Questions, Doubts and a To-do List
Consolidation of Internet services is more significant than Open Sourcing the service: While open sourcing a service such as a mail service will allow users to host their own mail service easily, replicating the infrastructure needed for a service is a big challenge. Also consolidation of a service over the Internet ensures that there is one compliant centralized system than several deviating distributed services. Also a consolidated service is likely to have a large user base. A large number of users justifies that the service tend to be free, even if not open source. An open source service, servicing a very small user group is as good as closed.
Opening up - Upside and Downside: While the philosophy of open source communities drives quality, because of contributors reviewing, modifying and patching up code. Some big corporations while they support "freeware" are still largely averse to open sourcing. It is likely that they believe - opening up their code, may lead to several irrelevant discussions that may become a hindrance in the rigorous corporate discipline of execution.
- Why is the Ubuntu dependencies research of importance?
Contributions to a package that scores really high is important. Or contribution that have been made can be considered really important. (For e.g. Ritchie on C)
- What about packages like Apache where a large number of contributions have been made, but there may not be much dependency on it?
The Ubuntu dependencies research gives scores as a measure for infrastructure. The Apache contribution (Xerces, POI) must be scored on a measure for innovation.
Maintaining software involves adding small features, ensuring backward compatibility, gentle degradation.
MS has 50000+ people. While this number seems huge and unjustifiable, we cannot underestimate the maintenance effort needed.
Open source is claim that it supports gentle degradation. Open source communities - don't care that much about backward compatibility and degradation as much as about new features. While gentle degradation is absolutely required for non technical users of software.