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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject RE: Passion and vigilance in open source
Date Wed, 23 Sep 2015 06:27:29 GMT
I reckon Jim is describing a different kind of pendulum (see my earlier essay - sorry I got
on a roll with that one).

Jim's pendulum is something like:

Let a = autocratic open source governance (vendor owned/benevolent dictator)
Let b = meritocratic open source governance
Let c = fully distributed open source governance (GitHub style fork and forget - note not
all GitHub projects are this style)

The interesting thing is that I don't think we are really at point c, I think we are really
at point a. The numbers point to c but many rock-star projects are at point a. I'd argue that
this goes hand in hand with my argument that open source is currently more about the business
model than the development model. As with the other pendulum I believe this one will swing
back towards the center as those companies realize that there is a glass ceiling to their
growth using that model (if you haven't read Henrik Ingo's paper [1] on this you should).

Another interesting point about this spectrum is that while (if history repeats) there will
be a swing past b and towards c this side of the swing is much shorter. I guess because any
"fork and forget" projects that succeed will typically become either an autocratic or meritocratic
project in order to scale.

As with my other pendulum thought experiment I believe we sit at the "sensible" place on that
spectrum (point b). That isn't today it's the only place that can work, but that it is where
it works for the Apache Way. I think plenty of people still do this for the fun (and education).
Speaking personally a recent change in my dayjob role means that I'm coding for fun again
- so that's at least one person going in the opposite direction to the one Jim sees is the
majority (lucky me!)



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Jagielski [] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 7:01 PM
Subject: Re: Passion and vigilance in open source

I would be OK with us getting older and forgetting the child-like wonder (but I don't think
that's the case; well, we *are* getting older, but not forgetting the wonder), IF we were
seeing the child-like wonder being continued, esp by the next gen.

Some see Github as "proof" that the wonder is still there; even if so, then it's a different
kind of 'wonder' and one which is risky for the continuation of open source.

Wonder is not being able to fork a project, make some patches, submit a bunch of pull requests
and then get a handful of them committed upstream... That is so.... solitary. The wonder is
working *with* and collaborating *with* and reaching consensus
*with* a group of similarly-minded individuals towards a common goal. The wonder is the community.
And I think that that is something which is at risk.

To me, Open Source provided an avenue that allowed coders (and other contributors) to finally
work together, openly and honestly, transparently and meritocractically (if you get my meaning);
it fostered sharing, but not by letting someone share our toys by playing with them by themselves
in some corner of the sandbox. It was about us all sharing the toys to build a great sand
castle all together in that sandbox, when before we couldn't.

Are people doing it for fun? Are people seeing the joy and wonder in our eyes? Or are people
doing it just because "that's what I get paid to do"?

Good questions. Not simple answers :)

> On Sep 22, 2015, at 4:35 PM, Ted Dunning <> wrote:
> Jim,
> Is that really happening?  Is the fun leaving?  Or is it we are all 
> just getting old and are forgetting the child-like wonder?
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:58 PM, Jim Jagielski <> wrote:
>> Some of you may know that I've started a Vlog series on Youtube 
>> around some topics I find interesting, mostly around open source.
>> My latest is about the risks around open source today where the fun 
>> and passion that used to exist around open source is drying up or 
>> being discounted. Since Apache is one of the still remaining oasis of 
>> open source being all about community and fun whilst still changing 
>> the world, I'd like to ask for some thoughts from the membership 
>> about their concerns, etc... that I can fold into the 2nd part of 
>> this mini-series.
>> If so, please contact me directly. I have set the Reply-To header 
>> accordingly.
>> Thx!

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