[p2p-research] is open source design inferior

Samuel Rose samuel.rose at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 16:09:28 CET 2009

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 8:44 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> wrote:
> the argument could be that since the motivation of FLOSS is self-governed,
> and designed to develop solutions for one own's problems, it would then to
> ignore customer issues, since most of its first users would be tech-savvy
> ... this could explain both the failure of the linux desktop, and the
> success of Ubuntu once a private partner started to play a role in it,
> I find that argument quite credible, given my own difficulties in chosen
> free software, which is usually more difficult to install etc..
> Michel

I think this is definitely the case when comparing Debian to Ubuntu,
for instance. It usually does take a company-style structure and
intensive iterative labor over time to simplify user interfaces.

Although, I don't think that it's a safe assumption that it is
*required* to have a capitalized company behind simple user interface

It's not that open source design is "inferior" so much as it is
foundational. The building blocks exist to build up open source design
into simpler and more usable interfaces. So far, only capitalized
companies have stepped forward to improve usability of interfaces. I
think this could change, though. The more that people who are engaged
in designing interfaces start to employ pooling of their work into
commons, the more we'll see this as a component of open source
production ecologies, I think.

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose at gmail.com

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
ambition." - Carl Sagan

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