Discussion Board

Topic: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Swapnil Bhartiya
Location: Delhi
Date: 06/05/2007

Dear Greg,

The other day I was having a discussion with Richard Stallman, better known as RMS. I was writing a story for Linux For You magazine...and we both were surprised that Open Source movement has not been noticed by the SF community, this is bit strange given that OSS is emerging as major movement after industrial revolution, what say you?

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/05/2007

There has been plenty of debate in the extended sf community about open source. A few years ago, Neal Stephenson and I attended a special Microsoft event where Eric Raymond gave a speech; there have been debates at conventions and in web exchanges for many years. The promise of open source software to compete with that from major corporations such as Apple or Microsoft has yet to be fully realized. Still, there are interesting branches of growth and development within the Linux community, and in countries like India, open source may yet prove to be a viable model--as long as there is little or no competition from pirated software. What is required is the dedication and focus of a large community of programmers and developers, with an almost religious zeal for creating, maintaining, and upgrading software--for no immediate pay! A tough model under any conditions. But as a force for education and acquiring skill sets, open source can be a boon for the young, and a way to make a mark in a competitive environment.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: tobias s buckell
Location: http://www.tobiasbuckell.com
Date: 06/06/2007

Hi Greg, please pass on to Swapnil this URL: http://www.penguicon.org/ it's an open source/linux/SF convention hybrid, most of the SF authors who attend get involved in discussions about the intersection of this kind of stuff.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/06/2007

Thanks, Tobias!

Thanks Tobias: Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Swapnil Bhartiya
Location: Delhi, India
Date: 06/06/2007

Thanks Greg...that pretty much addresses my concern.

And thanks Tobias for that link!

I will go through the link and see if we could do a story on this scenario FOSS in SF in the Asia's only GNU/Linux-focussed magazine LINUX For You. By the way, may I take liberty to ask, how are you associated with GNU/Linux?

If you have time please go through

http://efytimes.com/archive/preview.asp?articleid=14

Regards
Swapnil

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 06/07/2007

There are actually many communities, often hobbyist, that generate free products and services. One is a sort of underground movement of retro gamers who grew up in the 80s, during the 'golden age' of video games, or somewhat after during the console revival (Nintendo, Sega, etc). However, in the current world market, as Greg alluded to, there must be some way for people doing free services to somehow generate income.

Though I think the open source movement is socially and philosophically important, what seems more significant is what may allow the development of this: not just technology, but cultural paradigm. Not simply wanting things people use to be open source, but their actual lives. A truly open community.

This has been speculated on to differing degrees, and in my humble reading experience, the most desirable, if not successful, is that of the Edenists in Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation Universe. Although in a more enigmatic fashion perhaps the 'little brothers' in ANVIL OF STARS could be another example.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Michael Grosberg
Location: Israel
Date: 06/12/2007

Swapnil -
In the hopes it is not bad form recommending another writer's book on Greg's board, I'd like to recommend Vernor Vinge's "Rainbows End". It's a closed-source Dystopia of sorts, where GNU HURD is illegal (Linux itself is not mentioned by name) but it does address the idea of open source (or lack thereof), and the idea of user-created content and collaborative online projects in the future.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/12/2007

Very good novel. Vernor is one of the Killer BVDs.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 06/13/2007

Greg, is that a matter of privy? Both my memory and google bring up the underwear manufacturer.

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/17/2007

Killer B's plus V plus David's first name... BVD, though some have thought our ideas more Fruit of the Loom. We do at times combine to form a kind of privy council. Though we've never been shorts-listed for the Booker Prize. But I must be brief...

Re: Open Source Not Addressed In SF?

From: Swapnil Bhartiya
Location: Delhi, India
Date: 06/17/2007

Michael Grosberg/Patrick:

Thanks for the valuable inputs. I am doing an article for a magazine where I am trying to explore the references to OSS in SF lit. We would also try to explore how SF could help in popularisation of OSS. Could you give me more inputs. You can reach me at arnieswap@gmail.com

Regards
Swapnil
Assistant Editor
EFYtimes

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