Mitchell Kapor has published a new article on Open Source software. Something I have said is that everyone doing Open Source has a discipline to follow and is checked by the utility and functionality of the software. There are a million amateur theologians. What keeps them in check? What helps them work through problems so that in the end they have made a significant contribution instead of merely going off on a rant? As often is the case, I'm raising the issue but I don't know that I have the answers.
EDUCAUSE REVIEW | March/April 2005, Volume 40, Number 2: "The Good, the Bad, and the Community
For me, the good things about open source are summed up in the two-word mantra “Anyone can . . . ” In open source projects, anyone can participate, anyone can play a role, anyone can shape a project. If people don’t like the way the code is going, they can fork the code (create a variant), or they can start their own project. By saying that “anyone can,” I don’t mean that literally. Obviously, one needs to have appropriate technical skills, and there is a whole set of subtle barriers to participation in open source communities. But especially when compared with the way proprietary software projects work, open source is indeed an “anyone can” universe. That’s the big upside. That’s why it’s worth investing in and getting involved in open source."