There Is No Open Source Community
Subject:   Pound wise, penny foolish?
Date:   2006-01-13 20:56:54
From:   rancor
Response to: Pound wise, penny foolish?

Some of your clarification is useful, but it does not excuse some of the broad-stroke misrepresentations made in the original article.

there is no one single monolithic open source community. And yet, I've seen many articles portraying it as such.... [I am addressing the entire point not just this statement]

Yes, FLOSS "communities" would probably be a better way to describe "what's out there". Clearly, there are other such, essentially meaningless terms we hear like "The African-American community", or "The Asian Community". I think it is safe to assume that most readers of your article are immune to these meaningless cliches. The universe of participants in the development, use, support and evangelism of FLOSS is extremely diverse. This said, it is hard to deny the persistent existence of discussion boards, mailing lists, irc channels, events, etc. There is something out there that is very community like, sure they may not be having bake sales every week, but there is something there. Your "tiredness" with this issue is insufficient to make it go away.

plenty of bad is possible with open source

This is where the division between the FL and OSS becomes the most pronounced. Because in the OSS part of this where the code 'sharing' relationship is not symmetric then 'exploitation' for financial gain without 'paying back' the contributors to the OSS contributors that made your financial success possible. In this sense OSS (without FL) does NOT have a higher 'moral' ground.

This situation does not occur with the FL (Free/Libre) software base. After all with FL software anyone can have it for $FREE right? FL software is money symmetric since if there is a way to make money with the FL software then anyone can also make money the same way. In this way FL software does have a higher 'moral' ground with the 'built-in' possibility for exploitation.

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