[oclug] How open nature of Linux can work against it.
oclug_mail at strosberg.com
Mon Aug 14 18:26:12 EDT 2006
Rod Giffin wrote:
> I found myself agreeing with you up until here. Your position is that
> the validation process, painful as it is, is undertaken because it is
> propagated by executives on both sides of the transaction.
> In reality though, the point about the necessity that I've been trying
> to make is that there is a third, inescapable side to the isssue. The
> winks and nods tend to be winces and shudders because of this.
> The requirement to perform validation is not an option, it is
> mandated, legislated by the Government, and enforced by Government
> regulatory agencies, here in North America, in Europe, and to a lesser
> extent in Asia (although Japan, Korea and a couple of other more
> developed countries in Asia may in fact have very high standards and
Herein lies the quicksand in which the ignorant like I get trapped! I
assumed the validation process to be a mutually agreed upon compromise
arrived at by two parties at the same table, without knowledge of the
third party mandating the process.
This being the case, perhaps my idea about submitting articles to
industry press and offering to speak at conferences regarding the
philosophical differences between open source and closed source software
is a route that reaches all parties. Once an idea becomes common
knowledge between all parties at the table, deniability and FUD become
easier to handle.
> Actually I only just started working in this half of the industry. Up
> until now, I've worked for the Regulators, not the regulated
> industries themselves. I changed that recently. The whole experience
> of being exposed to validation from the industry's perspective rather
> than the regulator's perspective has opened my eyes to some issues,
> which I was expressing in my initial message.
I just had a "Luke, I am your father" moment, given your admission that
you had played for the other team!
> Both methods should be possible. In the arena of direct confrontation
> (i.e. competitive bids, products, methodologies etc.), there are a few
> commercial players looking at open source models (including GPL) for
> laboratory management software (one example of the kind of software
> involved). The most successful of these has used a variant of
> the "Software-as-a-service" model.
I expect that the best results would be from a staged campaign over
time, with timed communications. Competitive bids submitted before
creating fertile ground in which they can be considered is pointless effort.
> There have also been a few OSS projects on SourceForge and the like.
> Most of those projects have ultimately failed. The failures have
> nothing to do with the concept of using OSS, but with the scope of the
> projects being far too large to handle.
> It should be noted that most commercial endeavours have also pretty
> much failed for pretty much the same reason. The result is, there is
> no clear industry leader.
> It's sometimes difficult I guess, to try not to be all things to all
> people, but this is really one area where the complexity of the
> software means that you should really try to focus on one particualar
> industry niche initially, and expand your service offering from there.
This is a lesson we all learn, repeatedly to our shame. I've learned
the hard way that project scope is one of the first criteria I've got to
consider going in. Making a project reach critical mass and attracting
a strong body of developers in the open source world isn't the easiest
job in the bazaar. It doesn't help that those of us who have the
credibility to start projects from a technical perspective frequently
lack the project marketing and communication skills to "make it so!".
Thanks for your kind words!
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