[long] Legal traps in open source

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Fri Nov 1 08:04:57 EST 2002

On Fri, 2002-11-01 at 04:49, Steve Jenkin wrote:
> This is _exactly_ the same as a bunch of us building a Formula 1 race car in our
> spare time and it being competitive with Ferrari.  If Windows & other commercial
> apps are NOT the best that the vendors can produce, what is going on?

I disagree with that statement - building software is nothing at all
like building any kind of tangible product in terms of financial input,
for one thing.

Someone working from home only needs the capital investment of a 486PC
and a dialup account - and lots of free time.

someone trying to compete with Ferrari in the Formula 1 needs to have a
huge capital investment in machining, forming, and testing equipment.

Another huge difference between the commercial and open source models is
that in a commercial system, you usually cage the development team up
and put pressure on them - they don't get to interact with other
developers, so you only have the same 50-100 pairs of eyes watching the

In open source development, you have many more sets of eyes watching,
and most open source developers will be talking to other developers who
aren't even part of that project - the "Best Current Practice" in open
source development keeps getting improved because people pick up
neat/cool/effective ideas from others.


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