No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Bob, first of all, glad to hear your son Channing is doing well. It was a shock to read about Chase a year ago. It doesn’t seem that long at all!
Unfortunately I have to disagree with your arguement against Open Source.
When a project is successful it’s used by people and the maintainers are hopefully motivated to work at it. Even if the project developers lose interest in a project sometimes those projects are taken up by others. The author of b2 disappeared off the Internet (he’s back, sort of now!) and now there’s several branches of b2, including this website, all with enhanced features.
If a project stagnates and isn’t maintained, it’s usually because people aren’t using it. There are many exceptions of course, and some popular tools go unmaintained, but what happens when a company goes bust? What happens when the company won’t support your old version of the software? At least you, or your development team has access to the source of the open source project.

I don’t believe Microsoft can easily subvert OSS projects by simply pumping money into them and leading them off in a tangent. People will notice.
You cite the Apache project. The new Apache 2 has been out for quite a while. How many complex sites are using it? It doesn’t have much support from 3rd party developers. So much for the mighty influence of IBM.
Where’s Ximian now? What have they done in the Gnome world to lead that desktop environment?
They might have a chance if they got a controlling role in Red Hat or some other major Linux distributor, but even then there’s too many people. Alan Cox is quite independent of Red Hat even though they pay his salary.
Open Source will be around for a long time I’m glad to say!

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

2 replies on “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Yea, I’m confused as to why some geeks still believe that Open Source software will not succeed. LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP – they are here to stay no matter what MS does.

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