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Comparing the Free Software ecosystem to the proprietary model

Speaker(s) : Michael Scherer
Language : Français Level : Newbie Nature : Conference
Date : Thursday 8 July 2010 Schedule : 11h00 Duration : 40 minutes
Place: ENSEIRB - Amphi B
PDF - 112.8 kb

The talk

Proprietary systems, or semi-proprietary for PC (Windows, OS X) or mobile phones (iPhone OS, Android), and free systems are built on very different basics and constraints, resulting in a different ways to distribute them and contribute to them.

This talk aims at explaining these differences and why the proprietary model cannot currently be applied to a Linux distribution anyhow.

- description of the traditional model in Windows or OS X (platform/ISV/client) and implications of software distribution
- description of the free software development model (contribution/distribution/user) and implications for everyone
- advantages and drawbacks of the free model compared to the traditional model (innovation, stability) for developers and for users
- why the traditional model cannot currently be applied to free software and which problems arise when one tries to apply it

To explain the aforementioned differences :

For instance, compatibility between multiple versions, including with regards to bug reports, is a requirement of most proprietary systems since ISC distribute fixed sets of software. Free systems do not have this constraints since problems are properly fixed, making it hard to create and distribute proprietary software within a free model.

Moreover, since free software development is transparent, a software may be available in its final form, without being actually available to users, causing frustration. In contrary, the traditional ISV model has everything controlled by a single entity (coding, marketing, distributing, …), which eases the whole coordination of the model.

The speaker

Michael has been using free software since 2002 and has been contributing to Mandriva Linux for a while. He spends most of his free time trying to break his servers and trying to fix other people machines on IRC.