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WideOpenNews: To Open Source — Or Not? [Brian Behlendorf Q&A]

[ Thanks to Russ
Mitchell
for this link. ]

“Wide Open News decided that one way to paint a more
realistic picture of open source development would be to invite one
of its strongest proponents to describe situations where open
source development may — and may not — be the best solution,
removing hype from the equation and allowing open source’s
strengths to stand on their own.
And Brian Behlendorf was game
to do just that.”

Q: When should a business launch its code as
open source?
Behlendorf: When you’re starting a new software
project, there’s almost no reason to do it proprietarily, at this
point — unless the code implements something that is necessary to
the business model. As much as I’m an advocate of open source, I
realize there are many companies and many business models that rely
on the fact that they don’t give everything out. Ask Hotmail if
they’d release the back end to Hotmail as open source, they’d
probably say no. …”

Q: It has to have marketability.
Behlendorf: Yes, it’s like releasing a piece of
software commercially. The whole big idea is that you need
momentum. You need to either hitch onto someone else’s momentum. Or
you need to have something with so much worth that it generates its
own. …”

Complete
Story