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Re: <nettime> Six Limitations to the Current Open Source Development Met
Ian Dickson on Sat, 16 Aug 2003 12:22:20 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Six Limitations to the Current Open Source Development Methodology

In message <200308141812.h7EIC5x07054 {AT} bbs.thing.net>, Benjamin Geer 
<ben {AT} socialtools.net> writes
>On Thursday 14 August 2003 14:07, Felix Stalder wrote:
>> The "Open Source Approach" to develop informational goods has been
>> spectacularly successful [...]
>> The boundaries to the open production model as it has been established in
>> the last decade are set by six conditions characterizing virtually all of
>> the success stories of what Benkler called "commons-based peer production."
I have observed a problem with OS.

It is VERY GOOD at clearly defined computing tasks where good code is a 
complete solution. (We use MySQL, need I say more).

But as a process it is one of architects but no navvies, and OS models 
that involve a lot of grunt non coding (data dictionaries etc) have 
little chance of success because that work does not involve any scope 
for the "Bill Gates, my part in his bankruptcy" epitaph.

Also, a lot of OS suffers from a lack of documentation and finesse that 
means that while it may work, it may not be usable, and in terms of 
providing a useful output, therefore is a failure.

For example my partner (who writes code and handles our MySQL) says that 
the biggest block to a much wider adoption of MySQL is that while it is 
spectacular code, it is woefully documented, and therefore unless an 
organisation has a good internal IT resource, MySQL is simply not an 

ian dickson                                  www.commkit.com
phone +44 (0) 1452 862637                    fax +44 (0) 1452 862670
PO Box 240, Gloucester, GL3 4YE, England

           "for building communities that work"

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