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IBM developerWorks: Perspectives on open source

“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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