Open Source vs. the executives

In “Challenge to Open Source”:, Jim Fawcette writes:

bq. I was originally excited by the idea of open source, collaborative development. But the direction open source is headed seems like a waste. Creating clones of commercial software isn’t impressive creatively. But more importantly, what does it contribute? Why would anyone with excellent computer skills want to work long hours to create code so that millionaire executives at IBM can use it to sell expensive mainframe computers and middleware with six-figure licenses? All for no compensation and little recognition.

I found this perspective interesting and amusing, and there are many areas where it applies. There are organisations that extensively use open source without “giving back” to the community. There are others that aggressively release projects as open source, even when they don’t have to and don’t gain any (tangible) benefits.

I don’t think IBM is fair game in this case. The article is missing a critical piece: all of the coding that is done by IBM employees (and those of other large organisations), which is then released as open source. The obvious example is Eclipse, which represents thousands of man hours of development paid for by IBM, and is now available to any software developer. I’m sure there are many others.

“Chuq has a rebuttal”: that is worth reading too.

posted at 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 08, 2004 in Links | Comments Off on Open Source vs. the executives

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.