Has cash corrupted open source? [Aug 24, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, August 24, 2012
,
The Register

Open ... and Shut There once was a time when open source was all about peace, love, and Linux, a bottom-up community of self-selecting hackers that chummed together for the love of good code.

As soon as Linux hit pay dirt, the nature of the open-source community changed forever. Today it is virtually impossible for a successful open-source project to hit critical mass without being consumed by venture capital dollars.

Is this a good thing?

The thought struck me when reading Brian Proffitt's excellent analysis of how "OpenStack is no Linux". Proffitt's point is that "the destiny of OpenStack has been very heavily involved with commercial interests from the very start" - unlike Linux, which only attracted commercial interest later in its development. The implicit accusation feels a bit Lloyd Bentsen-esque: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

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