Basically, I’d like to question the—generally agreed-upon—impression that open source tools are in competition with their closed source counterparts. I’m not entirely convinced that they are… that we are. I mean, there’s no doubt that some of the people who make closed source tools consider similar open source applications as competitors, but I think those people are largely in the minority, at least by population. By influence, perhaps that’s a different story. If the decision makers in a company (or a community, for that matter) think that competition is taking place, then the rest of the organization tends to follow suit.
That said, I don’t think it’s beneficial to either party to consider open source tools as competition. To borrow a term I’ve heard bandied about in indie writer and self-publishing communities, it’s more of a “coop-etition” thing… or at least, it ought to be. So many open source tools fit a specific need within a larger pipeline… even a “Swiss Army chainsaw” like Blender. Interoperability is of critical importance. Sadly, due to some of the licensing decisions made by closed source companies, that interoperability and collaboration is made much more difficult.
My little April Fools’ joke points to one way of trying to solve the issue. What kind of solutions—regardless of how outlandish—do you think could work?