A pedant that hangs out in the dark corner-cases of the web.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Open Source: How problems stay solved

Here's the thing about proprietary code: once a problem is solved, only the company that developed the solution can use it. Everyone else must constantly waste effort re-implementing a solution to the same problem.

This is actually good for a while, because it can lead to better and better solutions for an issue. Too often, though, long after the best solution is found, the current intellectual property climate means ownership of that code forces others to use a different, less optimal approach. This slows innovation.

With open source, once the community determines the best possible way to address an issue, that code can be leveraged by anyone.

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