Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Love Open Source Software. No, You Can’t Have Our Code

The Code4Lib Journal has an interesting article examining 6 reasons why institutions don't contribute back to open source communities. While written from the perspective of libraries, many readers will recognize these reasons in operation elsewhere. The reasons given are:

  1. perfectionism: unless the code is perfect, we don’t want anyone to see it

  2. dependency: if we share this with you, you will never leave us alone

  3. quirkiness: we’d gladly share, but we can’t since we’re so weird

  4. redundancy: we think your project is neat, but we can do better

  5. competitiveness: we want to be the acknowledged leader

  6. misunderstanding: a fundamental inability to understand how an open source community works

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