Open source software

Open source software is designed by a collection of scratched itches. It’s like paving over a cow path and calling it a highway.

Some open source software started off life as a project owned by a company (like eclipse and zfs) and then was handed over to the open source community where it became a bunch of scratched itches.

Eclipse sadly doesn’t work anywhere near as well as it used to. It hangs when doing file searches, it has problems with gtk 3 occasionally…

ZFS still does work, although it’s not as old as eclipse and it’s far more complicated so I think there are fewer people scratching itches per year.

But the projects that started off life as scratched itches and didn’t have the control and concentration of the corporate mindset suffer more, earlier on.

Btrfs comes to mind. I’m sure there are lots of others, but I don’t keep up with that, because I don’t see much value in being aware of all the lousy software that exists in the world.

I meet people all the time who ask me what I do and I tell them, and they sound interested, and then I feel obliged to explain that if they knew what I knew they wouldn’t fly in airplanes anymore and even turning on the toaster is probably a bad idea nowadays.

But the bar is lower now, nobody really expects anything to work well. Nobody expects their privacy to be honored, nobody thinks twice about what life might be life, how much farther along we might be now if everything just didn’t suck so much.


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