April 6, 2005

Open Source

WordPress is an open source weblog tool. Its lead developer tried to raise some money from an advertising scheme that amounted to Google spam. There was an outcry. There was an apology. Things are mostly better now.

Roger Cadenhead argues that Open Source development has to be a hobby — that it has to be done by people who don't need the money, or you're bound to get this sort of mess.

Our grandparents had a name for people who did work because it was fun, people who didn't need the money. Back in the old neighborhood. They used to call them the rich.

We need, at some point, to think through the implications. Follow the money. Everybody gets paid. Who gets the big bucks? Who gets the benefits? Who pays? Who is living off hope that someone will see their name in the comments?