Linked by David Adams on Fri 17th Dec 2004 18:20 UTC, submitted by jeanmarc
Editorial The real heart of open source lies in its potential to be greater than the sum of its parts, the capacity to leverage the talent and abilities of an entire community of developers and users who are striving towards a common goal, according to an editorial at Linux Insider.
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Monopoly vs. for-profit
by WP on Fri 17th Dec 2004 22:02 UTC

In comparing open source "community" models, keep in mind that the relevant option is market-driven competition, not a monopoly. (Side note to Michael: the OSS "open" model is most certainly not free market, and nor is the monopoly). Any option is preferable to monopoly for all parties but one (the monopolist itself). I agree with Darius, the key is the quality of the application. I refuse to use an OS or software because someone tells me a touchy-feely story of several developers working together for the betterment of humanity or some such nonsense. Granted, that is a worthy cause, and I will certainly donate money, time, and support to such things. But I will not use inferior software to do it.

Think about it this way. What if an "open source" car was made, but its top speed was 20 mph/kph, or its gas mileage was very poor. Would the warming of your heart in supporting the "community" cause you to purchase or use such a vehicle?

I place "community" in quotes because I think the term is grossly misused when referring to open source. It is typically invoked by those who wish to think the millions who use OSS are unified in some belief, cause, or action, when if fact, most of those people just want to get work done with the best software they can find. The "community" doesn't approve, disapprove, belief, or support anything, necessarily. They are just a very large, diverse group of users and developers.