OpenSource MNCs ( Killing The Poor Quality Software )

August 1, 2007 at 10:14 am | Posted in Hacking, Patterns | Leave a comment

Most Corporates always think that Software-Patents are good for them. i don’t think so, Software-Patents are as much bad for MNCs as much as they are bad for society. think of SCO lawsuit, one of the longest running cases and today think of M$-Novell deal – an agreement that they will not sue each-other on patents. nearly every proprietary company at some point is threatened by Software-Patents. companies running OpenSource have rarely got such lawsuits :-).. i call it a dual-edge: high-quality software with nearly ZERO threats as compared to what proprietary software companies are dealing with everyday.

Proprietary corporate and Software Patent system help promote creating poor quality software as compared to Open Source software [1]. this software-patent cycle also kills human-growth, technological-development, innovation and technical-competence. we will face much bad consequences in near future if we will not take any preventive measures and presently we are facing them and they shape our lives, for the worse because proprietary corporate got the heavy amounts of money fllowing in. from this year 2007, it will take next 100 years for present Software-Patent system to show its ill-effects properly in social and economic terms. after 100 years innovation will be killed and competence and specialized programming skill will cease to exist and remember ia m not talking of only software people, i am talking of Sales and Economic growth too as software had made into every part of this world and for all countries, it functions like blood in our bodies.

we need to stop, at least, Algorithmic patents 1st, if governments want technological revolution or if any MNC wants good quality softwares, then they need to put men in charge based on technical competence rather than on the basis of who pays more tax or who got MBA degree[2] but that is not going to happen , on the real side most Governments do not want to develop technology that way and nearly all corporations are interested purely in money with ZERO innovation and both keep everything under-developed and poorly managed using Software-Patents system. today USA thrives on success as a most-developed country because it has competent people from all over the world pooled at one place: USA. 28% of NASA scientists are Indians and a good percentage of Doctors & Engineers are from different parts of the world and hence USA grew rapidly because they got the “cream of the whole world” but i think in the near future software quality is going to be damaged very badly in USA. the people in American government had forgotten what the knew 40 years ago.

only one solution will be a social and economic system based on technical competence in softwares. if any country, not the USA alone, stops Algorithmic-Patents then they will get amazing insights into technology and not to mention the unique softwares [3] i think Governments and proprietary corporate needs to understand that you can not compare “money brings money” with “technically talented people bring money”. 2nd, if a business wants to stand in the competition in long-term and at the same time wants to have grip on the market, then one needs to continuously grow and expand everyday, every year. growth happens when you have innovation, competency based on technical terms, not on MBA/M.Sc. (CS) degrees . a company that makes poor products is not going to stand for long because his competitor will always try to make better product and eventually he will succeed and will drive you out. i don’t think any MNC,whether proprietary or OpenSource is in the business for 3-7 years , everyone wants to stand for long and if one does not adapt new methods and new ways to solves problems, other one will slowly kill him to death with his new vision, tools and business practices. of course money will help you a lot but for how long when you competitor has better tools, better vision and overall talented management. in short, what OpenSource gives the corporate:

1.) less expanses on raw products
2.) better quality of end product
3.) more controllable management of software as compared to present system
4.) better and talented programmers at much less cost.
5.) less bugs and hence less headaches
6.) fast release cycles (only if they want)
7.) responsible bets testers

they are just few…and general.. and i have not started to calculate exact dollars. some companies have reported the 60% savings on softwares. i wish i could give you the original links but i have lost them :-(

to resolve the present sad issue of algorithmic-patents 1st, i think, Free Software advocates [4] and all those people who respect Hacker attitude [5] need to turn themselves into “Business Owners”, “Presidents of Corporations”. it looks awkward but i think to change the present Software system we need to step-into the system, using the edge of *high-quality* softwares and then changing it from the core, rather than dealing with effects only. I, by not using non-Free and proprietary software on my computer, deal with effects only .actually we *bang* our heads with the effects rather than the cause. in order to change anything we need to look and deal with the cause, the cause is corporate and huge-cash flow and that gives them power to control governments.

it is quite sad but i *expect* exactly in that way from corporate world:

http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/6/12/232

i only want to know how we, as Free Software and Hacker Community can take over such challenges. i came up only with one idea:

developing my own Free Software business (something like Red Hat but being more selective in choosing softwares like Debian’s DFSG and BLAG) and if we are only 50 owners ( in numbers) creating biggy-BIG MNCs over 10-20 years of time. our edge is *high-quality* OpenSource softwares then i think we can make proprietary world helpless and as a result people and government will be forced to use Free Softwares.


please post your comments and as usual, i am open to constructive criticism only :-)



[1] well, before you flame me, i will stay clear-cut by saying that there are exceptions on both directions and what said applies to majority of Softwares. check yourself: ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/pub/paradyn/technical_papers/fuzz-revisited.ps

[2] http://www.paulgraham.com/bronze.html

[3] http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html, http://www.coyotos.org/index.html, http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hurd-paper.html

[4] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/schools.html

[5] http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#attitude

 



Copyright © 2007, Arnuld
Uttre, #331/type-2/sector-1, Naya Nangal,
Distt. – Ropar, Punjab (INDIA) – 140126

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.

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