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Software

Zorro, underground master of your open source project

Just when you thought it was cool to contribute code, corporate overlords force developer efforts underground.

I spoke with Gavin Clarke over at The Register about his piece "Fresh blood - the new fight for open source" several times over the last few weeks about how there are a great many corporate developers creating additions and such for open source projects but how it's difficult for them to get the code out of the corporate boundaries and back into the project.

The real challenge facing open source is how to bring in fresh contributors and code contributions to sustain projects and meet users' needs. Without fresh blood, projects progress relatively slowly and are likely to stumble towards meeting the requirements of the end user, the consumer of IT.

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst mentioned this at OSBC as well and Gavin sums the sentiment up very well:

Only by convincing the business managers that it's in their company's best interests to participate will open source attract more individuals from end-user organizations. According to Zorro, user participation in projects and groups such as Eclipse - popular with the industry but woefully lacking in end-user representation - will legitimize open source at last, providing a broader understanding and enabling individuals like him take off the mask and contribute in force.
Developers--be like Kiss and unmask yourselves.