"On the surface, it all seems rather hard to believe. The
conventional wisdom is that software development, especially for
complex programs such as office applications and operating systems,
requires a tightly managed team of designers, developers, and
testers. In fact, some of the most successful programs of all
time have been created exactly this way, including Microsoft's
Windows operating system, Apple's Macintosh OS, and countless other
tools and applications."
"But a not-so-new model based on the distributed and
decentralized anarchy of the Internet may be set to change all
that. The so-called open source movement works by having dozens,
perhaps even thousands of programmers and testers from around the
world work together to develop complex systems."
"In most cases, these people may never even meet, communicating
with each other through a combination of electronic mail, instant
messaging, and of course, the exchange of computer source
"What guides and motivates these people is the principle that
software source code should be freely available to anyone who wants
to see it, test it, tinker with it, and hopefully, enhance it. The
idea isn't new. In fact, much of the software for the Internet
itself was developed using this model."
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