Monday, May 24, 2010

University Professor puts Linux and Open Source down.

While looking around in the Ubuntu forum i found this now quite old thread about a very narrow-minded 'professor' trying to explain his students the 'disadvantages' of Linux and Open Source, it's quite long and old already but worth the reading.
Quote of the original post by Almumin:

While I was in class, a professor tried to hammer Ubuntu and Open Source with comments that I have added below. Anyone want to help me with some ammo to put a foot in his proprietary mouth?

The disadvantages of open source are:

  • Restricted choice - In virtually every area of software there are dozens if not hundreds choices for different commercial packages, but rarely are there more than one or two, if any, open source options.
  • Poor integration with Microsoft - Open source products tend to be created by people who do not want to work with other platforms like dot net, so as a result their products are poorly integrated with Microsoft products such as Windows, do not use Microsoft features well, and fail to take maximum advantage of the Windows environment.
  • Poor vertical integration - Open source products tend to be written by people who buy into the "software tools" idea of UNIX whereby one puts together an ultimate application by stringing together smaller applications like pearls on a string.
  • Poor interactive capabilities – there aren’t any or few open source packages with an interactive user interface as good as "average good" interactive packages in Windows. Packages like Adobe PhotoShop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Word and others have GUIs of extraordinary breadth and depth, all accomplished with care and attention to hundreds of thousands of details of the user interaction.
  • Difficult to use - Open source packages tend to be written by engineers for other engineers and for many of them it is accepted that ordinary function will involve creation of configuration files, writing scripts, or actually editing the source code and recompiling.
  • Higher cost of installation - Commercial vendors are forced by intense competition to configure their products for easy installation. Open source tends to have much higher installation costs because a much greater degree of expertise usually is required for installation.
  • Higher cost of operation - Open source products tend to require a much higher degree of technical expertise to operate and maintain, so they end up costing more.
  • Higher cost of technical support - Open source costs more to support because the software is typically self-supporting.
  • Lack of capabilities / features - Open software packages tend to have far fewer features and capabilities than commercial equivalents.
  • Poor customer response - A well-run commercial software company will immediately turn around customer requests for enhancements. With open source, if you don't do it yourself you are at the mercy of a disjoint community of developers.
  • Lack of innovation / codification of obsolete architectures - The glacially slow pace of development within open source movements and the design by committee, consensus process tends to assure that obsolete architectures get implemented within open source.
  • Exposure to Intellectual Property theft issues - If you buy an open source product you have no assurance whatsoever that you are not buying intellectual property that has been stolen from its rightful owners, or has been created illegally by people who are violating a nondisclosure contract.
  • Greater exposure to security problems - If your adversary knows your source code and your mechanism they have a big leg up on compromising your system.
  • No warranty - If you use open source you are on your own. There is no single company backing the product.
  • Fraudulent status as 'open' source - If one actually looks at where some of the 'free' open source was developed, one finds that it is not really open source but is the result of an enormous investment of funds, quite often by a poorly-managed public agency. The GIS example would be GRASS, which was developed at immense cost by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Read the rest of this hilarious thread here.

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