Open Source Briefing - Report & THANKS

Brad Hards bhards at
Sun Dec 22 11:22:43 EST 2002

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On Sun, 22 Dec 2002 04:03, Patrick Balfour wrote:
> When asked that question, you must consider the mind set of the asker. The
> asker is totally grounded in the ' my company must make a profit'  mode and
> has trouble understanding any other approach to life.  Their primary goal,
> every working day, is "How do I make a profit on my work today?" and "What
> can I do to enhance my (company's) profitability?"
Concur on the mind set part.
In this case, we are talking about a politician. He wants to encourage people 
to create businesses in Canberra, and keep the money local (because this is a 
stronger economy, and even Labour party politicians understand the power of 
money in our current social model.

This is why I like to use the "its a service, not a product". It is an 
especially good answer in a place like Canberra, because the populcation 
doesn't really want production facilities. It is a trite answer in that it 
misses out on _why_ people write software in their own time, with no 
expectation of future earnings, but it is a useful answer for certain 

Explaining software development as a creative outlet only works in certain 
environments, and a politician's office isn't one of them.

"Well he tried sculpture and ceramics, but found greater satsifaction in 
kernel device drivers..."

> >The trouble is that the question assumes that there's a "they" - the
> >software industry, who write software 'cos that's what they do - and
> >an "us", who use software to do whatever it is we do.
This wasn't something I'd given a lot of thought to, but Rusty brought up the 
point on Thursday that open source environments really give you a path from 
novice to power-user to developer to super-developer. Turning users into 
developers is a really important process, and one that I'd like to see 
promoted more. "Linux hacking as a social activity".

I have some more ideas that flow on from this, but need to get it together 

- -- 22-25Jan2003. Perth, Aust. I'm registered. Are you?
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