Book: Open Sources - Voices from the Open Source Revolution
level of CEOs/CTOs/CIOs (not just hackers), promote the Linux
base, target Fortune 500 companies, and win over the trade and
mainstream media, Raymond urges.
Challenges being addressed by open source-based companies include
scalability of the service model, higher profitability, quality
consistency, and investibility.
"We have tremendous improvements to make before Linux is ready
for the average person to use. The graphical user interface is an
obvious deficit," cautions Bruce Perens, former head of the
Debian Project for Linux.
The proliferation of Web-based services in the Internet Age -
such as e-commerce site Amazon.com - represents an entirely new
breed of application called an "information application" or
perhaps "infoware," according to publisher Tim O'Reilly.
"Traditional software embeds small amounts of information in a
lot of software; infoware embeds small amounts of software in a
lot of information," says O'Reilly. Infoware applications are
fundamentally different than software applications and require
"The easy cloning of Web sites built with HTML + CGI + Perl
combination meant that for the first time, powerful applications
could be created by non-programmers. As the new killer
applications emerge, the role of software will increasingly be as
an enabler for infoware," O'Reilly predicts.
"Microsoft still doesn't realize - perhaps can't realize and
still be Microsoft - that software, as Microsoft has known it, is
no longer the central driver of value creation in the computer
business," according to O'Reilly.
Numerous useful online resources are highlighted in the book,
such as SlashDot.org, OpenSource.org, Mozilla.org, NetBSD.org,
GNU.org, and FSF.org.
Instead of seeing Open Source as a threat that could erode
intellectual property, software companies need to view it as an
opportunity to bring innovation to that intellectual property,
according to the editors. The computer industry needs the next
generation of ideas that will come from Open Source development.