Response to Free Doesn't Refer Just to Price

Joshua Wulf wrote a well considered blog entry discussing the views of Frank Ottink (CEO of Yeald).

The article under discussion has had a huge amount of comment all over the place since it was first posted in November and Frank has written a subsequent article (which I may do a reply to shortly).

The thrust of the post is "there is more to Open Source, GPL and Free Software than simply not charging for it". Most specifically he makes the point about the community that is driving the software.

To put it simply Joshua, I agree with you. The community is critical.

Where a lot of the analysis falls down is in making the assumption that there is no community (which I argued in my response to Martin Fink).

While certainly not the size of the GNU/Linux community, there is a thriving Solaris community, some members of which take great offense at being told that they dont exist.

Part of the reason that we are doing teh open sourcing is that the Solaris community has been asking us for it. There are a lot of folks out there already doing development and actually open sourcing Solaris is an effort to help drive this further.

I'll go a bit further to say that as one of the folks involved in this project (peripherally), I don't see this as an Open Solaris vs Linux thing. There is room here for all comers and I believe that the more code out there in open source kernel space, the better for the industry as the whole. None of us has the monopoly on innovation and we can all learn from each other.

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* - Solaris and Network Domain, Technical Support Centre


Alan is a kernel and performance engineer based in Australia who tends to have the nasty calls gravitate towards him

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