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View Full Version : Open Source, SlimServer, Squeezebox and Roku???



Dan Speirs
2005-01-03, 21:22
Please help me understand open source software how it
pertains to SlimServer. I understand the fact that
open source software is where coding is made public
and is available for people to access, modify and so
on. One of the main reasons I purchased a Squeezebox
is because the SlimServer is open source and thus can
be modified quickly and always be on the cutting edge
- this is a huge advantage over closed systems
(obviously). The thing I don't totally understand is
why is SlimServer usable by competitors to Squeezebox
(mainly Roku)? A competative advantgae to Squeezebox
is the kick ass software called SlimServer. But,
since Roku can use SlimServer it evens the playing
field in many people's eyes.

It seems to sme that by letting Roku use the Slim
Server, Slim Devices has choosen to compete with Roku
on hardware. I can't remember the last time anyone
made money on hardware (unless they are absolutely
mass producing it). If Roku users can use SlimServer
what is the incentive to buy a Squeezebox?

Is it against the unwritten rule of open source to
have a open source software that will NOT work on the
competition's hardware? What is the drawback of this?
I fail to see many negatives unless there are a lot
of Roku users contributing to the SlimServer code
(which I HIGHLY doubt). Can SlimServer continue to be
open source if it is only to work on Squeezebox?

I love the Squeezebox and want SlimDevices to succeed
like we all do but I am failing to understand this strategy.



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Jack Coates
2005-01-04, 08:31
Dan Speirs wrote:
> Please help me understand open source software how it
> pertains to SlimServer. I understand the fact that
> open source software is where coding is made public
> and is available for people to access, modify and so
> on. One of the main reasons I purchased a Squeezebox
> is because the SlimServer is open source and thus can
> be modified quickly and always be on the cutting edge
> - this is a huge advantage over closed systems
> (obviously). The thing I don't totally understand is
> why is SlimServer usable by competitors to Squeezebox
> (mainly Roku)? A competative advantgae to Squeezebox
> is the kick ass software called SlimServer. But,
> since Roku can use SlimServer it evens the playing
> field in many people's eyes.
>

a) as long as the software is open-source, it can't easily lock out
other clients because the lock-checker is openly readable. Yes, it could
be done with public key crypto, but it would add a significant amount of
complexity and would make things like Softsqueeze harder to do.

b) the fast pace of development and the ability to add in your own
plugins produces a rabid fan base; a lot of the people on this list
evangelize the product heavily and wouldn't use anything else because of
these freedoms and advantages. There's a flipside, and the proverbial
Joe Sixpack who can't even figure out a remote control will complain
mightily about the pace of development.

c) Slim Devices can and does develop new hardware to take advantage of
new features in Slimserver, which is a good way to keep a lead. For
instance the new graphical display. As long as they keep a lid on these
features until official announcement, that puts them at a competitive
advantage.

d) Slim Devices also works hard to build customer loyalty, especially by
doing things like the screen upgrade for older Squeezeboxen. Many
companies would have made you buy a whole new unit for the new display.
One could argue that nice guys will always finish last, or one could put
one's money with the nice guys when buying a product. What makes you
feel better? I know that I feel like I'm supporting the good guys when
buying a Squeezebox, which is more than I can say about any other piece
of gear in my house.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip since 1996!

vidurapparao
2005-01-04, 09:35
Dan,

Please refer to
http://lists.slimdevices.com/archives/discuss/2004-June/031752.html.

--Vidur

Dan Speirs wrote:

>Please help me understand open source software how it
>pertains to SlimServer. I understand the fact that
>open source software is where coding is made public
>and is available for people to access, modify and so
>on. One of the main reasons I purchased a Squeezebox
>is because the SlimServer is open source and thus can
>be modified quickly and always be on the cutting edge
>- this is a huge advantage over closed systems
>(obviously). The thing I don't totally understand is
>why is SlimServer usable by competitors to Squeezebox
>(mainly Roku)? A competative advantgae to Squeezebox
>is the kick ass software called SlimServer. But,
>since Roku can use SlimServer it evens the playing
>field in many people's eyes.
>
>It seems to sme that by letting Roku use the Slim
>Server, Slim Devices has choosen to compete with Roku
>on hardware. I can't remember the last time anyone
>made money on hardware (unless they are absolutely
>mass producing it). If Roku users can use SlimServer
>what is the incentive to buy a Squeezebox?
>
>Is it against the unwritten rule of open source to
>have a open source software that will NOT work on the
>competition's hardware? What is the drawback of this?
> I fail to see many negatives unless there are a lot
>of Roku users contributing to the SlimServer code
>(which I HIGHLY doubt). Can SlimServer continue to be
>open source if it is only to work on Squeezebox?
>
>I love the Squeezebox and want SlimDevices to succeed
>like we all do but I am failing to understand this strategy.
>
>
>
>__________________________________
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Yahoo! Mail - 250MB free storage. Do more. Manage less.
>http://info.mail.yahoo.com/mail_250
>

vidurapparao
2005-01-04, 09:38
The license file shipped with SlimServer (browsable at
http://cvs.slimdevices.com/slim/server/License.txt?rev=1.3&view=auto)
also clarifies some aspects of the various copyrights and licenses
associated with software shipped in a SlimServer package.

--Vidur

Vidur Apparao wrote:

>
> Dan,
>
> Please refer to
> http://lists.slimdevices.com/archives/discuss/2004-June/031752.html.
>
> --Vidur
>
> Dan Speirs wrote:
>
>> Please help me understand open source software how it
>> pertains to SlimServer. I understand the fact that
>> open source software is where coding is made public
>> and is available for people to access, modify and so
>> on. One of the main reasons I purchased a Squeezebox
>> is because the SlimServer is open source and thus can
>> be modified quickly and always be on the cutting edge
>> - this is a huge advantage over closed systems
>> (obviously). The thing I don't totally understand is
>> why is SlimServer usable by competitors to Squeezebox
>> (mainly Roku)? A competative advantgae to Squeezebox
>> is the kick ass software called SlimServer. But,
>> since Roku can use SlimServer it evens the playing
>> field in many people's eyes.
>>
>> It seems to sme that by letting Roku use the Slim
>> Server, Slim Devices has choosen to compete with Roku
>> on hardware. I can't remember the last time anyone
>> made money on hardware (unless they are absolutely
>> mass producing it). If Roku users can use SlimServer
>> what is the incentive to buy a Squeezebox?
>>
>> Is it against the unwritten rule of open source to
>> have a open source software that will NOT work on the
>> competition's hardware? What is the drawback of this?
>> I fail to see many negatives unless there are a lot
>> of Roku users contributing to the SlimServer code
>> (which I HIGHLY doubt). Can SlimServer continue to be
>> open source if it is only to work on Squeezebox?
>>
>> I love the Squeezebox and want SlimDevices to succeed
>> like we all do but I am failing to understand this strategy.
>>
>>
>>
>> __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - 250MB
>> free storage. Do more. Manage less. http://info.mail.yahoo.com/mail_250
>>

Marc Sherman
2005-01-04, 09:41
Vidur Apparao wrote:
>
> Please refer to
> http://lists.slimdevices.com/archives/discuss/2004-June/031752.html.

Heh, that's very well spoken, Sean. Especially point 2. :)

- Marc

Michael Scott
2005-01-06, 14:54
Quoting Jack Coates <jack (AT) monkeynoodle (DOT) org>:

> c) Slim Devices can and does develop new hardware to take advantage of
> new features in Slimserver, which is a good way to keep a lead. For
> instance the new graphical display. As long as they keep a lid on these
> features until official announcement, that puts them at a competitive
> advantage.

I agree and think it forces SD to continuously improve and innovate to remain
viable. It would be like designing a home appliance that required special line
voltage in order for the company to lock users into buying power from them as well.

Plus the open source makes it a tinkerer's dream. I love to take things apart
(both hardware and software) to see how they work. Plus it sometimes gives me
ideas on how to code a specific application or add an enhancement to the software.
----------------------
- Mike Scott
- mscott (AT) pyewacket (DOT) org