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posted by martyb on Sunday March 31 2019, @12:51AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the be-sure-to-FLOSS-twice-a-day dept.

https://fossforce.com/2019/03/foss-on-the-road-to-nowhere/

The FSF and Linux Foundation are not the only organizations that could assume the moral leadership of FOSS. practices the same ideals that existed in FOSS twenty years ago. Similarly, after years of inactivity, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has been struggling recently to again be relevant. However, both have a long way to ago before they can speak for the majority of FOSS, assuming they would care to.

Maybe the loss of a single direction is a sign of the success of FOSS. Maybe shared ideals can only exist at a certain point in a movement's development, and to wish otherwise is only meaningless nostalgia. Yet, despite the success of FOSS, today it has only partly transformed technology and business, and much remains to do. Unless we decide to content ourselves with what has already been done, I think that a sense of meaning — of making a difference — is more useful than seeing FOSS as nothing more than a shorter time to market.


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:08AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:08AM (#822558)

    ...or any of it's members for christs sake!

    • (Score: 2) by corey on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:21AM (8 children)

      by corey (2202) on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:21AM (#822561)

      Citation needed. How have they been immoral?

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:42AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:42AM (#822564)

        Using the Lord's name in vain in comments, etc.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Sunday March 31 2019, @04:15AM (1 child)

          by driverless (4770) on Sunday March 31 2019, @04:15AM (#822631)

          Is Linus mentioned in comments?

          • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:03PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:03PM (#822728) Journal

            If so, I hope nobody is using his name in vane or in vein.

            The 3rd tempation of Linus . . .

            Ballmer then showed Linus all of the CPUs of the world and their splendor.
            "These I will give you", he said, "If you will bow down and click I AGREE to my EULA."

            --
            The rain in Spain stays mainly inside the aircraft.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:59AM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:59AM (#822590) Journal

        When Microsoft acquired The Linux Foundation in 2016, it ceased to be moral.

        --
        The rain in Spain stays mainly inside the aircraft.
        • (Score: 2) by corey on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:25PM

          by corey (2202) on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:25PM (#822847)

          Thanks, I'd totally forgotten about this.

          I wouldn't call it immoral, more that their vales may have changed away from the FOSS.

        • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday March 31 2019, @10:56PM

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Sunday March 31 2019, @10:56PM (#822873) Homepage Journal

          They saw it was for sale, they bought it, why does that make them immoral? Was it stolen and did they know? I mean, we try not to buy too many stolen things. But, a lot of times we don't know. And we think, "oh that's a tremendous bargain," we buy it. And it's a tremendous bargain for us -- unless the police come looking for it. I don't see the police coming for Microsoft. And that's not because they never heard of Microsoft, it's one of our most popular, most famous companies. So I give them a mulligan!!!!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @10:30AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @10:30AM (#822688)

        The Linux Foundation is a 501(c)(6) trade group. As such, its membership consists of corporations. Corporations are a legal and regulatory construction, and so have no capability to have morals.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by DannyB on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:05PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:05PM (#822729) Journal

          But you forget . . . corporations are people too! And thus they have morals! And like any valuable resource, morals are a marketable commodity.

          --
          The rain in Spain stays mainly inside the aircraft.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:51AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @01:51AM (#822565)

    Yes, it has traded its values. "We" had no reason to follow some trends in computing, yet "we" did. All those that things fuck up the user and developer hard, like interface fads or moving to the cloud or changing APIs at quick pace, are today strong among FOSS, when it should be against it.

    Gosh, I remember when GNOME started because there was no warranty about Qt future. Yet here we are, with stupid "we know better than you, eat this shit UI, same than the privative ones" 3.x version, and the "we will change the API constantly" GTK.

    Or maybe a good part of those that said they cared, were lying 20 years ago. OSS part probably was.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DECbot on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:23AM

      by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:23AM (#822581) Journal

      Speaking of OSS (Open Sound Server, not Open Source Software), OSSv4 seems to generally work better than pulseaudio. Too bad OSSv3 burned bridges with the FLOSS community and now we have to suffer shit for sound servers. We should have been more practical like the BSDs or forked OSSv2 and merged back when OSS was relicensed. Now there's only a hodgepodge of hacks for sound support and OSS is tangently supported as a second class citizen.
       
      I think you nailed it. FOSS doesn't have the resources to refactor code bases to keep pace with the tends and lately it's been too impatient to refine the current projects and then adversely impacted by cash rich hipster startups trying to profit from NIH syndrome.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:16AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:16AM (#822579)

    Open Source Software is not Free Software. That dirty hippy Stallman told how many times now. The ugly hairty Jew is right, once again.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:36AM (#822607)

      That dirty hippy Stallman told how many times now. The ugly hairty Jew is right, once again.

      That's just another way of saying RSM was prescient.

      You snowflakes deserve Donny.

      The West is done for.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Bot on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:33AM (4 children)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @02:33AM (#822583) Journal

    when FOSS was the exception, people did it because they were either ideologically and morally inclined to, or because they foresaw that this model would bear good fruit.

    But then, FOSS success made it so that non free software hasn't got a chance in many scenarios.
    So what happens? that people with the commercial software mindset and ethics began to adopt FOSS because they were forced to.
    And hardware producer began to design for the fact that stuff couldn't be made obsolete by the ping pong between new hardware and driver updates.

    This means, FOSS that barely follows the licenses, or that uses the loopholes, and closed hardware.

    Add to this new smartphone raised generations that can't even game, let alone dev, vs. the generation that cut their teeth on amigas and DOS demos.

    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:07AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday March 31 2019, @03:07AM (#822592) Journal

      I game on my gaming phone [wccftech.com]!!!

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Pav on Sunday March 31 2019, @08:39AM (1 child)

      by Pav (114) on Sunday March 31 2019, @08:39AM (#822672)

      The Free Software Movement had real power. I remember commercial software developers begging for us to stop as our movement gathered steam. Our communities were where issues were hashed out and things got done. Unfortunately we lacked leadership (either lacking diplomacy like Stallman, apathetic about non-technical matters like Linus, or enthusiastic to show the Silicon Valley bosses to control and sell our communities like Eric Raymond). Now bosses control us again... the dog collars are on... if not on all of us individually, most certainly our community and industry.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday April 02 2019, @02:02AM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday April 02 2019, @02:02AM (#823371) Journal

        The tone of this question is fearful and despairing, and unwarranted. Fear is always good clickbait. FLOSS software will never be in decline. It takes only one release, one reverse engineering effort, to rip the de facto proprietary status off any data. There are thousands of people in the world who are talented enough to create clones. Consider all the old games that have gone open source, because copyright has nothing left to offer them but obscurity, obsolescence, and destruction.

        Copying is a natural right. We continue to waste a great deal of effort trying to paywall information, and otherwise maintain and enforce the artificial scarcity copyrights and patents need to function, instead of throwing our resources and thinking into building and improving viable replacements. Copyleft is brilliant, but at heart it is not nearly revolutionary enough, depending as it does on copyright.

        Copyright is so enduring because it pushes people's emotional buttons, not because it's good. It triggers our fear of loss (you're going to give away software that could be worth millions??) and our sympathies for those poor starving artists. It's a propagandistic con job, much like Make America Great Again. Like all such lies, its credibility is a passing thing. It can take centuries, and it has. The Gutenberg press could not break copyright, but looks like the Age of Information will.

    • (Score: 3, Disagree) by TheRaven on Sunday March 31 2019, @05:37PM

      by TheRaven (270) on Sunday March 31 2019, @05:37PM (#822769) Journal

      Even in the early days, most of the people doing open source (and not insisting that they called it Free Software) were doing so for pragmatic, often economic, reasons. That applied even to a lot of FSF people. Even Stallman didn't start out on an ideological crusade, he just wanted to be able to fix a bug in a printer driver and couldn't because he didn't have the source code.

      From a business perspective, open source is about having the option of a second source at any point. If my vendor goes out of business, I can always get someone else to maintain the code (though it may be prohibitively expensive). That kind of incentive naturally favours larger projects, because they're more likely to have multiple companies willing to support you.

      --
      sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pav on Sunday March 31 2019, @08:22AM (1 child)

    by Pav (114) on Sunday March 31 2019, @08:22AM (#822667)

    Richard Stallman was right. What Free Software failed to do was extend those methods to business methods... There should have been a Free Software collectively developed version of the Co-op movement so we could sack the Silicon Valley bosses and financiers. Imagine what Free Software style Co-Op franchises could have done for the rest of society eg. burger flippers, baristas, taxi drivers etc... Instead, the big boys subverted Free Software so that they adopted the form but not the democratising function of Free Software and called it Open Source, and then did what we should have done ie. pushed OUR methods beyond I.T into the business world (ie. the gig economy). Hopefully Richard Wolff, or one of the other Co-Op pushers will get with the program, and we can start downloading and executing real-world software ie. business plans, and extend that radical worldwide collaboration we already know to earning a crust.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01 2019, @02:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01 2019, @02:22AM (#822952)

      > ... taxi drivers ...

      Are there any distributed ride hailing packages? I'm thinking Uber, but without the central company and money grab (and initial stake/subsidy) by a few rich investors and C-suite bosses. Operated as a co-op, the drivers would get the bulk of the fare, with only a small % going to the developers--who could still be well paid if the system was big enough.

  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:14AM (2 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:14AM (#822679)

    I thought the relevant term is FLOSS, not FOSS; or am I out of date? The L is important to some folk.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:50AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:50AM (#822683)

      The L was added later to clarify the meaning of Free.

  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:16AM (3 children)

    by choose another one (515) on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:16AM (#822680)

    F is for Free, might not work, might be shit, might be vapourware forever

    OSS is for Open, collaborative development as a better way to produce shit that works

    That's it, it's always been that way.

    Linux (the kernel) has always been that way - Linus thought the GPL was a useful licence to use for collaborative development, he picked it (as I understand it) because it was right _practically_, not for ideological reasons. Linux hasn't gone GPLv3. Linux has GPL exceptions where needed (binary kernel modules). etc.

    OSS has always been that way since ESR wrote Cathedral and Bazaar - some people still seem to think the Cathedral was proprietary, it wasn't, it was Free, specifically FSF/GNU.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:56AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:56AM (#822684)

      some people still seem to think the Cathedral was proprietary, it wasn't, it was Free, specifically FSF/GNU.

      The Cathedral and the Bazaar was also about how things were developed. Cathedral software was build by a select group until it was complete and released, Bazaar was more about continous development (adding feature, release, bugfixes and more features, release, etc).

      • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:15PM

        by Dr Spin (5239) on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:15PM (#822845)

        Cathedral software was build by a select group until it was complete and released, Bazaar was more about continous development

        No software is ever complete. Quite a lot of it appears to escape, rather than be released.

        The BSDs are cathedral in that there is quality control and release engineering, centrally controlled, for the entire product.

        Linux distros are often just bizarre (have systemd - won't travel).

        --
        Guns don't kill thousands, presidents kill thousands.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Bot on Sunday March 31 2019, @11:25AM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @11:25AM (#822693) Journal

      > some people still seem to think the Cathedral was proprietary, it wasn't, it was Free, specifically FSF/GNU
      oh.
      Anyway I started having problems with the cathedral and the bazaar.

      The cathedral gave us systemd and the bazaar gave us npm.

      I would say, to stay in the metaphor, that the cathedral may be built by a malevolent masonic lodge, and that the bazaar may be full of pickpockets.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:23PM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31 2019, @09:23PM (#822846)

    That website is a strange place.

    The article is from March 18th 2019, the next one down is from December 27th 2017. Nothing in between? Doesn't look like it.

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