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Open Source Businesses Linux

Linux Foundation Chief: Businesses 'Will Fail' If They Don't Use Open Source Code (techrepublic.com) 109

The luminaries speaking at the Google Cloud Next conference had some strong words about the importance of openness, innovation, and a rich developer community. An anonymous reader writes: First Vint Cert said there's a "thread of openness" that runs throughout the internet, adding that "the internet, itself, has open characteristics" and thrives on "permissionless innovation." And Eric Brewer, vice president of infrastructure at Google, touched on the same themes, according to Tech Republic. "Linux, Brewer said, won some of the early internet wars because it was open, but also because it was the most innovative of its time. He also said that companies should work with open source for the value of the ecosystem and community, not just the value of the code." Then Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin told the audience that business models were already changing to include open source, and ultimately made the argument that organizations that "don't harvest the shared innovation" of open source "will fail."
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Linux Foundation Chief: Businesses 'Will Fail' If They Don't Use Open Source Code

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2017 @12:46AM (#54021311)

    He also said that companies should work with open source for the value of the ecosystem and community, not just the value of the code.

    After seeing how GNOME 3, systemd and PulseAudio have destroyed Linux's usability for me, and after seeing how Firefox has gone way down hill, I have to question the involvement of large organizations, profit-driven or not, when it comes to the development of open source software.

    The best open source software I use on a daily basis is developed by a single individual, or perhaps a small team at most. This software is usable and pleasant to use, perhaps because the creators are often among its heaviest users.

    The worst open source software I have had to use has been developed by corporations or large organizations. In some cases this software has been supremely disruptive, especially when it has been forced on unwilling victims, like in the case of systemd. It's really strange to talk about the "ecosystem and the community", when software like systemd has, in my opinion and experience, inflicted great pain upon both of those things.

    • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @01:04AM (#54021355)

      Gnome3 and its ilk, are the result of developers (and especially designers) not listening to their userbase.

      "But the menu based metaphor systems are so... OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for not respecting user feedback about your choices as the dev team/designer.

      The same same is true for things like Pottering's systemd.
      "Script based inits, like found in sysv init, are just so OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for its removal.

      If you are a developer/designer, and you disagree with my attestation that just because something is old does not mean you should remove it (or replace it with something else), take this to heart:

      The air you breathe now is several MILLION years old. Why not replace that old, ancient air with something new, and edgy-- like ionized plasma freshly born from inside a star!? No, you don't like that idea, because your lungs aren't able to handle highly energetic plasma? Fancy that-- your end users have systems that are not able to handle having the init system changed willy-nilly either.

      • Gnome3 and its ilk, are the result of developers (and especially designers) not listening to their userbase.

        The Gnome 3 designers aren't entirely to blame for the mess. Experimentation is a good part of innovation, or we'd be stuck using the teletype terminal. The problem is the speed with which the experiment was mainlined or adopted by the major distributions as the one and only true path to desktop nirvana. If they had allowed, say, a five-year phase-in period where features are added gradually then maybe users will get used to the new supposedly touch-friendly interface. Also a "classic" interface should have

        • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

          A good example of how this could be done is the evolution of the Google home page. Without Googling for screenshots, who can actually tell the difference between the Google home page now and then?

          I don't need to view screenshots.. I just have to look at page rendering times and view the page source. Google's homepage used to be lightweight and simple, and now it's a bloated mess of javascript.

        • The problem is the speed with which the experiment was mainlined or adopted by the major distributions as the one and only true path to desktop nirvana.

          I don't know to which "major distributions" you refer, but Debian descendants still provide the more traditional look and feel of Xfce. To put Xfce on your Ubuntu box, for instance, run sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop

      • are just so OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for its removal

        Fortunately for you, that was never the justification to replace them.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Gnome3 and its ilk, are the result of developers (and especially designers) not listening to their userbase.

        "But the menu based metaphor systems are so... OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for not respecting user feedback about your choices as the dev team/designer.

        The same same is true for things like Pottering's systemd.
        "Script based inits, like found in sysv init, are just so OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for its removal.

        If you are a developer/designer, and you disagree with my attestation that just

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The thing is, you just just belong to a smaller user segment, that was deemed secondary to serve in order to improve the service for the primary focus groups. There isn't any conspiracy, or incompetence there. The mentioned applications were just marketed for mass needs instead of your elitistic little world.

      PulseAudio has worked well for me. I have not had one single issue with it in the last 10 years or so. Systemd based systems have been more manageable, and the absolute basics like automatic service res

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Init always had automatic service restarting, the "respawn" option of /etc/inittab...

        Of course having a service automatically restart just masks the true problem - namely that your service doesn't stay running on its own for whatever reason.

        • However handing respawning via inittab is like wielding a sledgehammer in a glass shop. With systemd you can enable/disable this with a easy setting on a per daemon basis and also define "only respawn X number of times during Y number of seconds" among other things.

          Regarding your second opinion I tend to agree, however there exists plenty of daemons/services where a pure restart does no real harm (say a webserver, dns server and so on) and one does not exclude the other, i.e just because your daemons respaw

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            Of course, in those limited cases, a small simple C program can take care of respawning without disrupting everything else in the system. Just drop it into the init script.

            • For this particular little feature of something like systemd and upstart yes, but then you have to make your solution distro agnostic, work with daemons that fork or not fork, that crashes in such a way that it brings the shell down with it and all of a sudden that small and simple program is not so small and simple any more.
              • by sjames ( 1099 )

                I once wrote one in 10 lines of C that woule compile on every distro as well as Irix and Solaris. So very hard!

                • And if it never got the SIGCHLD since signals does not have a delivery guarantee under any OS how well does your 10-line fork+execve+waitpid program work then?

                  And what if the daemon in question does a fork of it's own then your 10-liner gets the SIGCHLD while the daemon is running just fine and you will never get the SIGCHLD from the grandchild so you now have to add several lines more to read in a pid file and also hope that the daemon in question stores the running pid in such a file and further you have

                  • by sjames ( 1099 )

                    It never missed. Of course it was written for the daemon it was respawning.

                    However, now that cgroups is a thing, I could write one that never misses for any program. It would still be a lot less disruption to just drop that in than it is to use systemd.

                    Or, I could just use PR_SET_CHILD_SUBREAPER to make the respawner instance become the parent of any children of the daemon so that I just have to see if I still have child processes. Not available when I wrote the 10 liner, but available now.

                    Of course, system

                    • Well if you only care about deamons that you write your self then yes this is a no problem as you write but as a distribution one have to think about all those strange and different daemons out there.

                      Of course, systemd isn't a perfect solution either. For example, if a daemon forks and exits and then the child process gets stuck but doesn't terminate, systemd won't know about it. A custom restarter could check for that condition as needed.

                      For the random daemon out there yes but it the daemon supports systemd it can send heartbeats to systemd with "sd_notify (0, "WATCHDOG=1");" in order to catch a stalled deamon. systemd itself can also send heartbeats upwards to a harware watchdog so your whole server gets a reboot if the whole system stalls.

                    • by sjames ( 1099 )

                      You missed it! I could use the very code that systemd uses only isolated as a small restarter utility and get the same results with far less disruption to the system as a whole. It's what they should have done in the first place. The only reason systemd is better at restarting than the old restarters is that it can rely on cgroups to do the heavy lifting and that didn't exist years ago.

                      It's the same reason systemd hasn't tried to consume *BSD or Mac.

          • by fisted ( 2295862 )

            With systemd you can enable/disable this with a easy setting on a per daemon basis and also define "only respawn X number of times during Y number of seconds"

            Indeed. Like you can do with init. But let not get facts in your way of spreading systemd propaganda.

            • Of course you can, but you also have to write quite a bit of shell script in order to do that and not just alter a simple setting. And you would still fall through all manners of possible problems with pid-matching and so on that have plagued any such prior attempt via inittab.
              • by fisted ( 2295862 )


                if (ch->count >= MAXSPAWN) {
                initlog(L_VB,
                "Id \"%s\" respawning too fast: disabled for %d minutes",
                ch->id, SLEEPTIME / 60);

                That said, I'm not sure why

                • pid-matching is needed in the situation where the underlying deamon forks and thus the daemon is running as a grandchild to your monitoring process. Then the only way that your process can see if the grandchild is running is to check if the pid that it stored in a pid-file is running, however due to the limited space of pids (they are only 16 bits) there can spawn a different process that gets the same pid as your grandchild between the moment the grandchild crashes and your process detects that it's down w

    • let's add SELinux to that list.
    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      You don't have to use gnome3, pulse audio, or systemd if you don't want too. There are still distributions out there that shun those. Pick you poison or roll your own.

    • "Anonymous Coward [slashdot.org] said: "After seeing how GNOME 3, systemd and PulseAudio have destroyed Linux's usability for me"

      What stopped you uninstalling PulseAudio or using one of the other Linux Desktop Environments [howtogeek.com]. Video demo of XFCE vs MATE vs KDE [youtube.com].
      • by Wolfrider ( 856 )

        --Yah, I didn't like Pulseaudio for a while but it actually comes in handy for HDMI video output and volume control (pavucontrol). Systemd I don't like (and use the Antix distro to get around it) and haven't used GNOME regularly since about 2.4.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        It's trivially easy to dump pulseaudio and GNOME3, but systemd is somewhat harder to get rid of since it likes to dig it's tentacles into everything.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > The best open source software I use on a daily basis is developed by a single individual

      From a business perspective that would be risky unless it is not in any way business critical.

    • After seeing how GNOME 3, systemd and PulseAudio have destroyed Linux's usability for me

      Yeah damn my ability to switch audio dynamically in a modern way. Damn being able to manage system services without wading through 100 line scripts. Damn .... No actually you're right GNOME 3 can fuck right off.

    • Meh. I used Gnome 2 for years and was shocked as anybody at Gnome 3 but gave it a chance. Now there is no way in hell I would ever go back. It's simply fluid and suits my workflow. I think there just way too many people who would gladly live in the past without ever taking a chance on something new. I liken it to the XP users. They were happy (hey I was too) but c'mon, Windows 7 blew it away in terms of usability. I would argue for Gnome 3 all the same and even if not that, systemd (for all its faults) is
    • Gnome3 I can understand, but just use Kde instead.

      But how exactly did systemd and PulseAudio destroy usability for you? Personally I found they make my desktop system much better.

    • Businesses 'Will Fail' If They Don't Use Open Source Code...thats a hell of a marketing strategy but you have to remember, 7 billion people without a Start button when they sit in front of a monitor. The first think they do is pick up the phone and call their IT department for help. For the past 23 years, the global general public does not want to be educated to use Linux, they just want to retire using Windows.
  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @12:53AM (#54021331)

    Those things Google mentions-- like "Permissionless innovation" and the like-- those frighten the shit out of businesses who revolve around gatekeeping.

    You see, to stay relevant in such an atmosphere, one has to actually be innovative, stay innovative, and be among the most innovative. That costs money and effort. Innovating early, then stagnating the market with gatekeeping and patent abuse allows them to reap big financial rewards for years while doing nothing but placating shareholders. (See, EG, the likes of Oracle.)

    Google is *really* telling them that their market abuse strategy is doomed to failure, because innovators will not be discouraged by their heavy handed attempts to stop them, and the internet amplifies that innovation.

    Expect lots of denial, gnashing of teeth, and doubled-down litigation in the near future.

  • Point me to the open source equivalent of SolidWorks or Adobe Premiere and then we can talk.

    • Nobody seems to have been willing to make an actual project (and it would take a whole team and actual project leadership!) to create free industrial CAD/CAM on the level of Solidworks/CATIA.

      • It'd take a team, not only of software developers, but also mechanical engineers and others that would represent the target audience. Part of the problem with so much open-source stuff is that it often doesn't address the needs of many of its potential users, in large part because either those users' feedback is not solicited, or is dismissed out of hand. A package you write might scratch your particular itch, but it also has to scratch the itch of a lot of other people if it's to be widely successful. S
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        How about FreeCAD [freecadweb.org].

        I'm not claiming it's there yet, but it is quite useful in it's current form and improving. Certainly it shows that sombody IS willing to make an actual project.

    • Point me to the open source equivalent of SolidWorks or Adobe Premiere and then we can talk.

      There are opensource video editors, if that's what you mean by the trade name Adobe Premiere. Simply saying open source equivalent of [proprietary software] makes it difficult, if not impossible, to answer your question since if you're looking for the precise feature set or look-and-feel then obviously anything that's not Adobe Premiere is going to be not equivalent. Same thing for SolidWorks. What is SolidWorks, some sort of design software or a particular piece of software named SolidWorks that works exac

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Point me to the open source equivalent of SolidWorks or Adobe Premiere and then we can talk.

      OpenSCAD .. if you have a brain is better than any "3d-cad" guifui stuff where you spend countless hours making things look pretty.
      Whole of 3D-printing was built on it and it's pretty darn good. In about 5-10 years NO ONE will use Solidworks .. like no one really uses Excel any more.
      This too will pass.

  • Now let's get this thinking into medical and other research, solar and other physical product development, and finally ... government. Oh yes, and that girl next door.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday March 12, 2017 @03:59AM (#54021655) Journal

    that if you are a software company whose software doesn't fall under the "blessed trinity" then it would be SUICIDE to go FOSS as you won't be able to make enough to keep the lights on!

    Ever wonder why no FOSS game has taken game of the year? Why after all these years the only "competition" to Photoshop that is FOSS is literally some kid's school project? Why all those niche applications like medical diagnosis and billing are never FOSS, or why programs like GnuCash are a bad joke compare to commercial products like Quicken and Quickbooks from a decade ago? The answer is actually quite simple which is FOSS works on the blessed trinity and if your software doesn't fit that model you have no chance to survive and your company will go under. We've seen it happen time and time again, in everything from Windows to Linux game converters to repos for commercial software to OSes themselves, if it doesn't fit the trinity model? It has zero chance.

    This is why FOSS will never become the dominant license, why despite MSFT doing everything short of making a high res Goatse as the default wallpaper Windows 10 continues to grow while Linux is flatline, it all comes down to the trinity simply not working for the vast majority of software out there and without the software people want and need to do their jobs? You might as well be offering to trade their PC for a potato. For those that do not know what the blessed trinity is, its 1.- Selling services, 2.- Selling hardware, and 3.- e-begging. And if your software, which more than 95% of the software used daily by hundreds of millions qualify, doesn't work under this model? Then FOSS is suicide because you simply cannot make enough money to keep the lights on in FOSS if you don't fit the trinity model.

    I really wish it wasn't so, Windows 10 is such a nightmare it actually makes the thought of the return of the Ballmernator look like the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, and Google and Apple are racing to see which one can become the most Stasi like when it comes to gathering data, but as long as FOSS is so politicized and rigid that an individual or company cannot sell more than a single copy of their software before someone else gives it away for free? Then FOSS will stay exactly where it is, a niche tool mainly used by multinationals as a way to avoid licensing fees on their servers and to not have to pay for the software which they use on their hardware...which is of course #2 on the trinity..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      as long as FOSS is so politicized and rigid that an individual or company cannot sell more than a single copy of their software before someone else gives it away for free?

      There are many licenses out there, and nobody is forcing you to use a particular license. I'm trying to understand your point, which in a sense seems to be something like "FOSS would be more successful as a brand if it wasn't FOSS." Well, in which case, 1. it wouldn't be FOSS any more, and 2. again, nobody is forcing you to use that licensing model.

      Looking around, there's still plenty of jobs around for skilled programmers. Finally, and this may shock you; some people are motivated to create by values other

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