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Slashdot: Communication and the Open Source Community

Mar 13, 2000, 20:27 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by emmett)

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"The Open Source movement has produced some of the world's finest software through the cooperation of developers worldwide. While it may be the most effective way of writing software the planet has ever seen, it creates its own communication challenges, as well. The days of private, closed-door meetings in pretty offices are over; disputes of all kinds are dealt with publically...."

"While mailing lists represent the tried-and-true method of disseminating information among your development brethen, it's not the only way. IRC has been used as a development meetingplace for a while, but also has its own problems. Netsplits, nick problems, and the occasional channel flood can make things difficult...."

"One of the biggest problems is that all arguments are usually very public, and can lead to a political struggle within the project. The argument between Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens, although it took place over a year ago, is still fresh in people's minds. When the mainstream media has their ears on the Linux railroad track listening for the oncoming train, they are more than willing to consider an argument between two Linux people as a portent that the house of cards is about to fall. Decentralization of control leads people to believe that just about anyone can be in charge, and the media will consistently rally around the loudest."

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