I have one basic prediction for open source in 2003: The competition between Microsoft and the open-source world will become fierce.
Stories by Russell Pavlicek
The year is drawing to a close, so now is a good time to evaluate my predictions for 2002. It's an interesting exercise, especially because most tabloid psychics don't tend to fare well when you evaluate their annual prophecies. Thankfully, I'm no psychic, and I'm not shy about having my statements evaluated in the light of history.
An opinion is a funny thing. Two intelligent individuals can look at a set of facts and develop two very different opinions about the matter. As someone who writes about his opinions, I hear from reasonable people with differing opinions every week. As the saying goes, it's all good.
As late as 12 months ago, the very subject of open-source desktops would have brought an endless stream of catcalls from folks who consider the concept unthinkable. A year ago, almost no one gave credence to the thought of Linux on the corporate desktop.
"It is too difficult! Why can not it just be simple, like I am used to?" I have been hearing that a lot recently. No, not from the mouths of people struggling to learn Linux. Quite the opposite, actually.
Some adherents to Sun Microsystem's NetBeans are miffed at IBM's latest open-source effort, Eclipse.
Well, this is the column where I get to put on my magician's hat and do my best to predict the future of open source in 2002. Although I have no psychic powers (real or imagined), I figure I have at least a better-than-even chance of beating the supermarket tabloids in foretelling the future.
In the year 2000, some pundits suggested the growing enthusiasm about open source was destined to give out. Once economic conditions returned to pre-dot-com levels, they reasoned, open source would be seen as a fad, just like the pet rock.
Some of the recent press regarding the 'Goner' e-mail virus has brought about interesting commentary from anti-virus manufacturers. It seems that a number of these folks feel that Linux viruses soon will be rampaging through the Internet alongside their Windows brethren. Don't hold your breath.
Complete accountability is a way of life in the open-source community. People involved in open source really do sign everything they do. Your name becomes your brand.
When I began writing this column in October, I promised myself I would try not to waste time bashing Microsoft. There are two reasons for this. First, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. With a bazooka. It is just too easy. Microsoft does enough things badly that there is no challenge in poking at them. Just say "Code Red" or "I Love You" and IT managers tremble at the memories.
Whenever I discuss the dynamics of the open-source community, someone inevitably asks, 'Who pays the salaries for all of this software development? How can these programmers survive by writing free software?'
It happened again this week. While reading one of the online open-source news services, I came across an article containing the prognostications of an industry guru.
Recently, two major initiatives on the horizon have troubled many open-source users and creators, especially in the United States.