[pmwiki-users] Commercialism in PmWiki (was: Google Analytics)

Marc Cooper gmane at auxbuss.com
Sat Aug 26 14:49:30 CDT 2006

Neil Herber said...
> At 2006-08-26  12:33 PM +0200, Joachim Durchholz is rumored to have said:
> >I've always wondered what these other reasons might be (because the
> >ability to sue has always been striking me as a rather weak argument):
> >What would these other reasons be?
> I have only one concrete example of commercial vs OS behavior, and it 
> defies logic.
> Initially the client was quite keen on open-source products because 
> they were seen as more "nimble" than traditional boxed software. They 
> could add features as they wished and tailor the package to their own use.
> Open source products were also seen as more secure - because they 
> allowed the client to examine the source code and detect or close any 
> backdoors or confirm that such backdoors did not exist.
> However, the client is now talking about using a commercial product 
> because it is "supported" by an organization and is not just some guy 
> in his garage. I am pretty sure that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs 
> started their companies in garages, so I don't see the problem - 
> especially if you have the source!

The dubious expectation of corporate responsibility. Whatever 
'expectation' might mean.

> And of course the security concerns are now buried under assurances 
> from the commercial vendor that the software is secure, since the 
> end-user no longer has access to the source.

Well, he would say that wouldn't he/she ;-) There's one born every 

You could, of course, ask your client to provide an example of a bug in 
one of his proprietary software programs. Next, ask him to ask the 
vendor to take responsibility for the fault. I leave the rest to you.

I'm increasingly going around a similar discussions, mainly because the 
world has changed and the best solutions for clients are now often those 
built with OSS (and usually FOSS). Presuming you are dealing with the 
P&L holder, then it's still useful to go up a level to explain things. 
FOSS benefits scale really well across an organisation, and once the 
budget holders understands the savings - read: impact their annual bonus 
- then you will see resistance melt away.


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