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OSS Benefits

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The talk will discuss well known general benefits of free software; will share some reflections and experience concerning the use of free software as a vehicle for knowledge transfer and industrial …

The talk will discuss well known general benefits of free software; will share some reflections and experience concerning the use of free software as a vehicle for knowledge transfer and industrial exploitation of research results; and will discuss the interest of free software for software infrastructures.

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  • 1. F/OSS Benefits Jean-Bernard Stefani INRIA Grenoble-Rhône-Alpes Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 1 / 23
  • 2. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 2 / 23
  • 3. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 3 / 23
  • 4. Benefits of F/OSS (IT consultancy) Flexibility and Freedom ability to evolve solutions as business changes (esp. for infrastructure components) freedom from vendor lock-in, single vendor syndrome Support freedom to choose support supplier Reliability Linus’Law: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” Stability mitigating “vendor-push”, freedom to stay Auditability Cost often free as in “free beer” a function of other benefits [source: http://open-source.gbdirect.co.uk] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 4 / 23
  • 5. Benefits of F/OSS (Soft. engineer) No penalty on software quality reliability, scalability, performance, security No penalty on economic front TCO, market share, support, innovation Difficult-to-quantify benefits Freedom from control by another (single source vendor) Protection from licensing litigation and management costs Flexibility to tailor products Innovation through collective involvement and externalities of a shared commons [source: “Why Open Source Software / Free Software ? Look at the Numbers” — http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 5 / 23
  • 6. Benefits of F/OSS (US DoD) Improved reliability and security “identification and elimination of defects through continuous and broad peer-review” Flexibility “enables rapid response to changing situations, missions and future threats through modifiable source code” Freedom “reduces barriers to entry and exit” Cost “rapid provisioning of known and unanticipated users through net-centric licensing model” “cost advantage when many copies of the software are required” “reduces TCO through shared manitenance costs” “particularly suitable for rapid prototyping and experimentation, through ability to test drive the software with minimal costs and administrative delays” [source: OSS memo 20091014 - Clarifying Guidance Rearding Open Source Software (OSS)] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 6 / 23
  • 7. Benefits of F/OSS (Soft. eng. company) Freedom, Flexibility and Control Configuration management Revision Management and Product Evolution Product Enhancements Debugging & Testing 3rd party Tooling Licensing Software quality Debugging & Testing Evaluation & Benchmarking Security Cost Licensing & Upgrading No lock-in costs [source: http://www.theaceorb.com/product/benefit.html] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 7 / 23
  • 8. Benefits of F/OSS F/OSS benefits accrue from building a software commons intrinsic value as “inputs to a wide range of productive processes” “positive infrastructure externalities benefiting society as a whole” F/OSS benefits accrue from its economic incentives For individual contributors: signaling incentives, acquiring expertise For commercial firms: complementary symbiosis, disruptive positioning F/OSS provides a foundation for transparent and accountable regulation “open code is open control” [sources: B.M. Frischmann: An Economic Theory of Infrastructure and Commons Management J. Lerner, J. Tirole: The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond L. Lessig: Code 2.0 ] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 8 / 23
  • 9. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 9 / 23
  • 10. Generative devices Paradigmatic example: natural language Features of generative devices: Leverage: ability to facilitate difficult endeavors Adaptability: ability to be built on or modified to cope with changes Ease of mastery: ability to be mastered for adoption and adaptation Accessibility: ability to be accessed for use and adaptation Transferability: ability to transfer changes to others [source: J. Zittrain: The Future of the Internet] Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 10 / 23
  • 11. Benefits of generative devices Output benefit: innovation organic change and innovation low barriers to entry foster disruptive innovation enables user innovation Input benefit: participation individual expression and craftmanship decentralized and cooperative production Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 11 / 23
  • 12. F/OSS as a generative device Richard Stallman’s freedoms as the hallmarks of a generative device The freedom to run the program, for any purpose leverage, accessibility The freedom to study how the program works accessibility, ease of mastery The freedom to change the program leverage, ease of mastery, accessibility The freedom to redistribute the program and its changes accessibility, transferability Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 12 / 23
  • 13. F/OSS benefits as generativity benefits Innovation disruptive F/OSS: e.g. Linux, MySQL, JBoss, JOnAS user innovation: e.g. Apache organic change and innovation: e.g. GCC, Linux Participation user-producer innovation beyond signaling incentives user-producer ecosystems Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 13 / 23
  • 14. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 14 / 23
  • 15. these four constraints. Changes in any one will affect the regulation of the Code as Law whole. Some constraints will support others; some may undermine others. Thus, “changes in technology [may] usher in changes in . . . norms,”8 and the other way around. A complete view, therefore, must consider these four Sources of regulation and control modalities together. So think of the four together like this: In this drawing, each oval represents one kind of constraint operating on our pathetic dot in the center. Each constraint imposes a different kind of [source: costLessig: dot for2.0 ] L. on the Code engaging in the relevant behavior—in this case, smoking. Jean-Bernard The cost from norms is different from the market cost, which is different Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 15 / 23
  • 16. Infrastructure software as intellectual commons Freedom and transparency government and market regulations in check “the best code is modular and open” (societal values) Generativity innovation and participation “the best code is modular and open” (production values) adaptability, accessibility, ease of mastery, leverage “the best code is modular and open” (soft. eng. values) Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 16 / 23
  • 17. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 17 / 23
  • 18. F/OSS roles Knowledge generative, cumulative, collective embodiments: design (architecture, patterns, etc), languages, tools, algorithms object of study and experiment Standard “the code is the standard” embodiment and benchmark Transfer vehicle Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 18 / 23
  • 19. F/OSS as transfer vehicle Seed software research product, innovative design or solution bootstrap technical contribution e.g. Fractal specification & Julia reference implementation Federating research efforts common framework organic research e.g. Fractal toolset Fostering development ecosystems user-producer collective community bootstrap & development e.g. SOA developments in OW2 Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 19 / 23
  • 20. Organic research: Fractal Tools at http://fractal.ow2.org Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 20 / 23
  • 21. F/OSS as transfer vehicle Promoting visibility Easing dissemination Facilitating experiments & benchmarks Supporting maturation & strengthening Minimizing costs (transactions), delays Easing transitions from seed to product Facilitating R&D collective Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 21 / 23
  • 22. Outline 1 General Benefits of Free/Open Source Software 2 Excursion: On the Nature of F/OSS and Generativity 3 Free/Open Source Software Infrastructure 4 F/OSS and Academia 5 Parting thoughts Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 22 / 23
  • 23. Parting thoughts From J. Boyle “The Public Domain” Larry Lessig and Yochai Benkler [...] point us to the dramatic role that openness — whether in network architecture, software, or content — has had in the success of the Internet. What is going on here is actually a remarkable corrective to the simplistic notion of the tragedy of the commons, a corrective to the Internet Threat storyline and to the dynamics of the second enclosure movement. This commons creates and sustains value, and allows firms and individuals to benefit from it, without depleting the value already created. Jean-Bernard Stefani (INRIA Grenoble) F/OSS Benefits 11/2009 23 / 23

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