:proprietary: adj. 1. In marketroid
speak, superior; implies a product
imbued with exclusive magic by the unmatched brilliance of the company's
own hardware or software designers. 2. In the language of hackers and
users, inferior; implies a product not conforming to open-systems
standards, and thus one that puts the customer at the mercy of a vendor
able to gouge freely on service and upgrade charges after the initial
sale has locked the customer in. Often used in the phrase "proprietary
crap". 3. Synonym for closed-source, e.g. software issued in binary
without source and under a restrictive license.
Since the coining of the term open source
many hackers have made a
conscious effort to distinguish between `proprietary' and `commercial'
software. It is possible for software to be commercial (that is,
intended to make a profit for the producers) without being proprietary.
The reverse is also possible, for example in binary-only freeware.
Jargon File Version 4.3.1, 29 JUN 2001 =
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