Open Source as Socio-Political Model.

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1 - Open Source Software Development (OSSD) is inherently a
meritocracy. Bigger, better contributions earn you more power and
2 - OSSD accepts the individuality of individual contributions, and as
such makes institutional racism/sexism/religionism - even nationalism,
impossible. You do good = You are good.
3 - OSSD proves the selfish, economic usefuless of unpaid co-operation
with strangers.

If you want to promote a rich and good society, consider it seriously.
Anyone can learn to program, and anyone who can program can create
something that's useful to others (some more than others, of course).

The economic and social importance of useful, available software is
only going to increase for the forseeable future, and is of great
relevance to developing countries as well as developed. So start
today, finish when you die.

(My personal recommendation to get started: Learn PHP. If you have no
knowledge whatsoever of scripting or html, this should take you about
10-15 hours. If you do know the basics of html and scripting, maybe 1
or 2. Try here for starters /).

Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model.

You are correct. Let those who produce prosper. Let those who do not produce
suck hind tit.

Krusty the Magnificent

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Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model.

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I don't know, if society just abandons people it wastes labour and provokes

Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model.

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Fine.  How shall contributions be measured?

Will we be informed of the contributions made by others?

How about if two people end up writing the same piece of software?
Will one starve and the other survive?
Who decides? How about if he likes the other programmer better because he
has two belly buttons instead of one?

....and what do we do with those that can play the violin but cannot program
a computer?

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....who gets to program the operating system?

Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model.

Just to clarify before I respond: I'm not proposing we create a
socio-political model based on open-source software development, I'm
suggesting that OSSD is in fact a socio-political model, with many
noble features and economic advantages, and anyone wanting to promote
those values might consider becoming a part of it, as its importance
to society continues to increase.

My apologies if I was unclear on this point. If you did know what I
meant and are asking how it actually works in practice, I will try to
answer as best I can...

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Broadly speaking, by how useful people find them (and how many people
find them useful).

To be more specific, for any given project, you'll likely find one
person at the very top administering it (because they started it, or
were closely associated with it in the early stages, or were appointed
by an organisation set up to administer it, or by the company that
invented it). They decide over time who is worthwhile to accept
submissions from directly, and those people decide who *they* will
accept submissions from, etc, etc. If you prove yourself repeatedly,
you might be moved up the chain to save time getting your
contributions in.

Once released as part of an official version of the program,
contributions are measured largely by what regular users say and do.
Widely praised, widely used things tend to stay and get built on.
Widely ignored or berated components tend to get improved or removed.

The thing that's important to remember is that open source software is
generally developed by its users, who, besides giving their opinions
have full access to the source-code if they want to create/submit an
improvement that they want for themselves. So there's a fairly natural
relationship between what's most useful and what gets included.

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Most likely, assuming you join the appropriate mailing lists.

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Depends on whether they have a job, or other source of income.

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Then it's unlikely people will keep submitting things for his approval
(unless they have two belly buttons). If they are at the top of the
food-chain, it's more than likely that all beneath them will regroup
elsewhere to continue, if they are not at the top, it's likely they'll
be removed from the chain or cut down a few notches.

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Every programmer was once a person who couldn't program a computer. To
quote Tyler Durden: you choose your own level of involvement.

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Whoever produces a component that people find useful. PHP was just a
suggestion for getting started in OSSD if you wanted to but had no
clear intentions for how or in exactly what direction. It's one of the
most widely used and powerful languages around and is relatively easy
to learn. It's also got a certain coolness factor that is hard to
pin-down, probably something to do with its versatility and its
ability to glue together so many different components so easily.

Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model.


xyz wrote:
 >Fine.  How shall contributions be measured?

Let's measure market share. Market share is usually measured as the
amount of money spent an a certain product as a percentage of the total
amount of money that is spent on all products of the same kind in a
certain period, for example a year. As open source is free, no money is
spent, however large its installed base is. Therfore its market share is
allways 0 %! This way we can literally 'count out' open souce ;-)


Henk Verhoeven,

Re: Open Source as Socio-Political Model. (democratix) wrote in message
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There is no need to explain Open Source using a "Socio-Political
Model".  An economic one (or two?) will do.  

Back in 1973, Michael Spence showed that under certain conditions,
well-informed agents can improve their market outcome by signaling
their private information to poorly informed agents (this insight
earned him the 2001 Nobel prize in economics).  Applied to the open-
source software development, this can mean that participatoin in
such a project can be a singal to a potential employer showing that
an applicant without an employment record may nevertheless possess
valuable development skills, which may include version control,
managing a geographically dispersed development team, or whatever
else a particular employer is looking for.  

The value of such a signal should be the greatest in a tight job
market, when employers are cost-conscious and applicants are
numerous.  Acquiring the experience, on the other hand, is the
easiest while in school (quite a few open-source pursuits grew
out of term projects and dissertations).  Hence, a testable
prediction: open-source development should be concentrated in
places where tight job market (and especially high youth
unemployment) coexists with affordable technical education/
training (some of which, in turn, may be youth unemployment in
disgiuse).  Anecdotally, this sounds plausible.  Finland, for
example, is home to both Linus Torvalds and Monty Widenius;
neither lives there anymore...

Speaking of Monty Widenius, another economic model that can help
understand open-source development is option pricing.  If you
believe that giving away a piece of software can increase your
chances of being paid for related services, the cost of developing
the software can be thought of as an option on service revenues.
Given a high degree of uncertainty surrounding those would-be
service revenues, the option can be quite valuable...


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