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WideOpenNews: To Open Source -- Or Not? [Brian Behlendorf Q&A]

Mar 13, 2000, 16:09 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patricia Krueger)

[ Thanks to Russ Mitchell for this link. ]

"Wide Open News decided that one way to paint a more realistic picture of open source development would be to invite one of its strongest proponents to describe situations where open source development may -- and may not -- be the best solution, removing hype from the equation and allowing open source's strengths to stand on their own. And Brian Behlendorf was game to do just that."

"Q: When should a business launch its code as open source?
Behlendorf: When you're starting a new software project, there's almost no reason to do it proprietarily, at this point -- unless the code implements something that is necessary to the business model. As much as I'm an advocate of open source, I realize there are many companies and many business models that rely on the fact that they don't give everything out. Ask Hotmail if they'd release the back end to Hotmail as open source, they'd probably say no. ..."

"Q: It has to have marketability.
Behlendorf: Yes, it's like releasing a piece of software commercially. The whole big idea is that you need momentum. You need to either hitch onto someone else's momentum. Or you need to have something with so much worth that it generates its own. ..."

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