needs and wants are mostly focused in the same direction.

CN

llama_meme 01-26-2004 08:31 AM

Quote:

Socialism is not a good concept, mainly because people have different needs, wants and so on.....
Well the whole rationale of captitalism is that everybody wants to make as much money as possible, so I'm not sure it's any better in this regard. Of course, not even the most ardent supporters of capitalism would be silly enough to claim that everybody wants to do this in the same way and to the same degree, but the actual theoretical economic model of capitalism is one in which every person is a completely rational wealth-maximising machine.

There seem to be two suggestions for possible reasons for the amount of open source software that's produced. One is the (vaguely socialist) "dignity of labour" argument, i.e. that people write OSS because they get a kick out of creating things, and the other is a more capitalist idea, that people want to gain various things from it, like recognition, skills, employment, etc. I'd guess that in the real world people's motivations for writing OSS are probably somewhere in between the two.

I think it's definitely a good thing that there are various selfish reasons for writing or supporting OSS, because unless there were, we wouldn't have nearly so much money being poured into its development. On the other hand, I expect most open source projects would never have got off the ground if the authors hadn't enjoyed writing them.

Alex

lone_nut 01-26-2004 10:09 AM

Title of Linus Thorvalds biography: "Just for fun"
When you program, you do so because you think it is fun. You hope, that people will actully use our program. Ore you needed it first, wrote it and then others may have used it to.

unimaginative 01-26-2004 02:35 PM

it's cause they are mindless drones following the NeoCommunist Manifesto: the Gnu Public License
oh, you want a REAL answer?
it's because some people just have no desire to make a profit from their services. depending on your viewpoint you can call them suckers or nice, generous helpers.

Netizen 01-26-2004 03:15 PM

Maybe its because not everyone sees open source as "free" despite the often used reference. Some poeple actually pay for open source software which would provide some financial help to the coders and and some believe knoweldge belongs to the world. Besides some don't need money to be happy.

Netizen

natalinasmpf 01-26-2004 04:46 PM

Well, yeah, probably for recognition, and that warm feeling when you contribute a wonderful project and finally completed it, etc.

"This site actually reccomended my software, wow!"

And then there's pooling of resources, etc.

Money spent competing against each other could be better especially in scientific projects used to fund more science advancements. Or at least thats what I encounter when I played many computer games with other people. They were so selfish that they refused to share technology even though I could contribute more to them. They wanted to compete against. each other. Not work with each other. Which hinders advancement.

BajaNick 01-26-2004 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by ComfortablyNumb
Socialism is not a good concept, mainly because people have different needs, wants and so on.....
The linux community works so well together, because the community's needs and wants are mostly focused in the same direction.

CN

Yes and if the world would work together to fight the ills of the world and all of the problems that american capitalism brings to the world it would be a much better place to live. Eventually the U.S. will have to turn to a Socialist/Communist form of government as will most of the world.

unimaginative 01-26-2004 09:22 PM

deleted by user. Some of my comments were on verge of breaking a rule, and we know what will happen if I do that again


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