How Open Source is Possible (at least one part)

Often times I find myself wondering how Open Source is even possible. How does something so amazing as CPAN get built and maintained and perfected?

I think I figured it out, at least one part of it.

It is possible because there are a lot of smart people out there being employed by employers who have no real idea of what is required in any given project. Therefore, programmers who have

  • tremendous flexibility to get "whatever they want" done to accomplish a given project
  • employers/managers who don't know the first thing about what is required to create an application

can contribute amazing feats of collective heroism day in and day out, without having to worry about how they are going to pay for new shoes.

And then of course there is boredom. And the sheer enjoyment of coding. And altruism.

1 Comment

Also don't forget the infrastructure (the Internet, or the pre-Internet equivalent) which lowers the cost of communication and distribution. Open source software can be produced with "zero cost" by people sitting in front of their computer/laptop, and the marginal cost is also zero, but if distribution is costly/troublesome, it would not spread widely.

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