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Linux: A Double Edged Sword for Open Source

Sep 03, 2010, 13:06 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alan Shimel)

"Quick, name the most successful open source project of all time. You probably didn't hesitate a second did you? For better and sometimes for worse, Linux is the poster child for the open source movement. And why shouldn't it be. You can't argue with the enormous success and impact it has had on the world. It is truly one of the wonders of the tech world. But that success can sometimes cast a long shadow on other open source projects and how people perceive open source should work. To paraphrase an old saying about GM into a question: Is what's good for Linux, good for all open source? The answer may be no.

"Linux is unique not only because of its success, but also because of the make up of its community. You have literally scores of companies, many of which are household names, that contribute substantial amounts of code to its base. You have a cast of thousands that contribute code, bug findings, ideas and even hot air (OK, some contribute lots of hot air)."

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