Is This the Future of Open Source?

December 11, 2019

Open source software essentially breaks the chains which vendors of proprietary software clamp on their customers. A good idea? Sure, as long as their are multiple people supporting the code and following the rules (such as they are). “OSXfuse Is No Longer Open Source” makes clear that open source software can go away. Bad move? Unfair? Inconsiderate? The write up explains:

So to summarize again
* Apple does Apple things and heavily restricts third-party developers.
* Fleischer, having dealt with malarkey like this for close to a decade, realizes he doesn’t get paid enough for this [expletive deleted].
* He makes the repo closed source in 2017, but doesn’t mention this to anyone.
* In 2019, after making a bunch of critical changes to the code, he quietly announces that the licensing terms of the project are now different.
* At this stage in the proceedings, companies’ choices are to pay up or tell their users that they can’t use the hot new version of macOS.
As far as monetization strategies go, love it or hate it, you’ve got to give the guy props.

However, there are other corrosive forces at work. Examples include the appropriation of open source code by large, well funded entities. The open source software is wrapped in proprietary functions. Open source morphs into — wait for it — proprietary software.

What’s the impact? The old Hegelian thesis, antithesis, synthesis process is alive and well. Good to know.

Stephen E Arnold, December 11, 2019


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