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Re: [ox] Meeting at WOS - some thoughts and comments


I am not an economist, but I want to comment on some technical aspects anyway
and provide some useful pointers.

On Tue, Aug 03, 1999 at 10:05:37AM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Bettina Berendt wrote:
*Afterthoughts* (Holger Blasum, holger
Although the discussion occasionally reverted to the unsolved
free rider
problem, it now appears to us (Blasum and Berendt) that its positivist
overtones have totally ignored limits of the open source model, e.g.,
software for groups that programmers are not so much interested in.
This includes software for beginners (WYSIWIG editors [* Berendt:
and generally programs
with a large emphasis on the user interface, a point mentioned in the
O'Reilly "Open Source" booklet *]), blind people, etc.

I think the examples you picked here are quite unfortunate. Projects like KDE
and Gnome are directly aimed at making Linux more useful to non-technical
people by hiding a great deal of the complexity under an intuitive graphical
user interface. I think the talks about KDE and about Free Software in
education have shown that quite clear. A free office suite for KDE is already
in the works.
There is also a lot of software for blind people to stick to your example.
There is the BLINUX project and a hands-free version of emacs (with speech
regognition, etc.) for example.

I still guess that the Open Source model has limitations, but surely they
can not be that easily identiified.

Btw.: Here is the URL of the BLINUX project:
and the URL of KOffice:

I have to say that I follow the discussions on this list with great interest.
Although I can not contribute to the economical discussions, I feel that I get
something out of it.

         Andreas Micklei

[English translation]
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