Stephen E. Arnold: Quote to Note: Open Source Is a Little Pregnant as in Sort of but Not Really

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Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Quote to Note: Open Source Is a Little Pregnant

I came across “Why Is Atom Closed Source?” The thread had a very interesting statement from mojombo. I quote:

Atom won’t be closed source, but it won’t be open source either. It will be somewhere inbetween, making it easy for us to charge for Atom while still making the source available under a restrictive license so you can see how everything works. We haven’t finalized exactly how this will work yet. We will have full details ready for the official launch.

Several years ago I gave a talk and used this diagram to illustrate the spectrum of open source search software:

open source range

Some of my information explaining the diagram turned up in an azure chip consulting firm report. Well, that’s how the semi straight consulting firms work.

The point of the diagram is that open source software is on a path to be commercial software. The open source cheerleaders deny this trend. I, on the other hand, submit that the Atom quote makes it pretty darned clear that being a little pregnant is not much different from having a commercial baby. Open source is increasingly a marketing ploy with lipstick.

Stephen E Arnold, February 27, 2013

Phi Beta Iota: Similarly, the press for Open Data by companies like ESRI, a notoriously proprietary company that does not play well with others and does not support humanitarian technology and geospatial relief efforts must be viewed as inherently suspect. Open Source Everything means just that — time energy for “bespoke” adapatations is where the money should be paid, and that generally should be paid to individuals, not to industrial era corporations trying desperately to justify their wicked wasteful ways.

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