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Thread: Why is open source software development so conservative?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Why is open source software development so conservative?

    I have been thinking about this for a long time...

    I am very interested in what people think...

    So, it seems to me that, in general, there is very little radicalism and adventure in open-source software development, in particular when a project becomes successful and popular, with programmes often either sticking to a template that has found success and seeking to make it slicker, or, worse, seeking just to imitate a windows product (i understand why it is important at times for there to be programmes similar to windows products btw).

    Now, this is very confusing to me for a number of reasons related to the nature of development within the open-source community, and the kind of people who make up that same community. (i.e. I would expect such a process to come up with more radical development)

    Do you agree? If so, what are the reasons, and how can this change? If not, enlighten me (us!).
    Last edited by Rofko; June 25th, 2009 at 08:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rofko View Post
    I have been thinking about this for a long time...

    I am very interested in what people think...

    So, it seems to me that, in general, there is very little radicalism and adventure in open-source software development, in particular when a project becomes successful and popular, with programmes often either sticking to a template that has found success and seeking to make it slicker, or, worse, seeking just to imitate a windows product (i understand why it is important at times for there to be programmes similar to windows products btw).

    Now, this is very confusing to me for a number of reasons related to the nature of development within the open-source community, and the kind of people who make up that same community.

    Do you agree? If so, what are the reasons, and how can this change? If not, enlighten me (us!).
    KDE 4 and Amarok 2.

    Need I say more?

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by billgoldberg View Post
    KDE 4 and Amarok 2.

    Need I say more?
    Yes, they would have been my examples too. But I mean why is this not the rule?

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    I don't think it's conservative at all. For example, look at what Ubuntu did with notify-osd. That was a pretty bold move and it caused a lot of controversy.
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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    KDE4 is a great example of radical change and that effectily casued many ppeople to continue to use KDE3.5

    or even closed source as an example, Windows Office 2003 to windows Office 2007, Or WinXP to Vista

    developers usually learn that people like familiarity, too much change equals bad.
    Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    Open innovation, some good examples,

    • The TCP/IP stack, in other words, the thing that allows you, me, and everybody else to use the internet.
    • Firefox, which made Microsoft improve Internet Explorer after five years of stagnation.
    • Mediawiki and Wikipedia, Mediawiki being responsible for the most incredible work of online collaboration since the GNU/Linux project began.
    • Bittorrent, which has revolutionised the way people distribute and share stuff on the internet. Incredibly decentralised, fast, and reliable
    • Apache, what 70% of the internet runs on. And arguably one of the main reasons the internet became so awesome.
    • Linux itself, a rag-tag team of hobbyists, enthusiasts, and paid coders all around the world collaborating to make a unique operating system, completely free, completely open, available to anyone and everyone? That's pretty revolutionary stuff as far as I'm concerned.

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rofko View Post
    Yes, they would have been my examples too. But I mean why is this not the rule?
    If something works well, you don't have to change it just for the sake of it.

    However, have you seen the new demos of Gnome 3 shell?

    http://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/Screencasts

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    "Linux itself, a rag-tag team of hobbyists, enthusiasts, and paid coders all around the world collaborating to make a unique operating system, completely free, completely open, available to anyone and everyone? That's pretty revolutionary stuff as far as I'm concerned."

    Oh I absolutely agree. I am proudly part of it. The more I become convinced at how awesome the potentialities of the community are, the more I am puzzled at its relative developmental conservatism however.

    Another exceptional and revolutionary programme from this community is Blender btw.

    People shouldn't be so defensive. Surely debates like this are part of the process of making better software.

    "However, have you seen the new demos of Gnome 3 shell?"

    It was actually while looking at the new gnome shell that I decided to do this post.

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    But, but... Why is proprietary software so radical and innovative?

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    Re: Why is open source software development so conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rofko View Post
    I have been thinking about this for a long time...

    I am very interested in what people think...

    So, it seems to me that, in general, there is very little radicalism and adventure in open-source software development, in particular when a project becomes successful and popular, with programmes often either sticking to a template that has found success and seeking to make it slicker, or, worse, seeking just to imitate a windows product (i understand why it is important at times for there to be programmes similar to windows products btw).

    Now, this is very confusing to me for a number of reasons related to the nature of development within the open-source community, and the kind of people who make up that same community. (i.e. I would expect such a process to come up with more radical development)

    Do you agree? If so, what are the reasons, and how can this change? If not, enlighten me (us!).
    in a lot of ways we are simply playing catch up, witch is one reason you sometimes see people make things windows like(ether that or they have no clue what they are doing). we are missing certain features so to see them be added isn't anything mind blowing. the really big developments (kde 4.0, gnome 3)are not made lightly, especially when it comes to community's that are on 6 month cycles, there all about increments. besides, you don't just make some massive change over night.

    also i have not heard of a single "radical and innovative" peace of proprietary software in about 10 years. the biggest thing iv got my eye on is the new nvidia drivers for linux that will let us use opencl. most of the points goes to the cl team for that one though.

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