Totally Missing the Point
Monday was a holiday here in Canada, so this morning has been doing the typical post-long-weekend email cleanup, blog reading and so on. Thanks to Bjorn, I came across this little gem: A cynic rips open source.
I always enjoy contrarians, really I do. I’ve even been known to play the role myself upon occasion.
But a real contrarian actually makes an argument based on facts and logic. Unfortunately, the author (Howard Anderson) blows his entire argument in the first salvo:
Open source is not a movement; it’s a religion. It is a set of principles and practices that let everyone share nonexistent or semi-existent intellectual property. Remember the Communist Manifesto: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It is this generation’s Woodstock.
This is utter nonsense.
Yes, there are many people for whom open source and/or free software is a movement or perhaps, even a religion. (There is certainly some purveyors of orthodoxy to be found in those groups.) But to assert that open source has no basis in business or economics just shows a complete misunderstanding of how the software industry is evolving. For a partial explanation of the business drivers behind Eclipse, take a look at my previous post on Eclipse and innovation networks.