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I watched a copy of "Revolution OS" last friday at a Perl Monger's Meeting. (

One of the key points of the movie is that Open Source trades all the "good stuff" of software development:  Comittment Ship dates, daily builds, small, centralized development teams, formal testing, schedules, risk management, etc. away for one thing in return:  Massive Peer Review.

The thesis, then, is that this massive peer review is better and more valuable than all of the software engineering "good stuff."

Personally, I think there's more to it than that.  People work on Open Source Projects BECAUSE THEY WANT TO.  If they are having a bad day, they don't work on a project.  If it bores them, they can stop and move on.  Add Free Will to Self-Actualization (The Top of Maslov's Hierarchy) and you get some amazing results.


Matt H.
Monday, July 29, 2002

"People work on Open Source Projects BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. If they are having a bad day, they don't work on a project. If it bores them, they can stop and move on."

I wonder if all the people working on Open Source Projects at IBM, Sun, Apple, etc.... see it that way.

Peter WA Wood
Monday, July 29, 2002

There are many takes on Free software and Open Source Software.  What you have written about is just one of them.

Example:  You are a consulting firm.  You don't have the resources to build a key piece of what you need.  You got out there , find an Open source project that is comparable, hack so it does what you need and release your code back into the pool.  You now have all the traditional parts of software enigneering, plus or minus the massive code review based on the developer pool for your technology.

Example 2:  You are a student.  You do a term project with a team of other students.  You develop something nifty (TM) and want to be able to share it with the world.  You release it as an Open Source project.  Again, the software engineering aspects of it may or may not play a part.

Example 3:  A device driver for your companies latest device is written to make sure that it runs under linux.  Since your company contracts with the device consumers, you have an internal build process with strict software engineering.  Since it is Linux Device driver, you also release it under the GPL.

Monday, July 29, 2002

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