posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by Shadoefax
I don't have Ubuntu any more (need to reinstall it, really), but I don't remember it updating frequently when I had it. The updates were not
automatic; perhaps that has changed?
In any case, you're right about the altruistic concept programmers use when they improve or create software for open-source. There's no other reason
for them to do so. Luckily, there is a lot of this feeling among software engineers... I am writing a database for my school's remedial math
department right now, for no other reason than the chance to do it and to help out.
But here's the catch, and you mentioned it in your post:
Programmers who support open-source development do not include it as part of their
business model. They do it for altruistic reasons. I would imagine most of them have a "day job" that keeps them off the welfare rolls.
Imagine for one moment what would happen to that open-source software if there were no other "day jobs". Imagine for one moment that all software
was free for the taking. Where would these programmers work in their "day jobs"? Good programming requires education and experience, the former
requiring money and the latter requiring time... quite an investment for someone to make if there is no possibility of making a living doing what they
have trained themselves to do.
Commercial software allows for people to become programmers, and therefore allows these same people to support open-source software. Were it not for
commercial software, there would be precious few programmers, because becoming a programmer would mean entering an occupation that had no possibility
of providing a living. Would anyone ever become a doctor if there was no one willing to pay for health care and they had to perform it for free? Would
anyone become a lawyer if there were scores of part-time free lawyers in every town?
Of course not. That's why there are so few professional archaeologists; only museums will pay them, pay them poorly usually, and then only for
results instead of for labor.
I strongly support open-source software. But supporting warez and piracy supports the collapse of the software industry and the removal of its
benefits to society. Everyone has to eat, and as soon as you prevent one industry from profiting, everyone in it will move to another and leave it
dead. That's economics and human nature, and nothing you or I or anyone else can do will change that dynamic.
Read my signature: be careful what you ask for.