Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of an Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Open vs Proprietry: An effort in mudslinging?

I’ve just read an “article” by Carla Schroder on Enterprise Networking Planet, where she claims to know the real reason that closed and proprietary code exists.

The point of the article appears to simply be that she doesn’t buy … into the “protect our preciouss IP” excuse because it is so overused.

I see very little in the way of reasoned argument and example to support her stance. Instead I see a lot of mud slinging and cherry picked examples.

We start off with the assertion that the real (and by implication, the only) reason for closed and proprietary code is embarrassment; followed by some “cool” misspellings of phrases like “Trade Sekkkrits” and “Sooper Original Algorithms”. There is also another typo in her “conclusion”. The typos look to me to be deliberate slurs on anything that a company might say about their code. Really sad reporting Carla, Shame.

She then asserts, without any argument or example that Windows itself is the prime example of this; presented simply along the lines of ‘well everybody knows it, I don’t have to prove it’. It very well may be the case. It may not. Nothing in this article gives me cause to think it might be.

The rest of the article is a list of cherry picked examples of poor proprietary code.

With regard to the opening of netscape and openoffice, would she have preferred that they not be opened?

The impression that I’m left with is the whole thing was a mudslinging exercise aimed at proprietary code, and not even a very well prepared one at that.

I’m not going to sink myself to the same level as this “article”, but I know with pretty much certainty I could find some disgusting examples of embarrassingly poor open source code if I really wanted to do it. She freely admits that there is bad open source code out there too, so I am left even more confused about the point of the article.

Embarrassment, may be one of the reasons for not opening some code up. It’s certainly not the only one, which with even a tiny amount of research she could have determined. Nor is it a differentiator between open and closed source.

Carla, you have made an assertion and completely failed to argue your case. You get a D-, and I’m being generous.

A small poke at Jupiter Online Media who run the site. Most articles that I read that are purported to be by trade magazines and journalists at least provide a one liner of the authors credentials. I’m sorry, I can’t find it here.

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Written by Alan

August 27, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Posted in General

One Response

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  1. It seems that she’s written an opinion piece… and as we all know, opinion pieces don’t have to have any semblance of facts or research as their base, more’s the pity.

    James McPherson

    August 27, 2007 at 5:56 pm


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