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  • Be careful. The phrase "open source community" is nearly meaningless. It includes longtime Unix graybeards, BSD fans, Linux users, distributors, hackers, skinners, Emacs users, kernel programmers, thin client users, zealots, pragmatists, book publishers, people who hate Microsoft, libertarians, communists, people who want to fire handguns on airplanes, corporations, scientists, librarians, people who write documentation, parents, children, people who pause live television, graphic artists, political campaigns, governments, security freaks, black hats, journalists, and probably a few thousand other groups.

    Many complaints I've read about "the open source community" are really lazy, failing to take into account the fact that just about everybody pulls it in a different direction.

    If you think there's an open source community, you're not really in it.

    • Mea culpa. I stand corrected. (though I still think it would be a good idea if people started coming forward and saying "these are the things that I screwed up on with my project").

      • I really meant to aim more at the original article and not your comments. It bothers me to see so many (admittedly poorly-written and ill-conceived) articles confuse "open source" with "Linux for home users".

        The open source world is quite a bit bigger than any one project and there are a lot of groups who just don't care about that particular issue. I wouldn't want to be accused of unprofessionalism or marginalized as a crank because, for example, Zope doesn't work very well on Windows. (I use that as

    • Which leaves me wondering what the right metaphor is. The Open Source country, inhabited by vast numbers of interlocking communities which disagree about almost everything.

      My gut feeling is that the biggest problem with the phrase "The open source community" is that presumptious use of the definite article.
      • The problem's in needing to use the phrase. What could anyone possibly say that would be true about all of the people who'd be in the open source community, if there were one?

        I haven't heard or read anything insightful or interesting. That doesn't mean it's impossible to say or write anything about such a community. It may merely be exceedingly difficult. Another possibility is that tech journalism is full of amateur thinkers and writers. I'm okay with that idea too.

    • Are the ones who want to fire handguns on airplanes the libertarians, or the communists? :)

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers