I believe that software, and in fact entire companies, should be run in a way that assumes that the sum of the talent of people outside your walls is greater than the sum of the few you have inside. None of us are as smart as all of us. Given the right environment — one that leverages the marginal cost of distributing software and ideas — independent actors can work toward something that benefits them, while also increasing the capability of the entire community.
This is where open source gets really interesting: it’s not just about the legal wonkery around software licensing, but what effect open sourced software has on people using it. In the proprietary world, those people are typically called “users,” a strange term that connotes dependence and addiction. In the open source world, they’re more rightly called a community.
The Four Freedoms | Matt Mullenweg
Matt posted this a few weeks ago. This blog is hosted on WordPress.com, and prior to that on wordpress.org deployments across several hosting providers. Matt’s post is worth mentioning here, not because of that WordPress connection, rather, the post is probably the best rationale I’ve seen for the value of open source software. Read the post via the link.
Boxee, the awesome media center application that aggregates many online media sources onto one platform is opening up next month for anyone who is interested in a beta. I’ve been on the alpha, and love it. This integration has me seriously thinking dropping the dreaded cable bill.
boxee blog » opening up the alpha
we’ve been in closed alpha for a long time. after Jan 8th are going to open up the alpha, and work diligently on getting the beta out. the number of users who signed up for the alpha has overwhelmed us (over 150,000), and went well beyond our original expectations.
we get asked frequently about why we keep it closed, especially given the fact that it is open-source. the answer is that the product is still very much alpha, and we wanted to scale our servers gradually. but the demand is overwhelming and we don’t want to have users wait for months for their invites, so we decided to open the Jan 8th release of Mac and Ubuntu to everyone.
If you just can’t wait until then, I think I can grant alpha invites to a limited number of folks. Leave a comment, and I’ll see what I can do.
A very robust discussion about could computing is going on over at the O’Reilly Radar, associated with this post:
Open Source and Cloud Computing – O’Reilly Radar
I’ve been worried for some years that the open source movement might fall prey to the problem that Kim Stanley Robinson so incisively captured in Green Mars: “History is a wave that moves through time slightly faster than we do.” Innovators are left behind, as the world they’ve changed picks up on their ideas, runs with them, and takes them in unexpected directions.