Question No. 7: There has been a fair amount of controversy, competition, and dissent within the various open source communities. Does this lack of agreement damage the long-term goals of open source, or would you like to see more of this?
Eric S. Raymond
Programmer, author, and
open source software advocate
Raymond: Some of it's healthy. Multiple projects competing for the same ecological niche can be spurs to each other. Some of it's not -- the amount of flamage that goes on over license choices and ideology and intracommunity politics is, frankly, ridiculous.
Evolution is messy. Free markets are noisy. Communities full of passionate people are disputatious. But these things beat hell out of their only alternatives. I wouldn't say I actually want more "lack of agreement," but I accept it as a consequence of dealing with human beings.
CEO and co-founder
Rosenberg: I think we have just enough as it stands. One of the interesting psychological aspects of open source is the fact that it brings together very smart, very interested people. In a sense, open source has created a new development civilization that comes with inherent conflict to develop a greater good. Were it not for this conflict, I don’t think we’d be nearly as far as we are today.
Soltero:Lack of agreement within an specific community is part of the process of arriving at a better result. However, the way disagreement is handled can suck a ton of energy from a project and create situations where things just don't get done. It also gives adopters of open source software a reason to doubt whether using the software is the right idea. Thankfully, there's a lot more experience in the art of governance of open source projects by both companies and individuals. This means that while there's always some amount of friction in every project (and it happens in closed-source projects, too, people just don't see it!), the end goal of the community is the same and the project charges ahead.