Proprietary vs Open Source shown as a ratio: What makes Linux and open source unique and how it compares to Windows/Macos

“ELI5: What’s the difference between proprietary and open source”
Here’s the way to think about it.

Think of proprietary as a completely written book. You can’t change any part of the story in the book without permish and also can’t “steal it”, with writing the story and contents on a Google Doc, you’ll still have to buy the book for 10-20$

Think of open source as an empty book. The kernel made by Torvalds is just the pages the cover, etc. You can get a certain kind of customizable story(distro) with unique font style(desktop), while some distros are REALLY empty(look at Gentoo and Arch), and others are REALLY full(look at Ubuntu and Mint). Even with a full story(e.g. Ubuntu), you can still edit the story, the fonting, etc.

Distinguish between

  • the idea of the book ( in the authors mind)
  • the writing of the book
  • its effect ( how its content spreads and influences people)

Open source is still being written, it is dynamic, continuous creation if you like,and its effect is to drag peoples thinking along with it. . Closed source is mostly a done deal, static, boring, and no positive influence.

Read Dorothy Sayers… “Mind of rhe Maker”

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thanks for making that statement! I realized Proprietary is basically a full fledged finished book, Open Source has some of it done, but it’s editable, which leads people into coming to it.

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