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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Open Issues On Open Source

The Economist has a nice overview on the open source movement and its apparent limitations


"New business models are being built around commercializing open-source wares, by bundling them in other products or services. Though these might not contain any software “source code”, the “open-source” label can now apply more broadly to all sorts of endeavor that amalgamate the contributions of private individuals to create something that, in effect, become freely available to all"


The article rightly points out,it is unclear how innovative and sustainable open source can ultimately be. The open source method has vulnerabilities that must be overcome if it is to live up to its promise. For example, it lacks ways of ensuring quality and it is still working out better ways to handle intellectual property and the potential risk of abuse as anyone can contribute. Even if the cracks in the management of open source can be plugged, it might nevertheless remain only a niche activity—occupying, essentially, the space between a corporation and a commune. There are two doubts about its staying power.
- The first is how innovative it can remain in the long run. Indeed, as some sees it, open source might already have reached a self-limiting state
- The second doubt is whether the motivation of contributors( mostly available at no cost) can be sustained. In all a nice article ,reinforcing our earlier points, on lack of business models, and how the whole movement is ripe for a reality check

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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