The rant engine is fired up this week! This go-round we wind ourselves down the well-trodden and completely absurd path of people who believe that there’s a single monolithic “computer graphics” industry and that everyone in that industry does everything the same way… and of course, none of those people use open source software. Yeah. That’s wrong. And stupid.
Open source software development isn’t a meritocracy. It’s something different, and it’s got a lot more in common with creative collaboration than you might initially think. That’s what we’re talking about in this episode.
Yes, my little bonus episode from the end of last week was indeed an April Fools joke. However, I think it’s worth taking a moment and having a bit of a larger discussion.
I’m starting a crowdfunding campaign!
It’s been a while since I’ve spoken about software licensing. If you’ve been in the community for any appreciable amount of time, you’ll see that there are two licensing-based brainworms that tend to crop up on a regular basis. The first is the fear that some company might swoop in and buy our friendly little open source program and put it behind a wall. The other is the notion that free software licenses like the GPL are harmful to the program. Although there’s a rational background for either of these positions, I think that they’re both ill-founded.
Software developers, especially those who write open source software, are not beholden to us. They’re not there to do our every bidding. And more importantly, as users, we have to remember that we’re not always right. It’s a topic that comes up regularly, but it’s also one that’s important to address just as regularly.