All good points, Andrew. However, one thing you didn't touch on was the fact that the use of these cloud computing apps may fundamentally undermine the driving principles behind the open source community, since by using server-based apps, we have no way of accessing (or modifying, redistributing, etc.) the source code behind any of them. This ultimately renders our software closed-source. The obvious response to be made here is that many web-hosted services like SVN, IRC, etc. make open source development and distributed community collaboration possible over the internet. However, while this is certainly so, these particular apps are open source, and their servers (and source code) can be downloaded freely, run, modified, and redistributed by any of us. The world under cloud computing, as it is being described by much of the blogosphere and the media these days, focuses more and more on centralized control of these servers, and there are no legal tools in place to prevent these services from all being developed and deployed under proprietary licenses (as I mentioned above). So although I can be glad that at least Google releases much of its code in the open source arena, I doubt we can expect that from many of the other usual players in the software dev game. Just my 2 cents. Keep on hackin' in the Free world, ~Gary Andrew Guertin writes: > Quoting Gary Johnson <[log in to unmask]>: > > > Yep, > > > > The big-bearded, no-holds-barred GNU man says cloud computing is > > "worse than stupidity." Check it. > > > > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/sep/29/cloud.computing.richard.stallman > > > > ~Gary > > > > He's right on one point but wrong on the conclusion. > > "The 55-year-old New Yorker said that computer users should be keen to > keep their information in their own hands, rather than hand it over to > a third party." This is true, and is why I host my own website and > email (actually, have a legal contract specifying the relevant > important things) and don't use services like facebook. > > But there's nothing about cloud computing that fundamentally requires > you to give someone else control over the main copy of your data. It's > perfectly possible to, e.g., host your own photographs but let flickr > display them, and make sure you back up people's comments on them. > It's possible to use google apps for word processing, but make sure > you retain a copy of the document at all times, not relying on google > for hosting. > > Unfortunately the software is not available to make this *easy*, but > it's not fundamentally against cloud computing.