Dave Winer Redux on Open Source

DaveNet : How to be a revolution

Today Dave digged into his vaste archives and went back 4 years, to when the Mozilla/Netscape Open Source project was launched, and a lot of words for and against Open Source was flying through the air. He wrote:

“It isn’t about open source, it’s about open minds. “

In the same article he writes about the mentors that his generation had when he was an aspiering programmer, I quote directly:

They were our surrogate fathers, caring about our success, enjoying it vicariously. I had my own angel, a man named Bill Jordan. When I was in my 20s and 30s, he was in his 50s and 60s. He taught me a lot. I owe much of my success to Bill.

I think one of the aspects Dave seem to have missed about Open Source, is that (at least in some cases) it is our surrogat mentors – Its the aspiering programmers way of learning how to program well, and learn by good example. Not everyone has the luck of getting a skilled, experienced programmer as their mentor. I am not saying that looking at source code is the only way to get wise in programming, or that all open source code is good examples of good coding – but it sure does help to have the good open source examples to try and follow. Not to mention the fact that the Open Source movement has actually created some of the building blocks of the internet and web we see today.

I agree that all projects doesn’t have to be Open Source projects, but at the same time I disagree strongly with the notion of it being a cancer, like some high level Microsoft executives seems to want us to belive.

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