[clug] [OT] Virgin Blue outage: All things come back to Open Source?

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Tue Sep 28 05:09:52 MDT 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 09/28/2010 11:51 AM, Daniel Pittman wrote:
> steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au> writes:
>> Original ZDnet piece:
>> <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-chief-value-of-open-source/5106?>
>> "Open source doesn’t even cut costs, because code licenses represent
>> only a tiny portion of a major product’s cost."
>> "The chief value of open source is visibility."
> I certainly don't disagree with this, however.

My response to that article here (because I'm not going to register for yet
another site just to post a reply):

(The original article talked about how FOSS wasn't a panacea for IT industry

I totally agree with you.  Open source software, like any software solution,
does not guarantee success.  Nothing does.  You can spend all the money you
want on brilliant emergency response plans, huge high-availability systems,
more layers of security than DLLs in a Microsoft Windows install, and the
highest-paid consultants on the block, and you'll still fail because you
forgot to pay the power bill or someone assumed you were in the northern

However, Free Open Source Software is usually not used in isolation.  Sure,
there are lots of expensive proprietary appliances I've seen out there which,
inside, have an old version of Linux in there and a bunch of scripts written
to make it work like a beautiful seamless toaster.  But most of the time Linux
and FOSS are used in a workplace in conjunction with a philosophy of working
together, of sharing information as well as source code, and in not hiding
flaws and details.  The people that work with FOSS (as opposed to appliance
vendors) are usually people who get this mentality - who want to work with
other things, who don't mind admitting a mistake if it means things get fixed
quicker, and pride themselves on the quality of their work because it's there
for everyone to see.

To treat FOSS as if it's just a drop-in replacement for something proprietary
is to miss the whole point.

Have fun,

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