Coffeehouse Thread

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  • User profile image
    Bass

    @figuerres:

    I'm not talking about "normal users", I'm talking about big organizations with software engineering staff. Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM, Oracle, etc. come to mind, but of course, there are many others (incl. the peeps I work for) who have the engineering ability to contribute to or modify FOSS software in their own self-interest. And do.

    Also there are many companies (eg. Red Hat) that will gladly take your money to add features to FOSS software, and they have wide expertise in doing that sort of thing.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    @Bass: But that's why I said that FOSS software which doesn't have the backing of a big IT firm is basically a no-go area for any sensible company. The idea that FOSS somehow guarantees cost-effective future development of a piece of software is pure fantasy.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I don't know what you are trying to say. FOSS guarantees that you'll have access to the source code, with the legal ability to modify and redistribute it at will. That is the basic guarantee.

    The difference between FOSS and proprietary is a legal distinction and nothing more. FOSS can be made by big companies (Microsoft even! see: the OT of this thread) and proprietary software can be made people like Joe in his basement (I've been that Joe in his basement before, well besides the basement part).

    The whole tangent of "big companies vs Joes" is kind of ridiculous and nonsensical in a way.

    You could do similar things to what FOSS provides using reverse engineering with proprietary software. For instance making a modified version of MS Windows and putting it up on BitTorrent or selling it in a store for profit. But you chance getting caught and sued or worse. The Windows EULA does not permit you to redistribute or modify Windows, even for non-commercial purposes.

    Not so with FOSS. I could (and actually have) made customized versions of Linux and other FOSS that I have outright redistributed. The license agreement permits this.

    Really, that's the difference. Anything else is just random nonsensical posturing.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , Bass wrote

    The whole tangent of "big companies vs Joes" is kind of ridiculous and nonsensical in a way.

    No, that's actually the only thing that matters. Being FOSS is basically meaningless for 99% of companies out there that have no software developers nor the desire to employ them. For them, software backed by reliable "big name" companies is a much safer investment than software which doesn't have that sense of stability (whether justified or not).

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    No, that's actually the only thing that matters. Being FOSS is basically meaningless for 99% of companies out there that have no software developers nor the desire to employ them. For them, software backed by reliable "big name" companies is a much safer investment than software which doesn't have that sense of stability (whether justified or not).

    and many small to say mid size just do not have the time and the bankroll to spend on paying someone to spend time finding out how the code works or who to trust for support.

    as long as that is the case then a lot the time the free software loses.

    I guess Bass you just do not "get it"  90% of the world is not interested in the whole foss thing, they just want stuff that works.   so the foss ideals of giving the the power to the people only addresses the small technical slice of the pie and totally misses the larger audience that it was supposed to help / empower.

    nuff said.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @AndyC:

    I don't know where you get your 99% number from? Some kind of study or something you could link to please? if I used my own observations when working for various organisations, I would say something like 100% of all companies have software developers. Tongue Out

    Also, the "only" thing that matters? I have an idea of something that matters: the product actually doing solving the problem. I don't care if it was backed by Joe The Plumber or "Backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the Federal Government of the United States of America". If the product doesn't solve the problem, it's basically useless.

    Regardless, FOSS is definitely preferable to proprietary. If all things are the same, if I could get Windows or Office for free and with the ability to modify and redistribute it without restriction, that would be much better than the current situation. That is unless you are into kinky finance/legal BSDM with your vendors (yes, it is a real thing). I won't judge you.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @figuerres:

    "I guess Bass you just do not "get it"  90% of the world is not interested in the whole foss thing, they just want stuff that works."

    90%? That's another interesting statistic. I'd love to see the study. But unfortunately, all I got are studies like this:

    https://www.linux.com/news/featured-blogs/200:libby-clark/579384:survey-open-source-adoption-rises-drives-innovation?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    """

    This year's "Future of Open Source Survey" results signal a tipping point for open source software adoption in the enterprise and non-technical industries such as automotive, health care and finance. In the auto industry, for example, 59 percent of the companies surveyed use open source software and 35 percent said they're evaluating it.

    """

    Wow, that's some interesting results! Perhaps you were reading this same study as me, but you made a simple typo? Perhaps you meant "90% of the world is not interested in the whole foss thing"

    """

    Of the 740 companies surveyed, 42 percent said adoption in the non-technical segments was the No. 1 trend driving open source in 2012.

    """

    Hmmm... so it's not just technical segments. This is interesting to me, because I never even worked in a non-technical segment before. Good to know.

    """

    They turn to open source software to escape vendor lock-in, lower costs and increase quality, according to the survey.

    """
    Wow, this statement sure seems familiar.

    Also interesting, "Lack of formal commercial vendor support" was not the biggest barrier to open source adoption. Rather, it was simply unfamiliarity with open source solutions.

    Interesting stuff indeed. FOSS is more popular than some people realise here, I suppose.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , Bass wrote

    @AndyC:

    I don't know where you get your 99% number from? Some kind of study or something you could link to please? if I used my own observations when working for various organisations, I would say something like 100% of all companies have software developers. Tongue Out

    If you honestly think most companies employ software developers, have any interest in software development or indeed even the slightest desire in diverting resources into something that isn't a core competency of their business, you're massively deluded I'm afraid.

    , Bass wrote

    @figuerres:

    """

    Of the 740 companies surveyed, 42 percent said adoption in the non-technical segments was the No. 1 trend driving open source in 2012.

    """

    Hmmm... so it's not just technical segments. This is interesting to me, because I never even worked in a non-technical segment before. Good to know.

    And how much of that adoption was outside of the "big name" projects like Apache or Linux, both of which would fall under the category of having substantial commercial backing from known names. Nobody has argued that people avoid FOSS, rather that there is an inclination to prefer "known" products from reliable names far more then some random project started by your average Joe.

    Also interesting, "Lack of formal commercial vendor support" was not the biggest barrier to open source adoption. Rather, it was simply unfamiliarity with open source solutions.

    Interesting stuff indeed. FOSS is more popular than some people realise here, I suppose.

    More interesting

    "Number of Survey Respondents in 2011: 455

    Number in 2012: 740"

    Are you aware of the concept "statistically insignificant"?

  • User profile image
    kettch

    I work for a medium sized business, and we have several developers, and I can tell you that we have enough work already without having to figure out how the heck some FOSS package works and fixing it ourselves. We have ZERO interest in setting up another development toolchain, training on languages, tools and understanding of a single piece of software. I'd say that there are even a bunc in the Fortune 500 set who would say the same thing.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    If you honestly think most companies employ software developers, have any interest in software development or indeed even the slightest desire in diverting resources into something that isn't a core competency of their business, you're massively deluded I'm afraid.

    *snip*

    I would go so far as to say that not even 100% of software companies employ software developers.

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    The only time I'd want to be able to look at the source code of a third party component and modify it is when that component is FOSS. That's because I often come across strange hard coded configurations that make sense in some version-last environment but don't make sense given currently updated components. It seems that FOSS developers tend to assume that other devs will inevitably look at the source, so it doesn't matter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because there are people who enjoy hunting through foreign code to patch things up. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @AndyC:

    If you honestly think most companies employ software developers, have any interest in software development or indeed even the slightest desire in diverting resources into something that isn't a core competency of their business, you're massively deluded I'm afraid.

    Well, I'm a man of science. It's very rare that I accept quantitative statements on faith alone. When you throw numbers at me, it would be nice to know how you derived those numbers. I'm not going to sit around and pick apart your statistical models. But it would be nice to have something more to back them up than well... nothing. Just saying.

    And how much of that adoption was outside of the "big name" projects like Apache or Linux, both of which would fall under the category of having substantial commercial backing from known names. Nobody has argued that people avoid FOSS, rather that there is an inclination to prefer "known" products from reliable names far more then some random project started by your average Joe.

    Alright. But that's a fairly concrete hypothesis. It would need to be tested before I can argue for or against it.

    It's worth noting that companies like Red Hat or Canonical support a huge variety of software, it's very hard to find something they won't "support" if you hand them money, and they have the expertise to do so generally speaking. That doesn't change your hypothesis, but it could potentially change the definition of "known" in the context of it.

    Are you aware of the concept "statistically insignificant"?

    So you'd like to discredit the study? Ah!

    I am aware of the concept "statistically insignificant", but I assume my understanding is different than yours. I am not a pro-statistician by any means, so please free to explain how this study is statistically insignificant. Feel free to use to mathematical concepts in your argument. That would make it more enjoyable for me. I like Greek letters, they look very pretty in my font set.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    You could do similar things to what FOSS provides using reverse engineering with proprietary software. For instance making a modified version of MS Windows and putting it up on BitTorrent or selling it in a store for profit. But you chance getting caught and sued or worse. The Windows EULA does not permit you to redistribute or modify Windows, even for non-commercial purposes.

    Most companies and most users for that matter have absolutely no desire to modify their Windows installation either.

    The fetish of wanting to brand, tinker-with, modify, swap-out and play with bits of software is something that belongs exclusively to developers.

    A developer might say "Oh, curses, this software doesn't work in precisely the configuration I want. Right. Here's my Visual Studio, where do I prod".

    A normal user - never mind one with actual work to do - says "Stupid software. Why won't you just let me do my work. Who do I have to telephone to get this software to get out of my face and let me do some work today?".

  • User profile image
    Bass

    People's personal conjectures or quantitative statements with no backing are interesting but they don't prove anything. If this is all about personal experiences, I will say my experiences in "large companies/organizations" have always been that they are actively avoiding proprietary software, sometimes even banning it's use entirely in new software projects (this is surprisingly common these days). The reasons are often different. Cost is a huge one, but security and the ability to modify the software is very notable, and it's rare for a big company to use an open source product in a mission critical setting without modifying it for their environment in some way. But there is a systemic bias in this result, because it comes from my experiences.

    That's why I like independent studies to see how the world is moving. I like numbers but not when they come from myself or random people. It just doesn't lead to good science.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , Bass wrote

    *snip*

    I am aware of the concept "statistically insignificant", but I assume my understanding is different than yours. I am not a pro-statistician by any means, so please free to explain how this study is statistically insignificant. Feel free to use to mathematical concepts in your argument. That would make it more enjoyable for me. I like Greek letters, they look very pretty in my font set.

    740 companies. There are more than that in my local Yellow Pages, for a single city in Britain (not a particularly large city as it happens, in by no means the largest country in the world). Do you really need me to do the maths for you?

    And, FWIW, I've spent most of my working life in the higher education sector, which has always been far more heavily skewed in favour of *nix and one of the breeding grounds of FOSS. I've not lived a life in some Microsoft funded cocoon, as you seem to imagine.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @AndyC:

    "Do you really need me to do the maths for you?"

    Yes please! It would be very enlightening to see mathematically why a sample size of 700+ is statistically insignificant.

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    I haven't had much time to play with TypeScript, but I have gone it installed and I've gone through some samples.  I think it's a great idea and will really help a lot ... I've worked on some pretty big web applications that were written entirely in JS before and during migration from ASP to ASP.NET, and it was a nightmare, but TypeScript would have changed the game.  It would have actually made sense to never migrate to ASP.NET at all if TypeScript had existed then.  The only reason people seem to have a bad reaction to it is because of Dart/CoffeeScript and all that and they are definitely not the same thing.  If TS had of been available a year or two ago, I think no one would be talking about CoffeeScript or Dart.  The tooling will be the key to victory for TS.  Why would anyone with a lot of JS and VS2012 not use TypeScript?

     

     

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Richard.Hein wrote

    *snip*

    Why would anyone with a lot of JS and VS2012 not use TypeScript?

    Well, there still exist masochists in the world that would rather program in Emacs than in a modern IDE. Wink

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