the glue factory


From today's dive into mark:

In the future, there will be so much open source software available, programmers will be judged by how much they know about it and how well they can glue it together to build solutions.

Yes!! That's exactly what I want us to be teaching our students--undergrad and grad. We're well on our way already with the courses we already offer, but we've still got room to grow in this regard.


Over at we've been talking about the software we've been developing and what license to release it under. We thought we wanted something open source. We read the GPL page, then the page where they list other open source licenses, over 100 of them. There was a lot to look at and research. We also went and looked at the Creative Commons page, and read through all they had to say. Then we kicked around what we really wanted, what were our goals, what would serve us best. We wanted something really open so that other people would know that we were serious about being open, that we would never sue them or suddenly be like "Ah ha, you violated section VII subsection "d" of the GPL!" I know some companies have had trouble with the GPL, they feel it is to vague, causes too many troubles.

Then I had a radical idea: what if we released it to the Public Domain? I kicked the idea at Peter and he liked, so that is what we are going with. I think more people should consider this option. It is only truly, utterly, legally air-tight solution - it allows other developers a lot of trust that they can invest their time and energy in this project and their time and energy won't be wasted. Anytime any developer thinks we've made a dumb move, they can fork the software, no questions asked. They can also take it commercial whenever they want to, no strings attached.

The nature of software development today is plugging chunks/objects together. Open source gaining critical mass won't change this. What allows the "construction set" aproach to software development is standards and documentation.

Open source gives us a repository and a body of code to use for research. I'm not sure that open source gives us a plug-n-play set of tools.

Now... open source object libraries... that's another thing to consider. But, open source is not the same as code libraries.

if you haven't read it or seen it, you might want to read a book entitled 'the unix philosophy' which tells about this type of approach.

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This page contains a single entry published on March 31, 2003 12:34 PM.

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