Further thoughts on open source community . . .
Andrew C. Greenberg
werdna at mucow.com
Sun Jun 3 20:54:11 UTC 2001
Much has been written in this forum of, on one hand, the "imperative
of," and on the other, the "anathema of" formulating a
committee-qua-committee, defined not by the program, but by some
communally reached statement of purpose. I noted that it is foolish to
insist upon choosing between a community-driven artifact and an
artifact-driven community, noting that they are inherently co-dependent
notions, neither well-defined without the other.
Nothing in this colloquy has led me to reconsider that view. I am more
convinced than ever that a community defined by some theoretical purpose
rather than an underlying program is doomed to irrelevance, and that an
ossified artifact program to define a community is likewise doomed. The
looser the structure of the community, the better and more flexible it
will be. As I was reading some recent criticism of Cas Sunstein's
"REPUBLIC.COM," the following 1992 quote by Dave Clark of MIT caught my
"We reject kings, presidents and voting. We believe in: rough
consensus and running code."
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