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Freshmeat: Has Open Source become derailed?

May 07, 2000, 18:45 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Smith)

"A few days ago, an article was published which asked whether Open Source was producing results. The author claimed that there were none, except for Mozilla. As a developer who as embraced the concept of Open Source, my first reaction was outrage. Obviously there were results, and many readers made the point clear. The BSDs, Linux, Apache, Bind, GIMP, and GNOME are but a few examples of highly successful projects."

"But then I took another look at the article and at Open Source software in general, and I saw what he saw, and possibly the context that he saw it in. Until about a year or so ago, the mainstream press generally ignored Open Source and didn't really know what was going on in the field. Now everyone is jumping on the Linux bandwagon and the press are following the field for the first time. Look at Linux, Apache, Bind, and the rest. They were mature projects by the time the rest of the industry took notice. Since then, except for Mozilla, there have been no major Open Source projects that made a major impact on the market."

"I guess I've just made myself serious flame-bait for all of you out there, but take a close look at the announcements on sites like freshmeat, SourceForge, or even LinuxBerg. For about the last eight months now, all I've seen in the line of new projects have been small utilities that do something that is often meaningless in the bigger picture. Sure, every one of us wants his ICQ client to look the way he wants, so those who can write their own and publish it for those who can't. I know I'm guilty of doing exactly that with my gView and gRun applications. They have been small tools I needed and that I decided the rest of the world might take an interest in."

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