Just a quickie today. I ready Eric Knorr’s article “The open source default.” It reflects the methodical march that I have seen from open source. It’s not generally marked with big press releases or giant events but open source continues to gain more inroads in the real world. Case-in-point: I have a friend who got a new laptop. She’s not really interested in Windows 7, but that’s all that was available to her in the models she wanted. We talked about Linux as an option and she is seriously considering it. She definitely wanted help disabling Internet Explorer and getting several open source packages running. I set her up with Firefox, Open Office and Pidgin (instant messaging) and she seemed pretty satisfied. Later we’re going to look at taking the next step.
I think that there is a lot more open source out there than people know. I think that it is quietly tried and used because that is its nature. There is some tracking, but open source doesn’t run based on numbers. If only a single developer has a need and desire for an open-source project it will continue to live. If only a handful of users enthusiastically embrace a project it will live. A large corporation can help it to grow faster and make it more popular, but even without that, open source will continue to grow in its own way, like life in the desert. It may have times of feast and famine, but it will likely never go away. Rather it will be something that anyone can use to leverage technology for their needs, delightfully free resources, waiting for minds to turn them into something wonderful and useful.