So I'm a regular listener of the Linux Action Show, a podcast devoted to news and commentary about -- you guessed it -- Linux. The "action" part of the show is that they talk loudly. For the most part I've always found the show to be interesting and insightful without being overly preachy, as Linux advocasy often is. Essentially: Linux is good but needs work and we can put up with a few proprietary drivers even though we hate them. Knowing of the show's pragmatic stance on free software, it still came as quite a shock when co-host Bryan Landuke recently announced that he is going to be producing commercial, closed-source applications exclusively for Linux.
Producing closed-source commercial programs on Linux to demonstrate that it can be done successfully in the hopes that others will follow suit is fatally flawed. As we just implied, Linux doesn't have the market share to support a large number of niche closed-source developers, so all that will be proven is that it can't be done. But just for fun, let's assume that Bryan does pull it off, and he sells enough copies of ones and zeros to pull in the necessary income to replace a regular W2 job in the industry (assuming this number is in the range of $60-100K for a man in his 30s, plus enough to cover the self-employment tax burden... that's a lot of shareware to sell). What will this do for Linux?