Open-source software: Much conventional wisdom about programs written by volunteers is wrong
Posted in: Miscellaneous at 16/01/2011 16:01
The Comingled Code: Open Source and Economic Development. By Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman.
In information technology there seems to be a revolution every other week. At least that is the impression one gets when following media coverage of the sector. Yet sometimes the hype is justified, in particular in the case of open- source software, free programs developed by loosely knit groups of developers. Within just 15 years they have completely changed the landscape of the software industry, turning it from a mostly capitalist economy into a mixed one.
The shift should be of interest -- and not just to techies. Software is important stuff; it keeps the world moving. No car, no television set, not even a modern toaster works without some code. Take corporate computer programs away, and the economy comes to a grinding halt. In some cases software has changed how humans behave; spreadsheet programs, for instance, have redefined more than one job.