Re: Documentation Standards was Re: [ox-en] UserLinux
- From: "Niall Douglas" <s_fsfeurope2 nedprod.com>
- Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 07:21:22 -0000
On 8 Dec 2003 at 10:58, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
The free software revenue model simply outsources software
production to the third world. Bye bye jobs for western programmers.
Local support companies will remain eg; RedHat Europe's main purpose
is installation support. But as you'll note from RedHat Europe, its
employees don't do much programming - support is not programming.
Can you support these claims?
About RedHat Europe - I know a few of them there itself and I know
well people who work closely with them.
If you mean free software revenue model outsourcing software
production to the third world, then I posit a simple example -
imagine you're a provider of Linux distros and have a consulting arm
who ports their Linux onto consumer electronics devices for their
manufacturers and provide support & installation customisation.
Now said provider is asked by a cash machine OEM to port Linux onto
their cash machines, replacing the legacy DOS based system. The
provider asks various third-party programmers they know to quote for
developing the necessary drivers for the Linux kernel. They get back
a figure. Then their Asian arm finds a programmer who can do the
identical job for one third of the price. Guess which one the Linux
provider will choose?
Free software is particularly prone to this because Linux skills are
particularly available in third world countries over say .NET which
costs a lot of money. Now I'm the first to say that the third world
should get much more of global wealth, but I do recognise that
western programmers are going to get it in the neck.
There'll remain jobs in local-sticky jobs like face-to-face support
and installation. Bespoke software (which is rarely free software)
will remain in the west the longest. But jobs for programmers
(including proprietary, eventually) will move to the third world as
it's economically inevitable - it's sufficiently cheaper that the
extra costs created by non-local timezones and language aren't big
enough. Especially if the commercial entity has or can find a third
world based outsourcing provider such as the ones Accenture and IBM