Marten Mickos at OSCON: Open source produces better software...

Marten Mickos speaks with authority when he talks about open source, both because his team has created one of the world's most widely used open source projects, but also because his team has built a successful business around it. He talks about the import


Tim O'Reilly had a fireside chat (minus the fireside) with Marten Mickos during today's Executive Radar at OSCON. Marten, ever insightful and pithy, didn't disappoint.

Here are a few of the things that caught my attention most in Marten's comments:

Source code access is important, but source code is just one part of the story: good documentation and other things also matter.

Open source accelerates the demise or success of software projects.

On average, open source produces better software. That's an "average statement," because there are great proprietary products and not-so-great open source products. But, on average, I believe open source produces better software.

[Asked about MySQL's place in the LAMP stack...] No one's place is a given in the open source stack. Your place in the LAMP stack, for example, can always be replaced. It keeps you honest.

We find that experimentation and evaluation with MySQL tend to happen on Windows, but production use of MySQL tends to be on Linux.

[In response to a suggestion that open standards matter more than open source...] I don't think that our customers would agree. We don't get many asking about our compliance with standards, but we hear a lot about open source.

I'm grateful for people like Marten who can explain my thoughts much better than I can/do. Open source matters. It deeply matters.

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