[OSGeo-Discuss] RE: OS and proprietary

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Sun Apr 27 15:34:39 PDT 2008

>> My original sentiment still stands -- if you have the money, but don't
>> have the skills, and don't need it "yesterday," it might be better in the
>> long-term to fund an extension of a good OSS project than to take the
>> easy way out and buy a COTS package.
> Absolutely.

It appears that Open Source is the next level in the evolution of business
models[1]. It is not a revolution because there is nothing to go back to.
Slowly a sentiment is growing in the suits that business with software
must be different to business with hardware due to their inherent
difference[2]. We are pushing this process forward with every line of code
that we produce, with every aspect of the foundation that we create and we
can nudge it a bit further by using terminology appropriate to this
process. So watch out for the words we use.

COTS translates into "commercial off the shelf" and I wonder why this term
should be restricted to proprietary packages. The times when one had to
manually compile a PostGIS, MapServer, GeoServer, gvSIG, Quantum GIS and
so on, before one could use them are over. You can - and that is an extra
advantage - but you don't have to.

So my suggestion is to put COTS on the shelf of terminology that is
compatible with Open Source.

Best regards,

[2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Software

Arnulf Christl

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