On Fri, Sep 03, 2010 at 01:40:56PM -0700, John Adams wrote:
> OFF TOPIC:
> I honestly do not mean any offence, just out of curiosity.
> If you guys care about money and time why would you spend the best
> years of your life basically copying commercial products for free?
> Because for a person with higher than average IQ far less than one
> percent of any program is creative and needs some thinking and the
> bulk of it is just a million stupid details.
It's difficult to answer a question when there are so many different
wrong assumptions that underlie it. I'll take pieces of the
questions, explicitly state the assumptions that underlie them, and
explain what I mean by "wrong."
"If you guys care about money"
Here you're assuming that open source code development on large
projects like PostgreSQL is done in people's spare time. In
reality, 80-95% of such development is done by people who are paid
by their workplace to do so. In the case of PostgreSQL
developers, this pay is at least comfortable, so your assumption
that this is done uncompensated, in terms of money, is simply
For those who do development and are not directly compensated by
their employer for doing so, there are other monetary rewards,
such as being able to put such projects on résumés/CVs, which in
turn results in better job prospects, consulting fees for
specialized knowledge, etc., etc.
"and time why would you spend the best years of your life"
That time's compensated, in many different ways, as illustrated
above. Perhaps your life is in such desperate straits that you
can devote time to nothing but acquiring money. If this is true,
I feel very sorry for you. I feel even sorrier for you if you are
not in such desperate straits, but you are nevertheless devoting
every waking hour to the pursuit of money. It's a sad and lonely
way to waste your precious days of life.
In a technological sense, FLOSS often leads the way and "products"
catch up later if at all. FLOSS technologies are frequently so
much better than their proprietary counterparts that they kill
existing markets (C compilers, e.g.), and cause markets in other
technologies (dynamic languages, e.g.) never to form.
"commercial products for free?"
There's a lot of confusion about this word. "Commercial" means
"of or pertaining to commerce." It has nothing to do with whether
the license is permissive like PostgreSQL's or extremely
restrictive as it is with, say the Windows EULA. In future, if
you wish to contrast licenses, it's free vs. proprietary, and if
you wish to contrast usage, it's hobby vs. commerce vs. science,
"Because for a person with higher than average IQ far less than one
percent of any program is creative and needs some thinking and the
bulk of it is just a million stupid details."
The difference between imagining something and actually
accomplishing it is precisely those "million stupid details."
The truly rewarding thing isn't dreaming up some wonderful dream.
That's easy. The truly rewarding thing is in bringing that dream
from a lonely and ethereal state to one that's shared and
concrete, where it can in turn help spawn new dreams, which people
then realize and share, and on and on and on.
> I just don't follow/understand your thinking. Maybe I am naïve.
You're that, clearly, along with being misinformed, young, and
Fortunately, all of these things but youth are fixable if you decide
to do the work to fix them, and by the time you've done that work,
your youth will also be waning ;)
David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org> http://fetter.org/
Phone: +1 415 235 3778 AIM: dfetter666 Yahoo!: dfetter
Skype: davidfetter XMPP: david(dot)fetter(at)gmail(dot)com
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