Monday, November 19, 2007

More Business News

The blogosphere seems in general agreement with my analysis that the days of Open Source versus Microsoft are over. Quoting myself:
How many know that IBM is a major contributor to the Linux kernel, or that Microsoft now sports a lot of Open Source DNA? If you still think it's scruffy hackers vs. Microsoft, think again.
Blogger Bruce Byfield agrees, thinks it's time for those die-hard Microsoft bashers to grow up and stop whining, given their war has been won. In his follow-up for Datamation he writes: "juvenile gestures like talking about 'Micro$oft' and 'Windoze' only hurt the cause." Jeff was taking that same line at Free Geek's Collab three years ago (like, let's start acting like grownups shall we?).

Serdar Yegulalp, writing for Information Week, strikes a more cynical tone, pointing out that Microsoft wants a support monopoly over its own closed source products. Is that a problem? IBM works the same way.

Open and closed source come in layers, down to the hardware, up to the global net. Plus what's open is effectively closed if you can't read or comprehend the source to begin with.

What people sometimes forget is it takes training and practice to write and/or fix complicated software. Making something "open" makes it easier to learn, true, but doesn't get you off the hook from still needing to do lots of homework. Having all the instruction manuals on how to do triple bypass surgery doesn't really get you there either.

Speaking of source code, I completed my after school Intro to Python at LEP High today. Our focus this afternoon was, wherein fox and bunny objects randomly move around on a grid, with foxes eating any bunny that lands on the same square. I recommend teachers use it as scaffolding.