Re: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]

From: Larry McVoy (
Date: Fri Jun 20 2003 - 11:02:11 EST

On Fri, Jun 20, 2003 at 08:50:03AM -0700, Lawrence Walton wrote:
> I usually never respond to political rants on LK, but has it ever occurred
> to you that maybe software creation in all its forms is just
> overvalued financially?

Yes that has occurred to me.

> That Open source is reseting the equilibrium, of the computer industry
> to a more sane level? why should any software cost more then say a book?

I think open source does drive down the cost of software dramatically.
It also drives down the revenue available for development dramatically.
That's all great until you stop to wonder why companies are spending
so much on software, the open source model seems to suggest that they
are all a bunch of crappy coders.

Maybe a picture would help.

Creating new software: $$$$$$$$$$
Copying existing software: $

Replace dollars with hours of effort, the ratios are the same.

The thing that is worrisome, to put it mildly, is that it takes a much
larger effort to create new stuff than to copy it. If you manage to
kill off the source of the new stuff, what do you copy? Oh, nothing?
OK, so now the open source community has to produce the new stuff.
Let's have another picture:

Revenue from commercial software: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Revenue from open source: $ (at best)

So where is the money going to come from to create the new stuff? That's
what I've been trying to get people to see. I'm not against open source,
I'm against a grayish world that simply can't support the creation of new
stuff. That looks bleak and boring. I don't know what people are going
to create in the future but I do know that I want to see it.

Larry McVoy              lm at
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