Benefits of using open source GPL software



  • Wire and I are having a discussion about the value of open source GPL (and other free to use/modify licenses) software.

    Other than being free to use, what value does this give the people using it?



  • Obviously there's the audit-ability. Something that close source completely lacks.

    But I ask, does this really matter to the 99%ers?
    My answer - nope, not one bit because the 99%ers will never pay to have the software audited.



  • Ability to change the code. Sure this is much more likely to be used than audit-ability, but still pretty low on the actual number I'm guessing that actually change the source code.



  • No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Obviously there's the audit-ability. Something that close source completely lacks.

    But I ask, does this really matter to the 99%ers?
    My answer - nope, not one bit because the 99%ers will never pay to have the software audited.

    The idea that your source code can be audited is a nice idea but the question is: Is that all it really is? I'm not sure. We have 7.5 billion people in the world right now. I'd love to think programmers were auditing the things they are using but it does seem very unlikely.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    I think the biggest reason isn't cost savings but support--which is the point you made in our PM's. Closed source is so limiting in terms of support that you can end up losing your entire investment and if another company ends up supporting that piece of software they can hold you hostage and overcharge you. Seems like really bad business to me.



  • Continued support (possible) after the writers stop supporting the product (either they gave up on the project or simply no longer exist).

    An example here is TrueCrypt which was abandoned by it's creators, and it's fork VeraCrypt.
    Now as I understand it, TureCrypt wasn't actually GPL, but since the creators are unknown and don't appear to really care, there is little or nothing stopping VeraCrypt from picking up where TrueCrypt left off because of the published source code.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    I think the biggest reason isn't cost savings but support--which is the point you made in our PM's. Closed source is so limiting in terms of support that you can end up losing your entire investment and if another company ends up supporting that piece of software they can hold you hostage and overcharge you. Seems like really bad business to me.

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    I think you are implying that if Oracle DB was open source, that you could get just as good or even better support for less from a third party? That seems like a logic leap.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me



  • @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    So can any support.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    So can any support.

    Can we?



  • @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    So can any support.

    Can we?

    Yes sure - how can you not?

    If you personally want to stop supporting the city you work for, you quit.

    If a support company deems that the problem is unsolvable, they to can quit working on it. If they get paid or not completely depends upon the contract between the company getting support, and the supplying it.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    So can any support.

    Can we?

    Yes sure - how can you not?

    If you personally want to stop supporting the city you work for, you quit.

    If a support company deems that the problem is unsolvable, they to can quit working on it. If they get paid or not completely depends upon the contract between the company getting support, and the supplying it.

    I mean if I run into a problem I can't solve--that is expected to be okay? Why does it need to be I either support the city or I don't



  • @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    So can any support.

    Can we?

    Yes sure - how can you not?

    If you personally want to stop supporting the city you work for, you quit.

    If a support company deems that the problem is unsolvable, they to can quit working on it. If they get paid or not completely depends upon the contract between the company getting support, and the supplying it.

    I mean if I run into a problem I can't solve--that is expected to be okay? Why does it need to be I either support the city or I don't

    This really needs it's own thread.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    GPL doesn't have fees but depending on which version of GPL there are strict rules. GPL isn't the only open source license. There's MIT, BSD, Apache, etc. So a lot of companies choose which license they are using based on the rules/restrictions of each.



  • @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Obviously there's the audit-ability. Something that close source completely lacks.

    But I ask, does this really matter to the 99%ers?
    My answer - nope, not one bit because the 99%ers will never pay to have the software audited.

    It might not matter, but it should. And you don't have to directly pay to have it audited. I think if you read through commits in different repos you will see a lot of people contributing to stuff. For example I've created a couple issues for the Open SCAP project. These are security relevant because the remediation script didn't actually fix the problem.

    Here's the issue post:

    In the RHEL 7.2 STIG upstream the remediation script strips out the period and unerscores for the line in the /etc/sysctl.conf file.
    
    Actual output:
    kernelrandomizevaspace = 2
    
    Expected output:
    kernel.randomize_va_space = 2
    

  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Other than being free to use, what value does this give the people using it?

    Open source does NOT mean free to use. It means free to support, inspect and modify. Often it is free to use, but that is not implied by the term open source nor by the GPL license.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Obviously there's the audit-ability. Something that close source completely lacks.

    But I ask, does this really matter to the 99%ers?

    Without a doubt. That your software isn't depending on hiding its shame matters to 99.999% of users. It doesn't require YOU auditing software to benefit from many eyes on the code.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Ability to change the code. Sure this is much more likely to be used than audit-ability, but still pretty low on the actual number I'm guessing that actually change the source code.

    Again, doesn't matter how many DO change it, all benefit from those that do. It's a mistake to think of it in terms of being a benefit only that you actually look at it or actually change it. Being able to is a benefit even to those that are not doing it.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    No, not at all. This is a misunderstanding of the point of open source, and how licensing works. It's often a benefit, but it is not what makes it valuable. Especially when the alternative doesn't mean licensing fees.

    You are assuming two wrong things. One that open source means free. And two that closed source means not free.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Obviously there's the audit-ability. Something that close source completely lacks.

    But I ask, does this really matter to the 99%ers?
    My answer - nope, not one bit because the 99%ers will never pay to have the software audited.

    The idea that your source code can be audited is a nice idea but the question is: Is that all it really is? I'm not sure. We have 7.5 billion people in the world right now. I'd love to think programmers were auditing the things they are using but it does seem very unlikely.

    Of course they are. All the time. I can't believe anyone isn't aware of this today. There are so many companies auditing open source code all of the time. And so many individuals.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    I think the biggest reason isn't cost savings but support--which is the point you made in our PM's. Closed source is so limiting in terms of support that you can end up losing your entire investment and if another company ends up supporting that piece of software they can hold you hostage and overcharge you. Seems like really bad business to me.

    This is certainly huge. Open source is protection to the customer. Closed source is a risk.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Ability to change the code. Sure this is much more likely to be used than audit-ability, but still pretty low on the actual number I'm guessing that actually change the source code.

    Again, doesn't matter how many DO change it, all benefit from those that do. It's a mistake to think of it in terms of being a benefit only that you actually look at it or actually change it. Being able to is a benefit even to those that are not doing it.

    I ask the question because it's almost a faith based thing for me right now. I would think they would be, but are they?


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Continued support (possible) after the writers stop supporting the product (either they gave up on the project or simply no longer exist).

    An example here is TrueCrypt which was abandoned by it's creators, and it's fork VeraCrypt.
    Now as I understand it, TureCrypt wasn't actually GPL, but since the creators are unknown and don't appear to really care, there is little or nothing stopping VeraCrypt from picking up where TrueCrypt left off because of the published source code.

    Yes, it was quasi-open source. They made it public and visible, and then did things to abandon the ability to claim ownership of it. Sending it to the public domain by default.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    No license fees - this is probably by far the biggest reason to use open source GPLed software.

    I think the biggest reason isn't cost savings but support--which is the point you made in our PM's. Closed source is so limiting in terms of support that you can end up losing your entire investment and if another company ends up supporting that piece of software they can hold you hostage and overcharge you. Seems like really bad business to me.

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    Right, they pay for support, not for extortion. They have other support options, but pay Red Hat because RH is so good. Unlike MS where people only pay because their only other choice is leaving the platform completely.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    people only pay because their only other choice is leaving the platform completely.

    Which, thanks for that being my only choice by the way because it's the right choice


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    I think you are implying that if Oracle DB was open source, that you could get just as good or even better support for less from a third party? That seems like a logic leap.

    No, it's that it is a capitalistic market. Think of open source as capitalism (an open support market.) And closed source as a monopoly (only one possibly provider.)

    As we all know, a competitive market puts pressure on all players to keep costs reasonable and quality high enough to keep competitors at bay.

    So yes, if Oracle was open source, there is little question that support quality would increase. It's almost impossible for it not to do so. But there is no implication that it would be better from a third party, but that a third party would make it better.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees.

    But held hostage, nonetheless.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @wirestyle22 said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    @Dashrender said in Benefits of using open source GPL software:

    Hold on. You're saying that because RedHat is open source, they they can't hold you hostage for support? I suppose that's true, but it doesn't keep 1000's of companies from paying them millions in support fees anyway.

    By choice, which is fine by me

    We were specifically talking about MS - I don't see them holding anyone hostage for huge support fees. In fact, the most recent posting here had a person say they paid $250 for a single ticket to work on a Exchange problem. That seems VERY reasonable to me. One time call, no time limit on length of call, etc. A call like that to NTG would probably been 3-5x that minimum. That's nothing against NTG, but they are an hourly support company. In this cause MS gives near unlimited time to resolve a problem for their flat rate. Granted, the caller had to figure out how to phrase the question to fit inside one of MSs boxes, where NTG would not turned them away at regardless of setup, but in this case, and most others I've ran into, MS has done fine by it's customers in terms of support.

    Microsoft does not guarantee that they can fix your problem either though and it's their own OS. So they can just cut it off when they want to essentially.

    And if the issue is with their OS, they can simply hide it or refuse the fix. And they do, all the time. No guarantees, it's a case by case decision. Mostly their one price support is for your issues, not theirs, things that are not in their scope anyway.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to MangoLassi was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.