The good thing about using bloglines.com is that you can easily track who’s commenting on your piece. There are quite a few and my bloglines subscription count jumped from 58 to 66.
I probably owe Dare the popularity of this post. He mentioned it on his weblog. His bloglines subscription count is 422. Other people that linked to it are Paresh, Danny,\ James,\ Johannes,\ Alfred\ and Adam himself.
Randy essentially agrees, pointing out that Google, despite hiring a lot of Ph.D., contributes very little to academic world, much less that Microsoft’s MSR.
David makes a very good point: freely available, open source software gives the small guy ability to compete with a big guy because it significantly lowers the cost of doing business. In other words: everybody, big and small, can freeload on open source.
Mike, who works for Amazon, defends Amazon but I don’t like his spin. First, he denigrates the value of the source code and elevates the value of Amazon’s web services and data they provide. Larry makes similar comment: Google is good because their search is a useful, time saving service. Just to be clear: I love Google search and gmail, I use it every day. I love Amazon, I use it almost every day. I love Microsoft’s Windows XP, I use it every day. I love Apple’s iPod, I use it every day. I also love Kellog’s cornflakes, the ones with strawberries in them. All of that is irrelevant: all those companies do what’s good for their business, making good products that I pay for, one way or another. And they would create those products the same even if they had to pay for all the software they use in the process.
I’m just using those companies as an example, to show that popular wisdom about open source is largely a myth. Open source code gets written but its success is not because of processes that people describe.
The reason for incredible growth of open source is not yet understood and usually misrepresented.