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Slashdot: Free Software Development Goes Public

Nov 22, 1999, 21:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"I remember the first time I suggested an improvement to a piece of free, Open Source software. The testy response I got was, "Learn to program and do it yourself." This attitude was similar to that displayed by what I call "academic writers," whose fiction and poetry is so obscure that no one reads it except other academics."

"But in the last few years, I've noticed a slow change in attitude among the Open Source and free software developers I know personally. More and more of them seem to be thinking in terms of writing software that is useful to others, not just what they want for themselves."

"There is nothing wrong with this. Artists need audiences. So do techies. Sure, it's nice to write a "deep" piece of fiction that only top-rung English professors will appreciate, but it's also nice to write something that a whole bunch of people will read and understand, and perhaps even write you a letter or e-mail now and then that says "Thanks. Nice work."

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