Vickram Crishna | 26 May 10:00 2008

Open Projects and success

Titus Germanicus writes "If you're thinking about open sourcing a project in the near future, Mozilla might be the perfect blueprint to follow. At last week's Mesh 2008 conference in Canada, Mike Shaver, chief technology evangelist and founding member at Mozilla, and John Resig, a JavaScript evangelist at Mozilla — two of the key figures behind the success of Mozilla's Firefox Web browser — listed inclusivity and transparency as two of the top cornerstones of any community-built project. Shaver said in this interview that because the Web is intended for everybody, the level same openness should be shared with Firefox's open source contributors."

Refreshingly, the details of emulating this path in hardware, and indeed, from design upwards, have inclusivity and transparency as the touchstone. As they have in free/open source software, 'business models' are emerging (like Ponoko and OpenMoko) here as well.

Where I see some serious structural issues ahead is open organisations, such as wsfii. Despite the wonderful role it plays, and the unstinting help and guidance that impacts many tens of thousands already - and hopefully that number will not stop growing exponentially until connectivity is ubiquitous - there are things an unregistered organisation is simply not permitted to do. A deplorable restriction on human freedom - the freedom to associate in communities.


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