NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 04:18:43 -0600
Subject: Re: Open Source Consumer Products
From: Bill Paul
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 04:18:43 -0600
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"Geraldo S." wrote in news:3dda9c8c$0$10852
> What do you guys think, would it be wise for a company to produce 'Open
> Source' consumer products (i.e. the design files and source codes, both
> firmware, drivers and application programs)?
Open source is beneficial when someone else would like to interface to your
product. For example, if my operating system is open source, I could write
a program that fully integrates into that OS. With a closed source OS, I
could only integrate my program as far as the OS author will allow me, if
If you talking about an open source toaster, then I can't see alot of
benfit to the consumer. There isn't alot of interfacing to happen there.
Maybe I could bake a better loaf of bread so that each slice fits perfectly
inside and is toasted to perfection. OK, not real benefit in open source
If your talking cars, then perhaps looing at the CAD files for the cylinder
head would help me determine how far I can drill in to repair that stripped
exhaust stud. Or perhaps source code for the EFI computer might help me
design a performace add-on module. OK that might be helpful info to have.
However this 'open' information will only appeal to the 'tweaker' technical
type, or someone designing interfacing products to go along with your
product. The main benefit I see is if your product can be interfaced to in
some way, and you are trying to encourage other people to interface their
products to yours. Otherwise saying "open source" is just a marketing buzz
word like "As seen on TV", or "33% more Free!"