· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · January
· · · · 16 (1 entry)

Open-Source Whatever · Over at O’Reilly, John Mark Walker writes There Is No Open Source Community, and Nicholas Carr, who enjoys decrying, well, anything popular, chimes in with The Amorality of Open Source. They both paint a picture of misguided innocents who believe in some starry-eyed vision of post-capitalist intellectual collectivism, but are actually pawns in the hands of larger economic forces. They’re both really wrong. Granted: Open Source is not a nation or a corporation or a political party or a religion. (While there are “movement people”, organized into the skeptical-of-each-other Open Source and Free Software sects, they are a tiny—albeit noisy—minority.) Absent those things, what is left? A collection of people who like working on software and look for opportunities, preferably but not necessarily paid, to do so. If that isn’t a “community”, what is? And furthermore, I would recommend that Walker and Carr spend some time hanging out in the IRC channels and pizza parties and conferences and mailing lists and wikis where the Open-Source people actually, you know, are. They would discover, now what’s the word I’m looking for... people who actively seek out their own kind, who share jargon and jokes and tools and thought leaders and enemies. The word I’m looking for is “community”. And anyone who thinks that this community would go away if Sun and IBM and Novell and so on were to stop funding it is nuts. Open Source Software is its own reward; that, and hanging out with people who share our passions. We don’ need no steenkin’ economics. Or ideologies either.
author · Dad
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