Older blog entries for lev (starting at number 2)

6 Jun 2002 (updated 6 Jun 2002 at 07:56 UTC) »

Open Source Development

The way of which most Open Source software evolve is rather strange, to those outside the community. But it does make sense, and is working well...

It all begin with a programmer "scratching his personal itch". An Open Source programmer usually writes software to address his own needs, if not for fun. Because of his love for the software, and the fact that he himself will be using it, the programmer puts in extra effort in developing the software. Of course, the software is then shared, usually under the terms of an open source license.

Another programmer discovers the software, and find that there are something missing, from his point of view. Therefore, he implement the parts he needs, and send his patches back to the original author to be included in the next release. Collaboration among the programmers is done over the Internet, usually via email. Such collaboration effort is made possible by the mutual trust within the community. This cycle repeats continously until...

When the software gain a massive following. There will be a small team of zealots working on the software like mad, while the rest doing their parts by submitting patches, reporting bugs, etc. At this point, the software should be stable enough for production use, but the development doesn't end here. As time goes by, it improves in all directions, tho' at a slower pace, for it always has the great Open Source people behind it.

Positively Diluted

In the elder days, Open Source is the way of computing. Back then, the right of sharing needed no explicit grants. The good old days. Things got a bit complicated when the mass got into the picture. They started complaining that our software isn't user friendly. They've forgotten, if they knew it in the first place, that those software were never supposed to be used by them.

However, the Open Source people are very kind indeed. "If the average users want to use our software, why not we make it easier to use for the mass? why don't we promote the use of our software to benefit more people?". Many Open Source people had voluntarily take up the responsibility of making better software for the mass. Thereafter, the Open Source culture was diluted, positively for the better.

Open Source, The Pure Form

Open Source people write software to solve their problems. We share the software becoz we feel that it's really a very bad thing if everybody has to write his own version of software to solve a same problem. We share the source codes becoz we know that nobody produces perfect codes, distributing the source codes give the others (and ourselves) a chance to improve it. This way, we'll all eventually get better software.

When the software we wrote solved our problems, we're already happy enough. We've got our problems solved and we had fun while writing it. Of course, it feels better if somebody else find it useful and actually use it. If someone is kind enough to help us to improve our software, we'll be even happier. Do we really care if there's anyone out there using our software? I doubt that, tho' it's kind of motivation if we know that there are.

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