Open Source is Good. To a Point.

Erwin Oliva wrote today about how an RP Software Association opposes the Open Source Bill, here.

I expect a great deal of mud slinging to start from either side. What would be good though, is for both to start stating examples of either’s strengths, instead of long winded statements heavy on hypothesis, such as “…imposing restrictions (on graduates) on what kind of training can be offered defies all logic and reason” and “As an industry association, we encourage the fostering of forward-thinking innovation and creativity — necessary characteristics of a healthy software industry and essential pillars of the ‘FLY HIGH 2010’ software industry targets.


The fact of the matter is, the PSIA is asking the government to reconsider due to the simple fact that the local software industry will not be able to sell software to the gov’t., which might lead to its demise.

How simple is it to say something like that? It’s not deceptive, it’s direct, it’s honest, it’s easily understood, and cuts through the crap quite well. I understand that they might resort to verbal exercises to keep people from thinking that they’re nothing but money grubbers, but on the other hand, whoever thinks that all software should be free has a very tough life ahead of him and should wake up from la-la land as quickly as possible anyway.

Which leads me to the other side, which is, the Open Source Bill. And if it isn’t obvious by now which side I believe in, I’ll spell it out: I do not believe that Open Source is the end – all and be – all of all software. It is vitally important for a healthy level of enterprise to remain to keep the software industry alive.

The problem I think, is that a lot of open source advocates see the software industry as Microsoft and others, which charge an arm and a leg for their bloated products. I understand this, believe me I completely do. But it’s also important to realize that there are many quality vendors and software manufacturers out there whose products I am more than willing to pay for, because they produce quality without wanting to rule the world. Not only will I pay them, I wish for them to prosper, because their products are so well made that a wider user base allows them to produce better quality.

However, in order for them to do that, they need to turn a profit. They need to put food on the table, because at the end of the day, or to be exact, the 15th and 30th, you need to cash a check to pay the bills, put a roof over your family and pay tuition for your kids. This in turn results in money our economy could use.

Can this be done if everyone offered all their software as Open Source? No. I do not think so.

Even handed, pragmatic, and more importantly, well informed people are necessary right now to resolve this situation. Certainly not rhetoric.

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