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[Discuss] Why use Linux?

Yes, developers give away some rights if they develop under GPL, but
they have the option to NOT develop for the open community and do
their own closed source efforts.

Many are not willing to do this and go open source.  I know several
that bemoan being 'required' to go open source, basically because they have
found a reliable method of monetizing their efforts.

Yes, sell hardware, support and installation services, books, classes is all
fine, but they are comparatively 'high touch' sources of income where the
software licensing approach is much 'lower touch' and scales if you have
a product the public 'must have'.

If not developing for the GPL community using those resources, it can be
more difficult to make money because the community can be more limited
(if you use non-standard architecture, or don't provide the 'killer app', or
are not one with deep pockets (like many hardware vendors or mega-software

This argument has been discussed all during my career (and before, my time
using computers started in 1970 and for pay in 1972 or 3).

In our current society it appears PC to give away software, but somehow
the software must be paid for to keep the developers in coffee, pizza, and
pay the rent, etc.  Good developers are worth their weight in gold plated
And a few of those are well compensated.  Many aren't.  But those that
still do what they must to get by.

I moved from being a programmer and systems analyst to sysadmin (first
as a mainframe systems programmer, then moved to small machines - like
Sun, then Linux and Windows when I was forced to. - my dislike for Windows
came from Bill Gates 'Open Letter to Computer Hobbyists', calling all of us
thieves for all practical purposes.  So M$ has never been high on my list.
Yes, you can Google it and read a copy of that letter online several

Still GPL has done lots of good for MANY users, application developers,
systems geeks, and users.  Many developers (typically application or
system developers) make good money using GPL software for customers.

IMHO, GPL (in its many forms) is not the nirvana that many want us to
believe, and there are
still needs for proprietary software and development.  But as time goes by
it appears more and more are being developed on the GPL backbone.  And I
do expect the trend to continue.

What could change it?  Some deep pockets backing court cases to gut the
GPL, or
for some new 'licensing measure' that makes it unpopular with developers
and users.

But that is just my .02 pesos on the subject.

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