Redundancy is GOOD!
What I mean by, "Redundancy is GOOD!" I have a value that "people try and
re-create already exsiting solutions in their own vision". It is this
evolution or revolution that allows us to move forward. In my experiences
I've witnissed developers with good ideas that really could not implement
them because the projects architectural design of the project they had been
assigned to, was inconsistent with their solutions values, principles,
etc... This is the beauty of what we have in this community, "the freedom to
do what works for you"
What is nice about the Unix community in general is that many of the tools
and utilities are small and can be leveraged into many solutions (or another
example is the java beans approach)
Redundancy is managed by consumer choices. Solutions that are of high
perceived value continue to grow, solutions of lesser perceived value move
I do believe this Redundancy can be quite overwhelming even to the
experienced developer. I think there are many ways to manage this. One way
is to establish a library of software and documentation that be
cross-referenced with solution packages. If a consumer is looking for a
solution, they search on a class of solutions, they select a solution, they
a presented with solution spec sheet. The solution spec sheet list all
softare components, documentation, vendors etc... that for example.. I am
looking for a solution that allows me to create a web site that has a forum,
search engine, login accounts, news feeder ...
The spec might have the following components:
List of packages required to implement solution (including authors,
revisions, performance, etc...)
Documentation on system requirements with a utility to audit the
consumers system for compliance
Install utility to install packages in a predefined configuration
FAQ for the Solution, etc...
This is what I refer to as verticle solutions in my previous posting. Now
consumers focus on selecting complete solutions (integration of a collection
of tools and utilities). I think we'd find that the redundancy would become
much more palatable for both the developer and the consumer
FSF and Open Source are PRIME for Opportunities
The GNU/Linux/BSD/Apache/PHP/Mysql (and many more) communities that make up the FSF and Open Source has succeeded in creating an excellent system. This system empowers folks, like no other system to develop and deploy vertical solutions.
To maximize this great work that has been done, The Vertical Linux (ERP, MIS, Accounting, Inventory Control, Automated Manufacturing, etc...) community needs to become more visible. This visibility could be increased by sites that host FSF and Open Source resources by creating, forums, news feeds, and the typical resources already found on these sights towards complete vertical solutions and their projects
I've reviewed the news clippings from most of the commerical industry leaders, and the marketing focus
is currently on SOLUTION oriented products and services.
The Telecos and major corporations are focused on solutions that enable them to achieve quality
goals (ISO, CMM, Six Sigma). There is tremendous opportunity here for FSF and Open Source folks to
make a tremendous contribution in terms of tools, products, services, and best practices to both the corporations are oursevles.
Within the existing horizontal solutions(GNU/Linux/BSD...) there is plenty of opportunity to create
immediate vertical solutions based on what already exist. For example, The system environment for
a traditional system/application developer is different than that of embedded system developement,
and web development. Each of these environments is an opportunity for a Linux vendor to produce
a vertical solution based on their specific needs. From this, the opportunity exist to build solutions for
markets outside of software development.
In regards to competition... What the FSF started in the 80's has made incredible impact and contribution
to the successes of many, many people. That success may be in terms of gained knolwedge and
experience, creations of new technology and services, and yes corporate success too.
Competition is GOOD! Free Markets are GOOD! We can let the consumer decide on what the best value is!
Has Open Source derailed?
My thought is that it really depends on our individual goals are in terms of FSF and Open Source, what we as individuals and a community are trying to obtain from FSF and Open Source.
* A person may want to develop skills that empower them to achive school, work or personal related goals I'd rate the current state of thing a 10+ here
* A person or group of people want to create a presence on the web to share and communicate
with other. Another 10+
* A person or group of people want to contribute towards solving problems. Another 10+
* A person or group of people want to compete with traditional commerical commpanies. Another 10+
My perception is that what I see today as apposed to just 5 years is astounding. The impact that
the FSF and Open Source communities has made is truly unbelievable. If we look at the number of
web sites runing Linux, BSD, Apache, PHP, Perl, GNU, and compare that to any other commerical
company, it is truly remarkable what this community has achieved. Truly, Truly staggering!!!
This community has educated so many of todays young engineers, programmers, and web developers
(and a few old dogs, like myself).
The amount of quality information that is available today as opposed to just 5 years ago is astounding.
Relatively speaking, there was very little information in the 80's as compared to today.
This community has succeed where other communities such as OSF and Unix International struggled
and achieved a very limited foothold in terms of establishing standards and deliverables