Regular readers of this blog are probably aware that I've had lengthy, and sometimes heated, debates with leaders of the open source community about the value of having both free open source software (FOSS) and proprietary software systems. I made the case that inventors who hold patents for truly original and useful breakthrough software programs—and who are compassionate, empathetic, socially-minded individuals—should not be lumped together with people who receive software dubious patents for insignificant inventions. These latter inventors sole purpose is to enrich themselves by "holding other developers hostage" and constraining them from creating health information technology programs that could have great benefit for the greater good. And I fully support FOSS for taking a hard-line stand against such practices!
I made the case, therefore, that FOSS programs, and proprietary programs offered by decent inventors, can live together peacefully for everyone's benefit. For more, see this link to one of my other blogs.
I now want to announce that I've just offered a data conversion program under a free open source license. For anyone interested, it's located at this link: http://opensourceandpatents.blogspot.com/2008/11/first-open-source-offering-xml-to-csv.html