A friend pointed out this Guardian article about Stallman’s (and others) perspective on the cloud computing direction. From an open source perspective I’ve felt similar concerns re: the shift to GMail, but I know that many users (like me) merely use it for mail mirroring, not a wholesale dependency.
As I got into FOSS, I prided myself on being “independent” of proprietary control – many of us started by running Linux on our home networks just to help maintain that sense of control and security. But with cloud computing, perhaps there’s a different story. What’s it worth to tap into that power? Are FOSS developers and service providers really going to move important services to these kinds of platforms? Intriguing, yes and exciting, no doubt – but how far will we go?
Like traditional proprietary strangleholds, I believe the FOSS universe will come through with their own alternatives. With all the Linux smarts sitting around, wouldn’t some sort of loosely coupled, FOSS-based peer-to-peer clustering network be enough for most of us? Or are FOSS developers and system integrators really ready to invest themselves in somebody else’s black boxes?
Disclaimer: Since my first introduction to “cloud computing” was through marketing hype, I’m trying to ignore that it exists until someone tells me it’s really useful. So, for now, my ignorance is intentional. 😉