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CyberNautix: Why People Write Open Source Software

Apr 29, 2003, 11:00 (6 Talkback[s])

"I frequently puzzle over how to explain why great programmers go to the trouble of creating fine software and then give it away. 'How could the software possibly be any good,' people reason, 'if they don't want to sell it?'

"I have been stymied by this logic--until now.

"I was recently reading an old writer's how-to book for encouragement and inspiration, and I came across the observation that all people have the same universal needs: food, housing, love, belonging, recognition, and sense of accomplishment. Appealing to these needs, writers gain 'reader identification,' that sense in which the reader feels that she can identify, empathize, or sympathize with the situation or plight of the lead character in a story. But the same universal needs that guide writers to create sympathetic stories also guide the motivations, and therefore actions, of everyday people..."

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