Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Open source" software production in India

In India some organizations say that they are "producing open
source software" and follow a cathedral style development model !
People who produce these so-called "open source" in India presume,
"code" is everything and it can be released once everything is
ready. But they fail to understand that free software is not only
code but also a community of developers and users around it.
How to build & sustain this community is very crucial to the
success of any free software project.

Well, this may be true in other countries also. But recently I noticed
this in some organizations especially few government funded
projects.

Recently when I was traveling from Calicut to Bangalore
in a night bus. I happened to meet an old fried of mine
who is working with a government funded organization.
Most of his work was software projects which they release
under some free software license. One interesting thing I
noticed is that they do a lot of duplicate works and unnecessary
forks of existing free software projects.

Another thing which I inferred from our conversation is
about their development model. The couldn't yet adapt the style of
free software projects, which follows release often and release
early culture, building a community around the software etc.

Update: One of my friend asked me whether I am targeting free software
based custom software. No, I am not. A custom software may not be released
at all.