Thursday, July 20, 2006

Open Source Transparency

Saw this article by John Udell via Pete Lyons

This is one of the many reasons I dig Open Source:

Open source software development, to a degree unmatched by any other modern profession, offers apprentices the opportunity to watch journeymen and masters at work, to interact with them, and to learn how they think, work, succeed, and fail. Transparency and accountability govern not only the production of source code but also the companion processes of design, specification, testing, maintenance, and evaluation.

1 comment:

Sarge said...

Time for some pretzels to cut the sweetness of all that Kool-Aid. ;)

Just because no transparency is bad and some transparency is good doesn't mean that more transparency is necessarily better. While auditability (and non-repudiation) is good in software for preventing crazy stuff from lurking in the corners, giving easy access to the source to everyone can lead to the Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Braves problem.

It's easy to complain about the way things are done; it's hard to do them better. There must be a balance of input to the people doing the deep thinking or they run the risk of never building up enough mental context to do things better. There are efficiencies to be gained by partitioning both information and interaction. Sometimes it's better to just leave things to the experts.