What led to this conclusion was an article on a site called InteropNews, where a gentleman named Jeff Gould attempted to discuss the topic "Is Ubuntu selling out or growing up?"
Gould questions whether Ubuntu can be considered an open source outfit because it is sponsored by a company, Canonical. He then answers his question - and says yes and no.
According to him, Ubuntu can be considered open source because it promises to be always free of charge, including updates, and for a long time too - the recent long-term support release of Ubuntu 8.04 aka Hardy Heron will be supported for five years.
One needs to pause here and ask: since when did money have anything to do with defining open source? It has to do with rights for the end user that accompany the software when it is distributed. If it is not distributed, then those rights do not come into play.
As is the case with countless others, Gould appears to have got confused due to terminology. You can sell free software and that does not make it any less free. The freedom bit has to do with the rights you get as a user.
The same thing applies to open source. The term was coined to prevent confusion which the word free could cause. Free software is more concerned with the ethics of the process; open source is a development method.
But this isn't the extent of Gould's confusion. He is on the move and charges blindly on, like a bull in a china shop. He compares Ubuntu to Fedora, saying "Don't go thinking that this is some fast moving beta like Fedora that will only be supported for a few quarters and is therefore designed to push you into paying real money for a more stable version like RHEL."
Fedora is no beta. It is Red Hat's bleeding-edge community distribution and the company would be foolish in the extreme to shut it down, considering the amount of development work it gets done free because of the existence of the project.
Beta software is pre-release software that is often offered for download as a means to detect bugs and fix them. Users willingly download such software and test it because it scratches an itch for them. For them, it constitutes a process of learning.
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.