I like to code. I like to eat. therefore, I code for money. The people who pay me, sell my code. Because they also need to eat, they sell my code for more than they pay me (they profit). At least, this is how it works in theory. I don’t code for food, because sometimes I like to do things other than eat.
I like free software, and I strongly believe in software freedom (as in speech). However, I like to get paid for my work and I think other programmers feel the same. I enjoy using software that is free (as in “here’s a free Pepsi”) and do use many free programs (such as OpenOffice.org, InkSkape and GAIM). I also appreciate it when commercial software companies give people a choice of the product they use by adhering to open standards and/or publishing the file format of their documents. For an example of two companies who have done this, Adobe with PDF and Macromedia with SWF. An example of two companies who have not done this, Adobe with PSD and AI, and Microsoft with nearly every product they make.
I hope that enough large commercial and government entities put pressure on Microsoft so that they will be required to support the open document standard in MS Office. This will give people a choice. I think that MS, will still produce a competitive product – they have a head start and many paid programmers, and will still make tons of money. Software choice is good.
What does this mean? I guess it means I stand on the line between open source values and commercial software traditions. Both have their place.