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(Network World)   Free, open source software is cheaper to adopt than big, bad, greedy Microsoft, right? Think again   (networkworld.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Microsoft, CIO, open source software, commercial software, Red Hat, data dependency  
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3251 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 May 2014 at 9:04 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-03 04:51:49 AM  

OgreMagi: People who point to heartbleed as a reason not to use open source have not concept of how software is written or maintained. ....



Sure, sweetie.
 
2014-05-03 04:58:04 AM  

xaks: cyberspacedout: I'm guessing that at least Microsoft has paid an employee or two to check the software's source code for errors every now and then, just so, oh let's say, a massive security flaw doesn't go unnoticed for 2 farking years.

You mean the code flaw that's been in place since IE6 was new? That was just reported and landed an out of cycle AND out of support patch from MS?

Care to check your calendar year totals again there, chief?


I mean in software they actually sell, because they wouldn't want to be held liable for selling a faulty product. They could argue IE isn't purchased by the user.
 
2014-05-03 05:40:00 AM  

fredbox: "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft." - CIO, 2014
"No one ever got fired for buying IBM." Data Processing Director, 1984


THIS. open source wont just go belly up when there is a bad design decision. It will get fixed if it's worth fixing or forked if there is demand or rebuilt from the ground up by some really bored developer that wants to bring it back to life.  There really is no end of life.

I prefer MS products over Apple, but as of late they have been making a shiat ton of bad decisions (except for their warming up to open source). Who's to say they will be around in ten years?  Companies have a tendency to screw you over once your tied in. In the linux world you just pick another distro or remove what you don't like.

Besides both companies would be losing money if open source went away. Since parts of their products are known to use open source code. When you think about it, a lot of what you pay for is support (if you can call it that) and pretty user interfaces.

I like options and choices. I don't like conformity or strict standards.  I'll put my UI wherever I want.

I said good day sir's.
 
2014-05-03 07:07:59 AM  

rustypouch: The thing for me about open source stuff, even though they may work well, the UI is normally terrible and the documentation is ornamental.


Blender is a perfect example of a wonderfully capable program buried under a completely worthless UI. And what I see happening with it is the "old school" users who suffered through learning it's horrible UI resent the idea that new users will be able to just waltz on in and pick it up without having to memorize long lists of hotkeys first, and thus have been stamping their foot and biatching every time the development team tries to make the software more usable.

They're like old people who worked a shiatty job of back breaking labour biatching about the new kids working it more efficiently with the benefit of technology and then try to justify suffering as a virtue.

I keep hoping with each new version they'll finally have a proper UI but each version just serves to disappoint. And when Andrew Price dared to propose a UI that would have been intuitive, powerful, efficient, and easy to use the Blender community wanted his head on a pike.

Eventually I just got tired of waiting for them to fix their crappy UI and just bought some commercial software. So I can totally see the case for "free isn't cost effective" if it means having to deal with a lot of buggy or unusable software.

A shiat sandwich might be free, but I'd still rather buy a hamburger.
 
2014-05-03 07:23:10 AM  

China White Tea: For end-user machines?  Sure, I'd believe that.

For servers?  Not so much.


The difference is that Microsoft provides continuing support, especially compatibility support.  Freeware gets updated, but only with whatever the people that felt like volunteering some hours that month found interesting enough to fix.

This really applies to servers, too, it's just that servers are much simpler devices overall and have a lot of built-in redundancy so if something's wrong no one will notice, whereas if there's a hardware compatibility issue that shuts off every word processor in your entire department, that kinda farks you over.
 
2014-05-03 07:34:43 AM  

cyberspacedout: xaks: cyberspacedout: I'm guessing that at least Microsoft has paid an employee or two to check the software's source code for errors every now and then, just so, oh let's say, a massive security flaw doesn't go unnoticed for 2 farking years.

You mean the code flaw that's been in place since IE6 was new? That was just reported and landed an out of cycle AND out of support patch from MS?

Care to check your calendar year totals again there, chief?

I mean in software they actually sell, because they wouldn't want to be held liable for selling a faulty product. They could argue IE isn't purchased by the user.


Says the guy dissing what is sometimes known as 'free software'
 
2014-05-03 07:35:31 AM  

a particular individual: If you have a job that uses nothing but open-source software, for which you had to be specially trained, and you do that job for a few years, and then you want to get a job elsewhere... what are you going to tell them?

"I have no idea how to use any of the industry-standard software, but I'm willing to learn."

Yeah. Good luck with that.


Because, lord knows, there is no open source software that is industry-standard. LAMP? What's that?
 
2014-05-03 07:51:35 AM  

Ghastly: A shiat sandwich might be free, but I'd still rather buy a hamburger.


I thought that was you, GhastleyH. But DAZ Studio? Talk about a shiaty UI.
 
2014-05-03 08:34:21 AM  

narkor: The idea with OSS is that people are diligently going through the code looking for bugs. Everyone has sort of had faith that this is going on even though they weren't doing it themselves.

OpenSSL is a critical piece of security infrastructure - yet the code is a mess and it took the community several years to figure out that the bug that lead to heartbleed was present in the code.

So while the ideal is "we'll have open code and people will donate their time to doing all the boring bug and security testing stuff" - the reality is that people aren't doing the serious bug and security testing stuff.

They probably would if they were paid to do it (which is what some of the new initiatives are about).

Open Source is great - but you need to pay people to do the boring crap so that something like OpenSSL doesn't happen again (and given it was in a critical piece of code related to security and no one noticed for a long time, it will happen again). The challenging thing is to come up with a revenue model that allows the code to remain open, but to have people paid to do the boring crap.


How long did it take to discover the current bug in IE? And how long is it taking MS to fix it?
 
2014-05-03 08:47:29 AM  
For me, the biggest issue with the proprietary model is proprietary file formats.  You are essentially letting one company hold all of your prior records hostage.
 
2014-05-03 08:49:00 AM  

xaks: The only time Microsoft is cheaper overall in on end user machines where you can pay a college kid peanuts to do level 1 helpdesk and phone-monkey duty, clearing paper jams and resetting passwords and such. Windows low-level support is easier to find than STDs at Tila Tequila's house party and even cheaper.

Real support gurus for proper servers and high-end network engineering/DB work are hard to find and fairly expensive. They're also mostly really, REALLY good.

I can walk outside and piss on the lawn and hit two guys who can VBScript and call themselves 'programmers'....script kiddies are everywhere. That's the only way Windows machines and their software are cheaper, it's that you can drive 8 or 9 people to suicide trying to support them and still come out ahead in TCO for the bean-counters in Accounting.


Funny enough, I do the low level stuff you're describing.... because I'm the youngest person in the office (mid twenties, next in line is 12 years older). I'm the "computer guy" and everything is self taught.

Getting the boss to pay for Malwarebytes licenses and slowly switching people over to Chrome (usually when fixing a stupidity issue) has helped tremendously. "You know that notice from Microsoft about discontinued support? The older version of Internet Explorer was included in that. This will happen again, BUT, I think I can help..."

/Accountant-Title Clerk-Notary-Tech Support-Janitor-Secretary-Errand Boy
//Despise dealing with ADP for their glitchy as all hell software
 
2014-05-03 09:41:24 AM  

sotua: I could have sworn those startup guys at what was it called, IBM? did Linux consulting.

I program software that moves millions of dollars daily. On an Open Source platform. From a MS windows works station. I guess I'm getting a kick...


FTFA:
"The other problem is the lack of support from vendors or third parties. IBM has done what no one else has the power to do. Twenty years after Linus first tossed his creation on the Internet for all to use, we still don't have an open source equivalent to Microsoft or Oracle."

I'm not sure what the author was trying to say about IBM, but IBM definitely does Linux - Red Hat mostly.  Also HP does Linux - Red Hat mostly, but supports SLES as well.  Yet the article says there are no Microsofts or Oracles in open source.
 
2014-05-03 09:48:41 AM  
At my last job they switched from a MS/SharePoint publishing solution to Oracle WebCenter Sites for their external-facing website (don't ask, the CIO had a real hard-on for Oracle even though 95% of the infrastructure and programming team was Microsoft certified). They basically blew the entire budget for the project on Oracle's insane licensing fees. The best part was that was only to get the licenses that would allow them to use the software, they didn't even consider the per-core licenses they charge on top of that. When it finally came time to build the servers that would run their new monstrosity they decided on CentOS over Red Hat because it was free and they didn't have anything left in the budget. That, combined with an unrealistic timeline to get everything up and running and general inexperience on the part of the poor bastards putting it all together led to a colossal meltdown. A small oversight caused a cascading effect that led to a 10 hour outage of the external-facing site. And we were pretty much shiat out of luck because there was no support center you could call for CentOS problems, you pretty much have to either hire a ninja consultant for a shiatload of money or reach out to the community and hope you actually get some help among all the insults (Linux people tend to be really cliquish when they sense inexperience). I thought it was funny that they would blow their load on the software then think they could get away with going cheap on the server OS.

The best part of all this was, at the end of it all, after over 2 million dollars spent to get it up and running, not even counting the salaries of all the people involved, all they had was a system that would serve up a bunch of static web pages. God that CIO was a retard.
 
2014-05-03 10:11:42 AM  

xalres: God that CIO was a retard.


I don't, Oracle OpenWorld is supposed to be pretty awesome and every year they have top acts at the appreciation party.  I'm sure he got some free passes for dropping some large bucks on their products, along with seminars to tell him how awesome he is for picking and how its all his staff's fault for sucking at Oracle.  Likely just needs to buy some training sessions for them or hire Oracle consultants.
 
2014-05-03 10:17:04 AM  

wingnut396: xalres: God that CIO was a retard.

I don't, Oracle OpenWorld is supposed to be pretty awesome and every year they have top acts at the appreciation party.  I'm sure he got some free passes for dropping some large bucks on their products, along with seminars to tell him how awesome he is for picking and how its all his staff's fault for sucking at Oracle.  Likely just needs to buy some training sessions for them or hire Oracle consultants.


*taps side of nose*

What boggled my mind is: If he was so big on Oracle products, how the hell did he not know they charged by the core? Even I knew that.
 
2014-05-03 10:47:38 AM  

wingnut396: xalres: God that CIO was a retard.

I don't, Oracle OpenWorld is supposed to be pretty awesome and every year they have top acts at the appreciation party.  I'm sure he got some free passes for dropping some large bucks on their products, along with seminars to tell him how awesome he is for picking and how its all his staff's fault for sucking at Oracle.  Likely just needs to buy some training sessions for them or hire Oracle consultants.


From a user perspective, Oracle isn't all that bad (used to use it at my last place for HR/Expenses type of stuff) but for the price of it I wouldn't want to implement it.  At my current place, they have an almost fully integrated system that runs on top of AS/400 for pretty much everything and for the users its web based and its pretty astonishing to a simple sys admin like myself. Really makes me impress with what you can do with AS/400 when you put your resources into it.
 
2014-05-03 11:00:27 AM  

MrEricSir: FTA: "Microsoft has been flexible and helpful in the way we apply their products to improve the operation of our frontline services..."

So Microsoft's support is more helpful than a bunch of 13 year old trolls on IRC calling you a moron because you accidentally messed up your fstab file and now your computer won't boot? No way. I call shenanigans.


That's true except for the 13 year old part. They're 23 and acting like 13.
 
2014-05-03 11:03:52 AM  

Theory Of Null: fredbox: "No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft." - CIO, 2014
"No one ever got fired for buying IBM." Data Processing Director, 1984

THIS. open source wont just go belly up when there is a bad design decision. It will get fixed if it's worth fixing or forked if there is demand or rebuilt from the ground up by some really bored developer that wants to bring it back to life.  There really is no end of life.

I prefer MS products over Apple, but as of late they have been making a shiat ton of bad decisions (except for their warming up to open source). Who's to say they will be around in ten years?  Companies have a tendency to screw you over once your tied in. In the linux world you just pick another distro or remove what you don't like.

Besides both companies would be losing money if open source went away. Since parts of their products are known to use open source code. When you think about it, a lot of what you pay for is support (if you can call it that) and pretty user interfaces.

I like options and choices. I don't like conformity or strict standards.  I'll put my UI wherever I want.

I said good day sir's.


The problem with options and choices is that they take time to test and implement. Linux is great at producing half baked solutions that look good on paper and seem to work better in one context but can't be easily put in place by it staff that are already overworked and will be held accountable for downtime.
 
2014-05-03 11:55:00 AM  
I've had good fortune working with MS on consumer-end products (re-activating Windows 7 after a harddisk failure), and on their Enterprise software as well. I've also had good experience working in the forums on problems with Ubuntu as well.

Guess I just got lucky.
 
2014-05-03 01:20:06 PM  
Oh, wow. Is it 2002 already? And am I on suddenly on Slashdot?
 
2014-05-03 02:32:40 PM  
I recently did a 4 hour conference with a CRM/GP consultant, a SQL consultant, and an AD consultant. Just to install CRM 2013. My purpose there was just to Google whatever wierd errors that popped up during the install. I was billing $175/hr, I sure the others will billing the same, if not more.
 
2014-05-03 06:31:58 PM  

MrEricSir: FTA: "Microsoft has been flexible and helpful in the way we apply their products to improve the operation of our frontline services..."

So Microsoft's support is more helpful than a bunch of 13 year old trolls on IRC calling you a moron because you accidentally messed up your fstab file and now your computer won't boot? No way. I call shenanigans.


Everyone has messed up an fstab file at least once if you do any serious Linux work.  Shiat happens.  It's easy enough to fix.  Messing up your grub file is also a fun time.  That happened last week.  I didn't mess it up.  The person who wrote the puppet manifest for grub farked it up so it always borks the grub file when the kernel updates.  If you don't remember to fix it by hand the system won't boot.  That's also esay to fix.  Grub command line, find a valid kernel, enter the values and boot.  Now remember to fix the damn grub file or you'll have to do do this again.

We're short handed right now so I haven't had time to fix the puppet manifest, and I even if I had the time, I probably wouldn't bother since we're switching to a docker/openstack style infrastructure.
 
2014-05-03 06:34:16 PM  

China White Tea: narkor: If OSS advocates spent one hundredth as much time checking code for vulnerabilities as they do talking about how superior the process was on forums, the code would be bulletproof.

I repeat my previous question: Does proprietary software actually outperform OSS with respect to security?


Short answer, "no".  Long answer, "hell no".  Compare Apache, the most popular web server, to IIS.  Apache has had security glitches, but IIS is a disaster just waiting for a script kiddie to happen by.
 
2014-05-03 08:41:39 PM  

Your Hind Brain: a particular individual: If you have a job that uses nothing but open-source software, for which you had to be specially trained, and you do that job for a few years, and then you want to get a job elsewhere... what are you going to tell them?

"I have no idea how to use any of the industry-standard software, but I'm willing to learn."

Yeah. Good luck with that.

Perl, Python etc. can't be used in a Windows shop?


I was thinking more of Gimp, Open Office, etc. A secretary who knows Open Office inside and out won't impress anyone who wants someone familiar with MS Works.
 
2014-05-04 01:32:22 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Ghastly: A shiat sandwich might be free, but I'd still rather buy a hamburger.

I thought that was you, GhastleyH. But DAZ Studio? Talk about a shiaty UI.


4.6 is a pretty good UI. You can figure it out with a few minutes of experimentation and don't have to memorize a list of hotkeys just to use it. Purchased 3D Coat recently and it has a very good UI that's easy enough just to dive right into. There are certain things that are more or less homogenized across every piece of software like right-click select and left click menu and camera movements and other things. Blender completely ignores conventions just to be unique, but it's unique like a bent fork.

Now Sculptris, there is a perfect example of how to create a UI. It stays out of your way, doesn't bombard you with information you don't need and anyone can learn 90% of the software's functions just by playing with it for a half hour. Almost every other piece of 3D software I've used I've been able to figure out just by playing with it for a half hour. Blender insists you first study tutorials and memorize hotkeys before you even load the software.

It's purposefully obtuse for the sake of being obtuse and the users are like Hipsters who brag about how they've memorized more hotkeys than anyone else.
 
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