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NewsForge: The Half-Way Covenant: Companies aim for 'partly' Open Source

Nov 01, 2000, 16:20 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)

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"This one might take a minute to explain. It's the connection between the most important and least known event in early American history and the reason that you should be unhappy that every business plan I've seen recently has the words "Open Source" in it. If the connection holds up the Open Source movement could be in for a real challenge over the next couple of years."

"Some readers know I do a little moonlighting with colleagues who specialize in doing market research and business development planning for would-be start-ups. Recently I've been seeing a whole pile of proposals. Nearly all of them employ the phrase "Open Source" several times in their executive summary. There's only one problem. Most of the time, those two words are preceded by the word "partly." Can a program really be "partly" open? Is that enough for most IT professionals? And if it is, does that become a real big problem for Open Source movement evangelists, not to mention firms that have already made a commitment to the Open Source philosophy?"

"The Puritans were among the leading intellectuals of their time. ... They had a huge, if temporary impact back home. And, after a rough start, they quickly developed into thriving communities, which attracted boatloads of immigrants. Trouble was that many of the new arrivals weren't exactly saints, a development the founders never anticipated. The leaders of the colonies realized they had to choose between ideological purity or growing their communities even while keeping all the new arrivals inside their churches. Under a minister named Increase Mather, they came up with a compromise [The Half-Way Covenant]. ... The long-term result was the dissolution of Puritan society."

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