Florian Cramer on Fri, 18 Jan 2002 14:16:02 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: [graham@seul.org: Re: [ox-en] Threads "The Fading Altruism of Open Source" on <nettime>]

Am Mon, 14.Jan.2002 um 23:51:38 +0100x schrieb jaromil:

[quoting Graham Seaman from seul.org:]

> 3. They've provided a prediction as to what should happen as the recession
> in technology hits in America - the number of people writing free software
> should go through the roof. I don't think there's going to be any such 
> event - but it should be something perfectly testable (just watch 
> freshmeat and compare the number of entries from Stefan Merten with the 
> number from Americans ;-).

In an interview on <http://kerneltrap.com/article.php?sid=459>, Matt
Dillon, a major developer of the FreeBSD operating system (and former
Linux kernel hacker), has its own answer on whether Free Software is
altruistic or not. It is, without knowing it, quite a good response to
the recent on the economy of Free Software in Nettime (and, apparently,

   Matt Dillon: Well, I could say something about open-source in
   general. Specifically I would like to say something about open-source
   and making money. There are two kinds of open-source programmers
   in the world. No, make that three kinds: There is the open-source
   programmer who is still in school, the open-source programmer who has
   a real job, and the open-source programmer who tries to make a living
   out of his open-source programming.

   In many respects, each individual goes through ALL of the above
   phases. We've all been in (or are in) school, we all must eventually
   make a living, and having been somewhat disillusioned by real
   work we have all either tried or will try to make a living from
   our open-source endevours. This last item -- making a living from
   open-source, has been over-stressed by the open source community
   (mainly Linux related developers) over the last few years. Guys, if
   you haven't figured it out by now it is mostly an illusion! The hype
   made it possible. The crazy stock market made it possible, but it
   didn't last now did it? If I take a hundred people I know only two or
   three can make a living from their open-source work (and I'm not one
   of them today!).

   The open-source community has to come to terms with this. Don't let
   it get you down! I read LWN.NET (Linux Weekly News) every week and I
   see a definite trend towards mass depression as the internet craze
   settles down into something a bit more sustainable. Don't let it get
   to you! Face the issue squarely and come to terms with what it means
   for your own work. If an older generation (that's me! At 35! God I
   feel old!) can teach the younger generation of programmers/hackers
   anything it is that the character of open-source will always be with
   us, with or without wall-street, and that we open-source programmers
   do not do these things for a 5-minute spot on CNN, we do these things
   because they are cool, and interesting, and make the world a better
   place for everyone. That is our legacy. We are not an anarchy, we are
   a charity. A very *LARGE* charity I might add!


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