What's the matter with Open Source?

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Van Grauw

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afbeelding van Grauw

18-02-2003, 23:39

However, many people working on one thing has a lot of negative effects as well.

- It might slow down development, because there's a higher need of documentation, and a dependancy on other developers

If you are talking about maintainability this can only be a good thing. I don't think this will cause a 'major' slowdown, and if you need to change something later on (or worse, if somebody else has to) it will save you a lot of time by then.

- With the experience of other developers, you also add the incapabilities and the 'habits' of other developers to your project

You think this is any different in closed-source group development? Furthermore, group development requires some discipline indeed, I would never want to argue about that. However people can change, adapt, and although you indeed need to establish some common ground, a good method still leaves enough room for each coder's own coding style. And there are definately some well-thought-out working methods available which can aid in accomplishing that discipline (if I may mention CVS, although I myself didn't really look in to it yet).

Also, a major downside of open source software is that it's not really possible to gain money with the software anymore, because anyone can obtain the sources for free and - with a bit of hassle - compile them themselves.

Open source is definately not the same as free. You, as a developer, are determining the license. If you just want to publish the sources for educational purposes, but don't want others to participate in the development, you are free to do so. And if you are afraid of people copying your code, bah, then you're basically admitting you're a bad coder because you fear someone else can do it better. Besides, there's still the author's rights. Other people are not allowed to simply copy (parts of) your code straight away if you haven't given them the permission to do so. Which you could, in exchange for money for example, if it concerns a commercial project.


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