Coffeehouse Thread

27 posts

Opensource - Free Slave Labour?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/24/pepper-computer-were-not-dead/

    It's this sentence that gets me:
    "Pepper is looking to either sell its distro or open source it, although even the latter route requires resources that seem to be in very short supply right now"

    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?

    I always thought that open source meant slave labour(work with no pay), and depending on the age of the developers you have possible child labour. Anyone else have thoughts on this? Both for and against?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    It's not the only reason, but it's certainly become a compelling one. There is a definite trend of using "Open sourcing" as a synonym for "end of lifeing". If you can't afford to pay developers because you just can't turn a profit, there is a certain amount of good publicity and mileage in making it "open source", even if your intention is to effectively shelve it.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.

  • User profile image
    eagle
  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So you'd happily work on an open source project, knowing the company running it will take your work, and make money off it, none of which you receive? We're not talking about a join project like the FCKEditor or something that grows with it's developer base. This is a corporation opening things up in order to get work done on their projects that cost them nothing.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So it's a hobby, then.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Harlequin wrote:
    So you'd happily work on an open source project, knowing the company running it will take your work, and make money off it, none of which you receive? We're not talking about a join project like the FCKEditor or something that grows with it's developer base. This is a corporation opening things up in order to get work done on their projects that cost them nothing.


    Ahh... but when you open source a project there is no guarentee that they will get the amount of developers they are looking for, especially if the incentives are poor yet the company has money to spend on developers.

    Even if developers aren't paid, everyone gets something: free access to the software source code and the ability to use it freely and port, fork it, etc. Now there is no requirement that open source be free as in cost, but if there is an access cost, open source developer and user interest associated with the project will be next to null.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    ScanIAm wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So it's a hobby, then.


    It can be a job, too. IBM, Red Hat, Novell, etc. all employ full time open source developers.

  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    It's not free slave labor, it's voluntary labor.  Big difference.

    Personally, I prefer to be paid for my labor.  And I prefer to volunteer to worthy causes (and have done so) rather than voluteer towards the profits of some company, but to each his own.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So you'd happily work on an open source project, knowing the company running it will take your work, and make money off it, none of which you receive? We're not talking about a join project like the FCKEditor or something that grows with it's developer base. This is a corporation opening things up in order to get work done on their projects that cost them nothing.


    It depends on your perspective. Here's a hypothetical story. You write boring software because the job was there when you were job hunting. What you really want to do is work on operating systems. You don't know much about them but are eager to learn. You can start tinkering with Linux or OpenSolaris, figure out what makes them tick, and write a cool feature. Next time you look for a job you can say "I wrote xyz for Solaris/Linux" and with an operating system background, you have a better chance of getting hired. In this case, you benefit by gaining knowledge and experience and getting a job you want and Sun benefits by getting your feature.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    TimP wrote:
    
    Harlequin wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So you'd happily work on an open source project, knowing the company running it will take your work, and make money off it, none of which you receive? We're not talking about a join project like the FCKEditor or something that grows with it's developer base. This is a corporation opening things up in order to get work done on their projects that cost them nothing.


    It depends on your perspective. Here's a hypothetical story. You write boring software because the job was there when you were job hunting. What you really want to do is work on operating systems. You don't know much about them but are eager to learn. You can start tinkering with Linux or OpenSolaris, figure out what makes them tick, and write a cool feature. Next time you look for a job you can say "I wrote xyz for Solaris/Linux" and with an operating system background, you have a better chance of getting hired. In this case, you benefit by gaining knowledge and experience and getting a job you want and Sun benefits by getting your feature.


    But, until then, it's a hobby.

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    Do you even know what slavery is, Harlequin?  Geez.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    ScanIAm wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    
    Harlequin wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    Harlequin wrote:
    
    This is what open source is all about? Getting work for free?


    It's about doing what you like to do and sharing it with others.



    So you'd happily work on an open source project, knowing the company running it will take your work, and make money off it, none of which you receive? We're not talking about a join project like the FCKEditor or something that grows with it's developer base. This is a corporation opening things up in order to get work done on their projects that cost them nothing.


    It depends on your perspective. Here's a hypothetical story. You write boring software because the job was there when you were job hunting. What you really want to do is work on operating systems. You don't know much about them but are eager to learn. You can start tinkering with Linux or OpenSolaris, figure out what makes them tick, and write a cool feature. Next time you look for a job you can say "I wrote xyz for Solaris/Linux" and with an operating system background, you have a better chance of getting hired. In this case, you benefit by gaining knowledge and experience and getting a job you want and Sun benefits by getting your feature.


    But, until then, it's a hobby.


    You make it sound like that's a bad thing.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    TimP wrote:
    

    You make it sound like that's a bad thing.


    Some people don't realize that to get ahead in the world, sometimes you have to step back and stop worrying about getting ahead. And in the end, it isn't even about getting ahead in abstract terms like money but being able to live the life you want. If you worry too much about "I deserve this" or "This is coming to me" when its not necessary, you're going to create a lot of conflict and paralyzation in your life that you don't need. Stop being assertive, and start being smart.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    brian.shapiro wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    You make it sound like that's a bad thing.


    Some people don't realize that to get ahead in the world, sometimes you have to step back and stop worrying about getting ahead. And in the end, it isn't even about getting ahead in abstract terms like money but being able to live the life you want. If you worry too much about "I deserve this" or "This is coming to me" when its not necessary, you're going to create a lot of conflict and paralyzation in your life that you don't need. Stop being assertive, and start being smart.


    Wow! Thanks for this post! I think this is a great way to deal with a lot of stuff in general... Smiley

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    brian.shapiro wrote:
    
    TimP wrote:
    

    You make it sound like that's a bad thing.


    Some people don't realize that to get ahead in the world, sometimes you have to step back and stop worrying about getting ahead. And in the end, it isn't even about getting ahead in abstract terms like money but being able to live the life you want. If you worry too much about "I deserve this" or "This is coming to me" when its not necessary, you're going to create a lot of conflict and paralyzation in your life that you don't need. Stop being assertive, and start being smart.


    I said no such thing.  Nor did I agree that it was slave labor. 

    I'm glad that you like it as a hobby.  I, personally, have a dayjob developing, so I don't like to develop for free, after work.  

    But I do enjoy farking around on my machine after work, and as you said, the ability to relax and just live is wonderful.

    And I'm not demeaning anyone for wanting to do so.

    Just don't call Opensource development 'professional'.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    ScanIAm wrote:
    
    Just don't call Opensource development 'professional'.


    A lot of people who write open source code are, like you, developers by day. What makes the quality of their work inferior to yours? I would argue that the drive of passion is stronger than money.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    TimP wrote:
    
    ScanIAm wrote:
    
    Just don't call Opensource development 'professional'.


    A lot of people who write open source code are, like you, developers by day. What makes the quality of their work inferior to yours?

    For starters, the lack of a support infrastructure?  There are always going to be exceptions, but if I have a problem with product X, I'd better be able to solve it myself, because I sure can't call a 1-800 number and get support.

    But that is beyond the point I'm trying to make.  Look up the difference between professional and amateur and try not to drag negative or positive connotations into it. 
    TimP wrote:
     
    I would argue that the drive of passion is stronger than money.


    I would argue that you are young and don't have a mortgage.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.