« Lee Felsenstein | Main | Shoes must be worn at all times when riding this toy »

Men of straw

Scripting News

And weblogs, like the one you're reading now, are generally managed with software that neither comes from Microsoft or open source developers. Now you may think either MS or OS will crush us, but stop and think, do you really want that to happen? Would you prefer that independent developers be able to make a living writing software? I know, Eric Raymond told you that there were other ways to make money developing software. Unfortunately, those techniques don't work for end-user software, the easy to use stuff, for individual people. The only thing that works there is developers charging users for the product. We can afford to give you a lot of source, but not all of it.

Sigh. What a crock this is. It completely ignores Movable Type, for one thing, but I really really wish sometimes this guy'd get over the massive inferiority complex and not have to piss and moan everytime someone writes anything about weblogs and doesn't pay him obesiance. Remember: whenever DW says "There's more to commercial software than Microsoft," what he really means is "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" This is the only thing he ever says about OSS, no matter what the inspiring link. Over and over. Open source vs closed mind.

Plus this bushwah entry just rehashes his usual tired arguments against open source: no one can make a living writing it (demonstrably untrue, unless you completely forget the corporate development market and just reduce the industry to companies whose main business is software) and that open source is only good for infrastructure and not end user development. Again, only perhaps true if you reduce the market to companies like UserLand, and if you ignore the great deal of recent progress on fronts like KDE and GNOME. Do they meet Apple HIG? No. Are they improving all the time? Yes. A good deal of my own career has been spent writing software for a corporate user base, but we never meant to sell any of it; and yet somehow, despite the fact that we were using open source technologies in many cases, I managed to make a living.

As a matter of fact, we had much more trouble with one commercial developer, who were doing things like shipping their software with asserts still enabled, causing our implementations to sometimes just drop into a debugger, costing us money and time until the data center personnel noticed the error on the server. They also decided that the product was going to become a website IDE, abandoning the paying customers (in our case at least, and in many others I had heard of) who had significant investments in said product as a system-level scripting language, leaving them without any level of support for the product whatsoever. Determining the identity of this developer is left as an exercise for the reader.