Kommandeering Developers Everywhere

Friday, September 16, 2005

Standing on the shoulders of dragons

Listening to Aaron on the TLLTS show today, two things struck me:

1) Roughly 62% of information wants to be free. For two Appeal projects, Plasma and Oxygen, reasons were cited why work-in-progress was not the most visible and public.

Call it building anticipation, call it keeping others from plagarism (reference title here). I wondered if some listeners were ruffled by the insinuation that Open Source doesn't imply Open Plan and Open Progress. I'm all for a little privacy. Finding certain IP practices irresponsible won't be consolation when they're used against you.

Microsoft tries to code agile with more visibility and KDE starts holding its cards a little closer. Good times.

2) Questions about Gnome distro growth and desktop percentages. Just as Linux is reported to greedily take from AIX and Solaris and such, people like to discuss Gnome and KDE succeeding at the expense of the other. If you think the ~90% share that Microsoft is big, look at the numbers of people that will start using computers in the next decade. In emerging economies, many will look at their paycheck, look at the price of MS software, look at the paycheck again and shrug. The battle isn't against Gnome or Enlightenment, it's against a pirated copy of Windows. As my broker always tell me every month he loses me money, "It's not the percentage of the pie you get, it's the amount of pie that you get." KDE kicks ass and it's poised to be on several million new desktops over the next several years.

Rule of competition: The market leader never acknowledges the lower competitors (and Microsoft *always* fails this rule). The second place always differentiates from the leader. And the new entrants (OSS desktops) pitch the new paradigm and proposition. Debate is counterproductive, you're selling the validity of the market shift. I just hope my blog isn't outsourced :).


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