FOSS 

Does anyone know if there's conversations ongoing in the free software community around *why* software isn't free?

Like stallman is all "closed source is bad ethics m'kay", but makes it seem like a choice which is where a lot of people seem to be. Ignoring how market competition makes closed source not only appealing, but an actual advantage to competition.

Like yeah you can make your shit open source and it's still possible to make a profit. But you can make way more if you monopolize platforms/code.

FOSS 

So that's obvious enough, seems simple. But if you're starting from a place where you ignore the market itself as the problem then you're also ignoring the way production of code is coordinated by that same mechanism.

It means most people, if they want to live and make code are forced to write code that can direct the purpose of, because it has to be written with profitability in mind. Otherwise they wouldn't get paid to write it.

Sure that doesn't preclude open source yet, companies contribute...

FOSS 

But often times that's less painful for companies where coordination is actually beneficial.

i.e: Linux dominates server software because it's not the actual code running the server where companies get their profits, it's the data collected and tech support. So it doesn't matter if the code is closed, because it doesn't provide much benefit, and infact the development you get from it being an open source project outweigh the need for gaurd secrets.

But that's just for infrastructure. It's like roads.

FOSS 

So then that leaves actual user software in a different boat, because the very function of the software is the useful thing. If that was given away for free capitalists don't benefit.

There's a bunch of software that gets written which is important to keep closed for "competitive advantage" or whatever.

This is where free software is often the least polished, because capitalists don't benefit in the same openness, but users do which is why people often share tools they've already written. Or volutneer

FOSS 

That was kind of long and ramble-y, but my point is that a lot of the software that gets written then is written by people who make money off of coding for a living. People who will be subject to those work conditions through market forces.

That means in order to fight back against those pressures, it takes a concious coordination of *developers* to counter act it, because while the code may be open or not, they do not get to direct it's purpose if they work for a company employing them.

FOSS 

So that means we can't just ignore the market and the impact it has on how the development of code is done.

Some very lucky developers due to the nature of programming, with it's potentially low barrier to entry in terms of capital/resources, can get away with starting their own unique project and supporting that through communities and volunteers.

But the ever expansive wealth that companies capture outpaces this vastly because it's so goddamn productive and they have a need for growth.

FOSS 

So they can absorb much more resources which will be able to outperform tiny teams of independent devs on lots of projects that most people will probably end up using because the vast amount of command over code that a company has is huge.

FOSS 

All of that is to say, for better or worse company boards drive software development. That means the battleground isn't in the ever receding pockets of what tiny alternative, decentralized project will save us.

But harnessing the actual time in energy we already put into code collectively to be a public good, recognized as such. Only tech workers have the power to turn that tide, because it is workers employed by tech capital who produce the code that we continually have to reinvent to reclaim.

re: FOSS 

@nergalur I think organizing customers would have more of an impact.

When it comes to office software, most paying customers are companies and states nowadays. If those would require open source code and open formats (for interoperability and to make sure they don't get spied on by other states/companies), that would have a tremendous effect at least in the office space.

Games aren't so much software but rather art strapped to a game engine and game engines are essentially infrastructure. So the later will probably be open source in the future anyway.

Adobe is the hard target. I have no idea how that could work. Their customer base consists of small businesses who don't care about open/closed source and keeping the code closed is directly beneficial to Adobe.

That leaves the mobile space, which consists of a lot of small companies, most of which directly profit from their closed sourced code. No ideas here either.

re: FOSS 

@ctrlaltchaos
I can't help but feeling that organizing customers only works with workers in said industry leading the call because consumers are too divergent in their interests to usually coordinate enough of an impact.

Some customers don't even have an issue with closed source software morally or see it as bad anyway. Governments require forming a political party/current to influence anyway, which still leaves that on the agenda.

Follow

re: FOSS 

@ctrlaltchaos
The same could be said of workers who don't see the point, but often they don't directly benefit from closed source exploitation and would actually be able to coordinate development much more easily if open code was the standard. Less need to deal with the hassles of not understanding how a program works

re: FOSS 

@ctrlaltchaos
Or of course, fixing it if it's broke.

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