The picture linked is a typical FUD slide that reads,
1: Open Source "Bad"
* Ask yourself this question: Would you want to fly in an airplane whose complete flight system was developed using Open Source by the lowest bidder?
* Whom do you sue when things go wrong? (assuming you're a survivor)
SC2000 - J.L. Munoz / DOE-HQ Def. Pgms.
Skip for a moment the words 'open source'. Now think about the ENTIRE US GOVERNMENT. Everything possible is procured by things made by the lowest bidder. Marines, NASA, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, HUD, Social Security Administration, everything. If they didn't get stuff from the lowest bidder, they'd waste even MORE money, or they'd have to hide their losses in the black operation canards of $600 toilet seats.
This is why for physical stuff, most agencies develop specific standards. The standards are well-known: all the bidders need to know what level of quality and engineering is required.
Now, if there were testable STANDARDS out there for bidders to see, when they wanted to sell software to the government, then it shouldn't matter if it's "Open" or "Proprietary." It meets the standards. And by extension, those standards could help non-government buyers, too.
This is my issue with RMS's philosophy that companies shouldn't be able to remain proprietary about their source code. They're proprietary about injection-molding techniques, they're proprietary about the integrated circuit layouts, they're proprietary about so many physical processes that go on behind closed doors. (1) If there were a specification and the product conforms, screw forcing it open. (2) If you aren't allowed to cut&paste existing processes, you'll have to innovate. To me, Open Source is irrelevant. Get the job done, and if your competitors want to do the same, let them. If you want to open your source as a service to mankind, go for it.
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