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Culture

What does open source *really* look like?

Open source apparently looks like beautiful stars. Not really. It looks like Big Blue. Is this a bad thing?

A student at UC Davis has come up with some cool visualizations of what open-source development looks like. It's pretty cool, but would this be a better visualization?

IBM

Or you could insert the logos of any number of companies (Red Hat, Intel, Novell, etc.). While we talk about organic open source, the reality is that even "organic" communities like Apache are largely sponsored by corporate entities.

Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure, and I doubt it matters what you or I think about it. It's just the way open source happens today.

If this is true, why does Microsoft continue to put up weird patent barriers to open source, as if the corporate developers behind open-source projects somehow act differently in, say, the Eclipse community, than they do when they're writing code explicitly for IBM, SAP, etc.?

Microsoft aside, should the corporate infiltration of open-source communities change the way we think about open source? Again, I'm not sure. Jason Matusow of Microsoft has argued that it does, but I'm not sure....

What do you think?