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Linux.com: Open Source vs. Commercial Software Development

Dec 03, 2000, 19:18 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Grant Robertson)

"Deadlines can be good. I've seen amazing things happen under the pressure of an unrealistic deadline. I've seen software that couldn't make it half way through Q&A without causing testers to become physically ill. Suddenly and miraculously, the software would make an acceptable, if painful, trip through the cycle. Excessively long days by dedicated developers can make such miracles happen. Those developers usually expect a reward of some sort at the end. Often, they remain empty handed."

"Under the philosophies of open source development, things like this rarely happen. There are no real Q&A cycles, although we have the largest quality assurance team ever recorded. We arguably turn out quality software in less time than ever thought possible. We achieve this with only dedication and a desire to see software that works. There is no pressure to go public, or attract investors. There is no reason to prematurely give something a 1.0 or even 2.0 moniker. There is no reason to include features that don't make sense. Corporate civilization frets over the thing that makes us great: we simply don't care."

"We don't care if our software is still somewhere south of 1.0. Enlightenment, arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of open source software, is still in 0.16. While far away from a 1.0 release, it's more stable, feature rich and usable than many commercial products. Enlightenment's age and the fact it hadn't been through a 1.0 release and wasn't available in retail would be considered a dismal failure. The product development manager would be summarily shot by the CEO whose fortune would have rapidly depleted as investors jumped ship like rats from the Titanic."

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