On Becoming an Open Source Person

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Comment for William Grosso’s weblog: On Becoming an Open Source Person:

i agree with you that there are two developer camps. But i define the camps a little differently.  The first side is the propriety world (which includes Microsoft and their .Net, as well as Sun ONE Java).  The other side is the open source world.  The world of the proprietary aims to design and build and control the system from the top down.  They have a firm belief that this makes software better.  The open source developer camp aims to do just the opposite.  To design and build and not at all control the whole system, because we equally have a firm belief that our development environment is the best way to go.  That an environment which is open will likely produce more interesting things than any closed environment ever would.

i am a php programmer, but like you i spend more time thinking about apache or xml, then php.  i have discovered that the way i approach systems now is to not find the perfect developing environment, but to step further back from the code and see the larger system we are developing.  So for me, .Net and Java miss the point, or perhaps just people like Scott McNealy do.  The best developing environment is the web itself.  Maybe I’m referring to the semantic web or to some far more subtle system, like the strong web communities out there, which seem to build themselves.  But the strange system we are constructing, which is changing constantly, transcends any of these development environments are being sold as software packages.  As I see it, there is no reason for any developer to chose any camp other than the open source one.  It is the strongest model and it will make sure you are never replaced by new technologies replacing the ones you have invested so much time and energy into.  And afterall, isn’t that what defines the religious wars of programming languages?  We all just want to make sure we’re spending our time well, as we continue to learn, which consumes so much of our time as developers.