[Interest] Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia

BRM bm_witness at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 13 15:54:00 CEST 2012

> From: Atlant Schmidt <aschmidt at dekaresearch.com>

> Subject: RE: [Interest] Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia
> BRM:
>>  And that's hogwash.
>   Okay, I'll make my statement more clear:
>   "Still, this may serve as an indication that once a company
>   converts a piece of formerly proprietary (closed-source)
>   software to open-sourced software, that company, in making
>   that transition, effectively throws away most of their
>   monetary investment in that software."
>   Nokia has absolutely proven this proposition with both
>   Symbian and Qt where they discarded essentially all of
>   the investment that Nokia made in acquiring both Symbian
>   and Trolltech.

I'd say you're looking at the numbers wrong.
For one thing, part of the services value goes way beyond what one company can provide.
Now, if the ecosystem/community doesn't build up and contribute then it's no better than it was before, but you won't have lost much either.
>   I'd argue that Sun Microsystems also proved this when they open-sourced Solaris.

Look at Illumos (illumos.org). Solaris had fallen way behind others systems. It couldn't compete with Linux.
So Sun open sourced it to try to keep it relevant, and did breath new life into it.
Otherwise it was more or less a dead end for them. So that's hardly an example in need of a counter point.

>   Do you have a counter-example?

CVSNT is kind of one, though not exactly. It's more of a story of a company that took an open source product (CVS), ported it to a proprietary OS (Windows) with numerous conflicting extensions, and then more or less close sourcing the product (CVSNT) when they didn't like how they were being treated. (Yes, you can still get code - if you can manage to find a time when their CVS server is available online, which is close to never.)

MySQL - look at the variety of people that are out there offering services for it, or its less famous derivative MariaDB.

If you only try to look at the value that one company can extract from a software product, then you're not looking at its full value. The majority of work is done in fixing bugs to it; and no one company is going to do that right in a way that meets the community. Look at Qt and all the contractors able to help it - from Intel to Nokia to Digia to nearly anyone that will sign the CLA. Or look at the Linux Kernel.

Any how...this is now really off topic for this list. So I'm going to cut it there it.


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