Welcome to Dave Masten

Although he's already posted, and the time for such an introduction somewhat passed, I'd like to extend a welcome to our newest contributor, Dave Masten. He is a very serendipitous pickup from our fledgling comments sections, coming in to comment on Open Source. We looked at his own site , saw that he was Misesian, and offered on the spot.

Always good to have extra writers on board (gives the illusion of busy-ness, especially when the co-blogger who should be writing as much as Jonathan is off doing other things... er, *ahem*).

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Market phenomena or not,

Market phenomena or not, Open Source initiatives generally lack one thing that proprietary software projects do not: people contributing to the process that aren?t propeller-heads. I?m talking about Project Managers, Account Executives, CFOs, etc. These people really do have a profound impact on the quality of the software they produce ? especially with respect to innovations in usability and making choices about what functionality does or doesn?t go into a project.

Because of this, Open Source software, IMHO, is almost universally difficult to use and learn and one often detects a note of smug condescension on the part of the developers regarding this issue. I have heard Open Source developers suggest that ?some people shouldn?t know how to use this or that software package.? I have used and installed Mandrake, Red-Hat and Slackware Linux and in each case found it difficult to find functionality in the UI that is very intuitively placed in MacOS and Windows. Further, I found it difficult to perform basic manipulations of Apache that was a couple clicks in IIS. Why must I hunt through and edit text files with some convoluted, ancient text editor (read: VI) just to make simple configuration changes to a web server that can be accomplished in a couple clicks in IIS? Of course, one will suggest that there are several GUIs available to admin/configure Apache ? but I don?t want to become savvy about all the different GUI shells for this or that ? I just want to configure my web server.

I thought computers were powerful largely inasmuch as they help to make complex tasks simple ? the only justification I can imagine for the apparent opposition to this idea in Open Source circles is geek chauvinism.

We can argue Open Source

We can argue Open Source vs. Proprietary software on this blog until the background turns purple and I doubt anyone's opinions will change.

In the end, I view it similar to people who like to simply drive automatic cars vs those who like to drive stick shifts, and constantly tune and work on their cars.