Nature: Openness Makes Software Better Sooner
Jun 27, 2003, 22:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Philip Ball)
"Computer software develops more effectively when its code is
freely accessible to all, UK researchers have calculated.
"This will come as no surprise to the legions of supporters of
open-access software, such as the operating systems and tools the
Linux and Apache projects distribute. To them, the superiority of
freely available code is an article of faith--as much an
ideological position as a technological decision.
"The theoretical model of software debugging devised by Damien
Challet and Yann Le Du of the University of Oxford has some
sobering messages for companies who prefer to keep their software
proprietary. 'Closed-source' software, finessed by staff hired to
work on information that users send in, requires higher-quality
programmers and more users to attain the same level of perfection
as open-source software in a comparable time..."