Simon Willison’s Weblog


Voostind on open source libraries

5th September 2002

Vincent Oostind:

In most areas in computer science, Open Source products follow after the commercial ones. Admittedly, first some pioneer thinks of a new technology and often releases it as Open Source, but the released stuff is never quite fit for production use. That makes sense, because it was a prototype; it was being pioneered. If it looks promising, commercial companies take it over, throw lots of money and expertise at it, and end up with a product that does make it into the market. Once a large group of people wants the same thing that commercial software already provides, but they don’t want to pay for it, then they try to mimic it.

Vincent also makes some interesting points about the relative difficulty of library and framework design compared to writing interpreters and compilers. Today’s must-read.

This is Voostind on open source libraries by Simon Willison, posted on 5th September 2002.

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