Commercial and Open Source - Was: [mapguide-users] Commercial vs. Open Source Functionality

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at
Mon Mar 27 11:33:04 EST 2006

just a minor one but it comes up and up and up and we will need to get 
it out and out and out.

It should not read "commercial" vs. "Open Source" but "proprietary vs. 
"Open Source" (or closed or unfree or whatever). [1]

To distinguish Open Source from Closed Source licenses it should not 
read "produced by a commercial company" but "produced under a 
proprietary (closed/unfree/not-OSI-approved) license".

Many commercial companies produce perfectly Open and Free software.

One of the interests of the OSGeo is to make .org more attractive to 
.com and vice versa and to make both more attractive to the public. To 
do this professionally it requires us to adhere to these fine distinctions.


[1] Autodesk is sometimes a little confused on this issue because of 
their "commercial" (not good) or "enterprise" (better) version which 
will require people to pay something. The idea of charging money for 
extra services is perfectly fine - especially with Open Source software. 
But Autodesk will need to find a more appropriate wording to deal with 
this distinction. If it results in people thinking "commercial" is 
opposite to "Open Source" it is counterproductive to the goals of the OSGeo.

Buscher, Shane wrote:
> All right, I'm a little frustrated at this point trying to figure out 
> the current direction of MapGuide OS and MapGuide Commercial.  I'm 
> trying to choose between several competing technologies in the web 
> mapping arena, including ArcIMS, MapGuide OS, MapGuide Commercial, and 
> MapServer. 
> 1.  Is the MapGuide Studio product going to become strictly a commercial 
> product?  I see it expires in October.  If so, what authoring tool is 
> going to be made available for the OS users, if any?
> 2. There's a lot of vaporware advertising going on, especially in the 
> data provider category.  I have SQL Server,  ArcSDE, and WMS consumption 
> requirements.  These are documented as being supported, but you quickly 
> realize they are not post-install.  Are these functionalities only going 
> to be made available in the Commercial product?  This is what it seems.
> What is the general direction for both OS and Commercial?  Are they 
> going to be one in the same, with only support being the difference 
> between the two?  Or, will Autodesk just add functionality independently 
> of the OS project, leaving the open source community to catch up?
> Maybe this is not the right forum to ask these questions, but I don't 
> know where else to ask.  It's important to know the direction of these 
> products, as I'm looking for a long term solution.
> Thanks in advance.
> Shane Buscher
> GIS/Compliance Systems
> Northern Natural Gas
> 402.398.7841

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