April 14, 2004

Eric S. Raymond at ACCU

I'm at the ACCU conference in Oxford UK, and Eric is talking about the rise of Open Source in the context of World Domination. He compares the software industry previously and now to manufacturing vs. service to explain the business case for open source. The main benefit he quotes for enterprise is the complete control over the software chain - you have the source, no-one can take that away from you.

He also talked about the fact that many are scared that giving their source away will give an advantage to their competitors who get their software for free. He suggested that business rules and logic need not be a part of the enterprise software platform and that also your competitors would be spending a large amount of time trying to understand your software while you innovate and move further ahead. Ultimately, if they fix bugs in your platform then you benefit.

It's interesting to hear him speak because he's far less obsessed than many of the oft-cited open-source supporters. He accepts that there are times when closed source makes sense, and doesn't get involved in license arguments - suggesting that actually he thinks the GPL is unnecessary and sometimes a barrier to open-source adoption.

Altogether, a very interesting keynote.

Posted by Simon at April 14, 2004 09:27 AM | TrackBack

Hey Simon!

That's great you got to see ESR. It's always a pleasure to check out his site.

Did he happen to mention in which cases he thinks closed source makes sense? Not that I disagree; I was just wondering what his arguments were.


Posted by Eric at Apr 15, 2004 5:16 AM