Kael Shipman

90 points
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I'm a lover of the magic of open source and open concepts. I'm forever in awe of the millions of people around the world who combine brilliance and vision to produce some of the most important infrastructure we have today. From coders to project managers, documentors to fundraisers, translators to designers, the world of open source is one of idealism, action and progress. I'm thrilled to be following along in the footsteps of such extraordinary humans, and I hope someday to rise to the high standard that the community has set for the Open Source Way!

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I agree, the Free Software Movement is a totally separate movement with its own life and philosophies. It has definitely influenced thinking regarding Open concepts today, but didn't necessarily flow into it.

To me, Open has taken on a life of its own, even different from open source (which is what I was referring to in the first paragraph as I noted that it was born in the more limited context of how to build and distribute software). This distinction is important because I think now there are *three* entities: The Free Software Movement, which remains dedicated to protecting what it considers the rights of software consumers and producers; the open source development methodology, which is a mechanical construct that was formalized in the context of the Free Software Movement; and then there's the newer application of Open to everything, which is what I was addressing in this article and which I believe is a little of both, plus some extra.

I think the important point here is that Open is actually part social movement (inspired by the Free Software Movement and the opportunities proven by open source development) and part mechanical construct. In other words, for all those who don't believe in the Movement, there's still a lot of value in the mechanics of Open. (And, importantly, that value rests largely in the ability of Open principles to foster collaboration.)

You're right, I should have been more specific: it's a movement, yes, BUT ALSO it can be a simple, practical means in many situations. I think it's safe to say that everyone on this website is part of the movement -- including myself. I like Open for Open's sake. I'm overly-open, in love with the wild possibilities it affords and the thrill of living not just with my heart on my sleeve, but fully inside out.

My point in writing this was to recognize that sometimes movements push non-believers away, and in my opinion, there's no reason to do that. I believe there *is* a line somewhere in our movement, on one side of which is a set of practical circumstances in which certain types of open behaviors yield concretely good results and on the other side of which we find ourselves floating away in the lofty philosophies of an ideal open future.

To me, it's important to draw that line, and let people who don't want to talk philosophy still recognize and use the more concrete toolset without entangling it in existential discussions :).