"The vice president of technology at a leading software vendor
recently told me that he spends a lot of time wondering how open
source projects can possibly work. 'You take out the internal
combustion engine, yet somehow the car still runs,' he said. But my
take was that there is a powerful engine purring under the hood of
open source and creative programming is addictive. Part of the rush
comes from the endorphins released when the mind enters a state of
flow. And part comes from the peer acclaim.
"What open source projects often lack is not an engine, but a
steering wheel. 'Too many programmers, but not enough product
managers,' says Tony Byrne, who tracks commercial and open source
content management systems at CMSWatch. Paul Everitt, co-founder of
Zope, puts it this way: 'We suck at finishing work.' Writing
documentation doesn't make endorphins flow. Neither does organizing
a usability study, doing triage on bug reports, writing a
bulletproof installer, internationalizing a product for 14
languages, or creating an intuitive user interface..."
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