Sunday, September 12, 2010

Delayed Intro to OSD600

OSD600 has completely blown away my expectations of the course, and I haven't even started working yet (more on that tonight).

Let me start off by saying, Early last year when I took OOP344 the teacher Fardad explained in baby steps through the course the tip of the open source iceberg. From my limited exposure I could tell this was something interesting. Over the previous year I wondered what does open source mean? how could it possibly work?

Revolution OS is a beautiful documentary of some of the first open source movements. It elaborated on how open source works, the flagship success story of Linux and its creator Linus' theory of "Release early, release often". Open source did something its proprietary parallel models did not, Eric Raymond's paper The Cathedral and the Bazaar touched on this topic. Applying the theory: Given enough eyeballs are problems are shallow. 

Open source development succeeded in the Bazaar model of development which is apparent confusion from the on looker. It worked because the community grew off free software, and the user suddenly became the developer. People got there pride of being part of something big, they got the customization to their own needs and serious faults became small ones under the community. Just like Eric's experiences and Linux's birth.

Last year the NYTimes told a tail of Mozilla, which is now arguable the most successful open source project to date. In brief it told of Mozilla's success, why it worked against IE. Googles relationship with Mozilla, and the release of Chrome. 

In conclusion I highly anticipate being part of the open source community, if not for career, then to simply share my passion for software and finally contribute to the community. Such as downloading the nightly builds and starting on our first tangible piece of work in OSD.

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