Talk:Comparison of open-source and closed-source software

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This article only seems to contain arguments against open source / for closed source and their rebuttal. I think it lacks arguments why to use open source in the first place. -- 00:46, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

yes, this article is extremely one-sided. It essentially takes successful open source projects and then says, "See? They work. Criticism of OSS is wrong!" That's not NPOV. El T 00:29, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Definately biased. I'd like to make it a little more objective, but I just don't have the time on my hands right now, maybe an administrator could put a bias warning on the top??
Do you think we should split the page into "pro-open source" and "pro-closed source" kind of like the Windows vs Linux page? Strake 11:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I have been trying to add a bunch of more substantive content, including several new sections.So far I haven't done much to touch the existing content, but I think it's time to get rid of the existing "Control" and "Missing technological components" sections, as a start. Ldo 04:37, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Done. Ldo 19:46, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

13 15 14 5 25

I did massive edits I think may clear some biases. This is horrible. I think some resons this may be so one sided is that Wikipedia is open source. This article however makes me REVOLT at open source. Seriously, this is horrible. Here is my opinion as a Windows User using Firefox. Open Source Less Popular so Less People Look for Holes. More People looking to solve holes then those exploiting. Closed Source Wide use driven by commercial nature. Smaller group fixing holes then those looking.

See? Its pretty simple to me. I dunno though. My honest opinion is that this page is written by a smug Linux user who likes to smell his own farts and say "I am root" and this makes me hate it. This is part of the reason I hate Mac users. SMUGGNESS ONLY RECOILS PEOPLE! I love open source, but this article has to be inforitive. If you guys see anything wrong with my edits, please fix them. I only would like this page to be wiki quality. - 04:24, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

They look good so far...may be surgery on a dying patient though. If you're feeling ambitious you might try restructuring from scratch keeping as much of the informative content as possible. Antonrojo 05:08, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I am a proud open source fan, but in all seriousness, this article is very open-source slanted in some parts, while very closed-source in other parts. It lacks citations in many places. I am going to do my best to try and help close the gaps, but any assistance would be great - Mr. P 10:39, 14 November 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Wikipedia is open-source oriented. If everything is proprietary, wikipedia would not even exist. Mere facts are not biased. Proprietary lovers can make their own proprietary 'Pedia and then not be able to contribute to it nor comment. Mere fact that you can comment and change pages and state facts known to anyone make wikipedia a better place and that requires explanation of differences, to labeling article on top for stating facts and let it stay there since 2005 is political statement and biased itself. (Minikola (talk) 07:04, 23 February 2016 (UTC))

Mozilla Firefox innovative[edit]

What does Mozilla Firefox that qualifies it to be listed at Innovation? -- mms 22:35, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Some reliable sources seem to think Firefox is innovative. For example, eWeek and CNET. -- Schapel 22:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I still don't know, what's so innovative at Mozilla. IE is no rival for it. If we list an innovative Browser it should be Konqueror. -- mms 00:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a reliable source that calls Konqueror innovative? And even if so, why not list both? -- Schapel 01:10, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Some innovative features are already listed in the article Konqueror. In 2003 wondered about the KDE's "innovations", in 2005 Hanno Böck wrote all browsers are crap except Konqueror, in 2007 Chris Spackman wrote about his experiences of Switching from KDE to WindowsXP with a detailed look at WinXP's file manager, Explorer, and KDE's file manager, Konqueror. -- mms 02:15, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Those sources look like blogs and forums, and thus probably don't meet the criterion of a reliable source according to Wikipedia. As you may know, information in Wikipedia must be verifiable by citing a reliable source, so we can't say Konqueror is innovative unless a reliable source says as much. -- Schapel 03:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
The Konqueror has little media coverage. hasn't an single article about it. But Jim Rapoza ( wrote 2003 that Konqueror and Opera are more innovative than Mozilla. -- mms 04:23, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
No, that's part of his speculation that "there is also the possibility that Mozilla innovation could slow down and the browser could be surpassed by more innovative products such as Opera or Konqueror." Mozilla innovation has not slowed down, so it has not been surpassed by those other products, so therefore the four-year-old speculation was clearly incorrect. And remember that we must represent views fairly, proportionately and without bias. If there's very little mention of Konqueror and much about Firefox in the media, it doesn't make sense to mention Konqueror and not Firefox, as that would be out of proportion. It may make sense to mention Konqueror further down the list, for example. -- Schapel 13:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
No, commercial success does not equal innovation. Media coverage does not equal innovation. Popularity does not equal innovation. NPOV has nothing to do with innovation. KDE is far more innovative than Windows and Mac OS, and Konqueror is its core application. -- mms 19:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
You are correct that commercial success does not equal innovation. You may even be correct that Konqueror is the most innovative browser. However, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Can you find a reliable source that verifies this claim? If not, we cannot make the claim in Wikipedia. -- Schapel 19:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I already linked to,1895,1158505,00.asp where Jim Rapoza wrote that Konqueror and Opera are more innovative than Mozilla. There is also an article in Linux Magazine #56 which states that Konqueror is an innovative application. I would also say that the comments at are reliable since they are the developers. And I could argue that it is commenly known that Konqueror is innovative. I'm using it since version 1.0 and I know it is innovative. -- mms 21:16, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, it doesn't matter what you know, or what is "commonly known". What matters is what is verifiable from reliable sources. Again, Jim Rapoza never said that Konqueror is more innovative than Mozilla. He said that there is the possibility that innovation at Mozilla could slow down, and if that happens that other browsers could become more innovative. I don't think the opinions about whether Konqueror is innovative at are considered reliable because they're clearly going to be biased in favor of their own applications. But you do have a reliable source (Linux Magazine) that says Konqueror is innovative, so feel free to add it to the list of innovative open source applications. -- Schapel 22:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
As to what the innovations are, I think it makes more sense to speak of the Mozilla project's innovations than innovations in just their current product Firefox. Among possible innovations, we could list the very idea of open-sourcing such a popular product (Netscape had about 50% usage share when its source code was open-sourced in 1998), creating their own cross-platform user interface (XUL), continued improvements to JavaScript with version 1.7, and working together with the WHATWG to develop new web standards, some of which are being implemented in Firefox. In fact, I would have a hard time thinking of a group that has been more innovative in the field of browsers, other than Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web. The fact that Firefox has copied features of other browsers need not be mentioned, as I'm sure all browsers besides WorldWideWeb have copied features from other browsers. -- Schapel 03:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


Open Source is better end of


This could be the single worst, most biased, and unsourced article on Wikipedia. A random editor rising from the unwashed masses from the Internet could rightfully delete 60% of the competely unsupported nonsense found here. Congratulations, fools.--Rotten 06:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

It's pretty bad. But not beyond help. Take a look at the Windows vs. Linux article. 3 months ago it was unbearable banter between windows dorks and linux fan-boys. Now it's been cleaned up into neat tables full of useful and relevant information presented in a (mostly) non-biased language. This article can do the same. Hendrixski 21:23, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

POV Tag[edit]

This page is ridiculously POV and requires serious cleanup. There is plenty of unsourced "the opens-source community believes..." or "open-source software is often accused of...". The whole article needs a massive rewrite.


Its not like that all applications on Windows happily use DirectShow. E.g. for music applications there is ASIO as well, nearly each video editing application introduces an own plugin format. I see the situation under Linux a bit cleaner,. First xine and mplayer are not frameworks, they are players. GStreamer and NMM are frameworks. All of the have in common that they include ffmpeg for wide codec coverage.

Weasel Words[edit]

Weasel words were a problem, I hope I didn't do anything against the rules in that regard. Most significantly, I edited out some statements with obvious POV, (some was ridiculous), and asked for a lot of sources. Possibly too many, but hopefully not. I also fixed a few typos. Whoo! Scorchsaber 00:12, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Code quality[edit]

This discussion contains complaints concerning the many original research / unverifiable statements included in the corresponding article. I added the following section, which references a peer-reviewed conference paper. It was reverted, because it contained a reference to a work that I had published (the fact that I had published the paper was obvious: my Wikipedia id is my name; I don't believe in hiding behind an alias). If somebody thinks that this should be included in the entry, you can find the corresponding text below. Diomidis Spinellis (talk) 17:30, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Code quality[edit]

An analysis of the code of the FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, and Windows operating system kernels looked for differences between code developed using open-source properties (the first two kernels) and proprietary code (the other two kernels). The study collected metrics in the areas of file organization, code structure, code style, the use of the C preprocessor, and data organization. The aggregate results indicate that across various areas and many different metrics, four systems developed using open source and closed source development processes score comparably.[1]

Free Software/Open Source[edit]

This article states: "Open source (or free software)" while this are very different terms and I find this statement unfortunate. Maybe something like Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) would be better suited? Ggaaron (talk) 16:26, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

My recent removal[edit]

This page is in sore need of some heavy editing. I've been removing content that's unsourced. Lest I be accused of vandalism, I want to provide a point-by-point debunking of a paragraph I just removed.

I'm doing this as a demonstration of my good faith. I don't have to do it at all - this material was unsourced and hence automatically eligible for removal (if my understanding of WP rules is correct.)

  • Another important factor in the closed-source revenue model involves fending off competitors (both actual and potential) by continually raising barriers to entry. Thus, new versions of the software are continually being introduced, with lots of new features being added.
    • Another important factor in the closed-source revenue model involves earning revenue. Revenue comes from customers. Customers look for specific features. Hence, those features are created.
  • As a result, closed-source software vendors often have to reinvent their product essentially from scratch, which adds to their own costs.
    • See Mac OS X. [Edit: The above does say "often", so I guess this point is arguable. Regardless, it was unsourced...]
  • Sometime these features are added with little thought for their impact on the conceptual integrity of the overall product...
    • Well, ya can't argue with weasel words. But... wow. This is a stretch. That's all I'm gonna say.
  • ...leading to the well-known phenomenon of software bloat.
    • "Software bloat" is a meaningless term bandied about by people to disparage software that has features they personally don't use. It's in no way reserved for closed source software. Google for any of the following: "kde bloat", "gnome bloat", "ubuntu bloat", "linux bloat", or permit me a single word: Emacs. (talk) 19:21, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh, and BTW, I'm not going to respond to any arguments with the above. I don't mean to be rude, I simply don't have the time. (And it's a Saturday! Go outside and play! :) If you'd like to debunk the arguments, restore the material with proper citations. (3rd party, reliable, all that jazz.) Thanks, (talk) 19:26, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

While I have no direct objections to the edits, I note that:

Item 1 reflected the reality more in the original version. Many (not necessarily all) closed source developers put heavy efforts on customer lock-in, utilizing secrecy and proprietary formats (only possibly with closed source) to do so. You can find hundreds of references to Microsoft alone on Google. In contrast, your formulation is both too trivial to actually say enough to be included and over-generalizes how commercial companies work: Features are very often thought up merely to demonstrate new-ness, give marketing and sales arguments, and not based on user feedback.

Item 3 is far from a stretch, but something I have seen time and again at my own employers (I am a software developer) and in commercial software from others.

Item 4 is again an over-generalization that takes a very serious problem in today's software world too lightly. You are, however, right in that it is common in "FOSS" too. (To avoid writing a five page essay, I am not going to go into a discussion on how features can be added without causing problems, but most organisations fail to through poor designs and conceptualizations; however, this is the case.) (talk) 19:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Title is inaccurate or misleading with regards to the intent of the article[edit]

I was looking at this to try and remove as much bias and provide a neutral point of view as I could and realized that with the current descriptions, it cannot be done.

  • The current definitions of "open source" and "closed source" introduced at the start have a "GNU vs. The Man" connotation to them.
  • Closed Source is not defined but links to Proprietary Software. From reviewing this article and the references, I believe the terms in this article should be changed to "Proprietary Software" if the current definition of "open source" is left as is. (Note that I am making a distinction here, Open Source does not specifically mean Free and open source software)
  • Open Source is defined as "the software development model used by the free and open source software (FOSS) movement" within the article. It would be more appropriate to use the definition from Open Source which reads "Open source is an approach to design, development, and distribution offering practical accessibility to a product's source".

I would be more than willing to provide a large volume of changes if a rough consensus can be reached as to the goal of the article. Is the goal to show:

  1. Free and open source software vs. Proprietary Software
  2. Open source code vs. non-available source code
  3. Open source vs. Proprietary Software
  4. Free and open source software vs. non-available source code

In my mind the distinction needs to be made because of the tendency to lump everything that has source available with FOSS when that is very definitely not the case (see GPL Incompatible Licenses) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ismarc (talkcontribs) 03:56, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Recent revert[edit]

This edit made the article internally inconsistent, using the terms "Linux" and "GNU/Linux" interchangeably. This is confusing; we should use one or the other. It also reversed the copyedit of the word "distro" to the better "distribution". It should be reverted. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 18:21, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed removal of [who?][edit]

There is still a "[who]?" tag ([who?]) on the sentence "Moreover, many see the introduction of FOSS as damaging to the market for commercial software" in the article. I suggest that it can be removed now. Any comments or advice? - such as, regarding the kind of (and the extent of) Wikipedia:Consensus needed? Thanks, --Mike Schwartz (talk) 21:55, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


This section reads like a essay, and completely lacks any sources. Will see how much energy I have to fix it up, and would appreciate any help I can get. Belorn (talk) 12:25, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

The section opens with (emphasis mine,) "Gary Hamel counters this claim by saying that quantifying who or what is innovative is impossible."
There is no mention of the actual claim. It was removed in August 2012‎. The section used to open with:
"Dr. R. Keith Sawyer claimed in a article on Huffington Post 2007 that Open-source software are more derivative than innovative, with Linux being a derivative of Unix, and Firefox not being different from any other browser."
I don't know if that was a good sentence to have in the article or a bad sentence to have in the article.
But it was removed, and the entire Innovation section since 2012 has been dedicated to innovation only in open source software. (talk) 05:00, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Spinellis, Diomidis (May 2008). "A Tale of Four Kernels". ICSE '08: Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Software Engineering. Leipzig, Germany: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 381–390. doi:10.1145/1368088.1368140.