Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mostly good sense and then this

Sun Microsystem's Matt Thompson holds forth on open-source being 'benefit-driven'. (This is related to the story of SUN and NIIT (India's biggest IT trainer) launching a joint training program in India). Most of the interview is the usual explanation of why open-source works, develops user-autonomy, why closed-source is becoming "irrelevant" and so on. It also includes the following quote, which struck me as interesting:
Many people confuse open-source to be a kind of selfless movement that strives to make things better. Open-source can be very `benefit-driven' as well. Here is an opportunity to take somebody else's good ideas, build something on top of it and make money on it! So, the world now sees it as a route to personal success and that's where open-source's success lies.
I wonder how many 'movements' the scale of FOSS have to continually disdain the altruistic interpretation put on them? And continually assure folks that there is a selfish side to it all? Interesting, innit? And I wonder if this is the sort of stuff that drives RMS nuts? (don't bother answering the last question).


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