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Mojolin: Is the Open Source development model applicable to other industries?

Mar 03, 2001, 18:00 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Barber)

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"In my last article, The Future Uv Development , I satirized the future based on Microsoft's most recent efforts at FUD. The story itself was facetious, but as I was writing the sci-fi like scenarios, it occurred to me that there were some interesting possibilities there."

"I realize that we in the open source community have something unique, good and revolutionary. It is a complete shift in paradigm from a limited to an unlimited world. It is one that will change the world, not just the software industry, as it spreads. There are several unique characteristics to this movement. First, it is a movement in which it is technical merit, not money, which decides survival. Second, it is a movement driven by the people -- true grass-roots... true democracy. (It is interesting to note that this form of democracy is one without representation, ie each individual stands for himself, not one person representing the multitude) Third, it utilizes the GNU General Public License (GPL) which ensures the freedom of the software throughout its evolution. And the fourth unique characteristic of this movement is its total lack of harmful by-products; no cost or restrictions, better development, faster to the table, widespread distribution. It is a true win-win-win situation. This is why global adoption of Linux is in full swing. Even if Microsoft were to jump in tomorrow, they would only benefit from the experience."

"One last point, before I go on, as to why open source has been successful. The spirit of "community" has an unbelievable effect on a sense of belonging and on the desire to share knowledge. The internet has allowed the open source community to collaborate freely, gathering at sites of interest for exchange of ideas. While the idea of "community" is not unique to open source, without it, open source would have died in its infancy."

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