Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A pragmatic view on Linux & Open Source

I just read a rare interview with Linus Torvalds from Simple-Talk.com dated 17th July 2008.

Below is an excerpt of the interview that resonates with me:

On the value of open source as a competitive model bringing progressive & innovative change.
Me personally, I'm a believer in choice. Yes, it can be confusing, and yes, it can cause the market to look more fragmented, but on the other hand, it also begets competition. And competition is good ... I think that's very healthy. And I do know that the whole model means that you have to run just to keep up... And that's good. It keeps us all honest. [me: God knows we need more honesty in the software industry xpasti ]

On the value of open source being something that you can really own.
That's one of the advantages of open source, after all - you're not just buying into a "black box", you're actually buying into a whole infrastructure that you can study and really make your own.
[ me: Mine! Mine! All mine! muahahah encem ]

On Steve Ballmer's (Microsoft) prior comments that Linux is like a 'cancer'.

I have a hard time really seeing what the heck Ballmer is doing. First the monkey dance, then the chair throwing. At some point he called Linux 'un-American', apparently because he doesn't like the competition. Then the cancer thing. And now this fixation with Yahoo! When will it end?
... I think he tried to say that open source grows very aggressively and takes over (which is good - if you're into that whole expanding markets thing), but he wanted to put it in terms of something that grows out of control and is bad for what it is growing in. Thus: cancer. kenyit

So I can certainly see the logic of choosing that word. Do I think it makes sense? No. Of course open source grows aggressively: what's not to like? Low cost, great quality, and a lack of being shackled to some commercial company that you can't really trust further than the fact that they'll happily continue to take your money. Sure, it grows. senyum

And yes, it does grow at the cost of Microsoft, but that's called ’competition’. It doesn't make it 'cancer' any more than it ever made it 'un-American'. sembah

To read the interview in its entirety, please visit http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/geek-of-the-week/linus-torvalds,-geek-of-the-week/

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