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IBM developerWorks: Perspectives on open source

Apr 23, 2000, 06:22 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve Brody)

"Open source advocates and experts Brian Behlendorf, Sheila Harnett, Mark Stone, and Adam Goodman talk altruism, greed, software, and the future."

"I don't think the influx of money has changed the reason why most developers that I know are doing what they are doing," said Stone. "It's been a passion for them and if they didn't feel passionate about it then they wouldn't be doing it." "That said," conceded Stone, "there are many new developers coming to the community without the same open source roots, and perhaps more easily suborned, whose colors only time will ultimately make clear.""

"Anything that can be commoditized will be commoditized," said Goodman, "and it probably doesn't make sense for all software to be open source. There are extremists in this community -- and we need them because things don't get started without extremists -- but for anything to become widespread or mass-marketed it is impossible for any one voice to dominate for long, and open source will evolve to fit the needs it needs to fit."

"Whatever is ported next to Linux, none of the panelists expects to see Linux on their parents' desktop any time very soon. "My parents just grudgingly migrated from DOS to Windows 3.x," joked Stone. "Linux is not in their future, not now, not ever." The only hope, said Behlendorf, is that they may wind up running it when they don't have to know what OS is on their machine at all."

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