10 November 2008

ESR: He Speak the Truth (Technically Speaking)

Sadly, it's become something of an event when Eric Raymond offers one of his stimulating essays on technology. I know he's supposed to be working on some top-secret, er, something, but couldn't we have a few more words like these?

There's an argument commonly heard these days that open-source software is all very well for infrastructure or commodity software where the requirements are well-established, but that it can't really innovate. I laugh when I hear this, because I remember when the common wisdom was exactly the opposite -- that we hackers were great for exploratory, cutting-edge stuff but couldn't deliver reliable product.

How quickly people forget. We built the World Wide Web, fer cripessakes! The original browser and the original webservers were built by a hacker at CERN, not in some closed-door corporate shop. Before that, years before we got Linux and our own T-shirts, people who would later identify their own behavior correctly as open-source hacking built the Internet.

Exactly, as I've noted on these pages several times before. Do read the rest: if ESR gets enough hits maybe he'll return to his flock....

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