Do Winners and Losers Even Matter in the Age of Search?

by Robert Cooper

From /. today:
An anonymous reader writes "There are 139,834 open-source projects under way on SourceForge. IWeek wonders which projects will make lasting contributions, and which will fizzle. Sure, Linux, Apache, and MySQL are winners, but what about OpenVista, FLOSSmole, and Hyperic HQ? What's your list of open-source winners and losers?"


I know it is all kinds of fun to poke around SF.net and look at all the projects that went anywhere, or even started the trip. The thing is, a few weeks ago, I had a really interesting email exchange. Someone contacted me about the function of a class I wrote as part of a one-off two-weekend project. I walked away from a lot of that code over a year ago, and here I am getting support requests. It wasn't even about the core functionality of the project, but a utility class I had written in it.

I was, of course, fascinated. Did you see my project? Did you care enough to look into the code? No, it was the result of a Koders search. Koders, and the less-useful Google Code Search might actually give a lot of life to those "Open Source Losers". Even if the project never takes off, if there are useful bits of code living on the web, people will find them. It isn't quite the grand vision of component-reuse that the Computer Scientists (capital C capital S) have wanted to see, but neither is Google the vast auto-correlated semantic web that TBL has been foretelling for a decade. Maybe, just maybe, though, it is good enough.

6 Comments


2007-02-06 12:44:01
what is the relevance of this post on a site that focuses on java and java related subjects?
Artem Vasiliev
2007-02-07 23:10:56
Just checked it - right, Koders rocks (at least it indexed my SF project as opposed to Google :)


Btw what is TBL? Turkish Basketball League? :)

cooper
2007-02-09 16:56:27
TBL == Tim Berners-Lee.
Mark Richer
2007-02-14 03:54:09
A real winner is prefuse. This framework brings data visualization to new heights and is beginning to make a splash in the staid halls of corporate data mining.
johnwalker00
2007-02-15 05:21:56
@anonymous


Agree, not a useful Java article at all.

John D. Mitchell
2007-02-15 08:32:20
Indeed, beyond the long tail of just being able to search for code is the larger context of search driven development.