Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What Software Developers and Lawyers Have in Common

From my colleague Randy Wambold...

Recently I attended a panel assembled by an organization that CHEN PR sponsors called the Massachusetts Interactive Technology Exchange (MITX), titled, "Open Source - Is It Ready For Primetime?"

Many a two-hour technology panel that I've attended passed by about as quickly as a Friday before a week of vacation, but I found this panel quite engaging.

Attempting to define "open source" guarantees failure, but for the purposes of this blog entry, a working definition is in order. For succinctness and plain language, I like the definition on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com: "Open source software (OSS) refers to software that is developed, tested, or improved through public collaboration and distributed with the idea that the [source code] must be shared with others, ensuring an open future collaboration."

The piquant panelists managed to cover an impressive range of topics in two hours related to the issue of the open source... well, what to call it? That's part of what the panelists discussed. Open source is part latest technology trend, part philosophical movement, and part legal conundrum. In fact, regarding the legal implication, one of the panelists quipped that a few years ago, a lawyer was the last person you'd expect to find in a room with a bunch of software developers. Now, thanks to open source's profound implications on patent and intellectual property law, s/he is among the first.

In fact it was a good two hours not to be a lawyer, as the profession came in for its fair amount of criticism. Kudos to lawyer and panelist Devin Smith who handled the ribbing with good humor.

Yours truly raised the question to the panelists of how open source might change as it moves from "pure" philosophical movement to commercialization as vendors appropriate it for profit. Underlying my question is my anecdotal observation at the rapidity with which the very term "open source" has gone from the strict domain of the wildly passionate, highly technical software developer to mainstream business language. I used to hear the term only in discussions with my clients who fit the passionate/technical profile, but now it seems I can't open a business publication without reading it as well.

The consensus seemed to be that on the one hand it doesn't have to be an either/or as my question implies; there is a sense in which open source can continue to be both a technology credo and a for-profit business strategy. On the other hand, panelists didn't doubt that a few years down the road this progression will have a practical impact.

I left the panel a more informed man, with two lasting impressions: 1) In whatever form, open source is here to stay and its impact on business and technology is only beginning to play out and 2) I'm glad I decided against law school.


At 2:12 AM, Blogger tweedledeetweedledum said...

This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this maintenance software site, it's pretty awesome too!

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Colin Klinkert said...

Nice Blog, My site is:
Internet Marketing Products

At 11:10 AM, Blogger hiro said...

Just thought i would say hi from Japan. Doing some blog surfing and found your site. Im looking for some cool styles of litigation lawyer for my own blog. Theres some really amazing blogs about. if you have time check out my site you will find information on litigation lawyer. Well when i get my blog running hope you come and check it out.

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Bruce Riddell said...

I just visited your blog and I must tell you that it is great! I bookmarked it to return soon. I have a software and tool blog that talks about the newest marketing software. If you have the time, check it out.

At 3:35 AM, Blogger nope said...


I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family

Learn How To Create Your Own Custom Income Generating System.

Welcome to AdWordEqualizer / Ad Word Equalizer Finds The Most Profitable Search Terms And Products For You!

Get Paid to Take Online Surveys!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Bruce Riddell said...

Hi there.....

Visited your nice blog today. It is very Interesting......

I have a blog that focuses on MARKETING SOFTWARE.

Do you know what the hottest new marketing software titles are? Vist my blog to find out!

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Bruce Riddell said...

Nice software blog!

I have a related software blog that you should take a look at. I talk about all the top marketing software tools that the pros are using to get their amazing results.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger David said...

I have am interested in free software and have recently found in updated information about free software here.

keep the link going

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Johnjon said...

I discuss this topic daily myself. I also have a website that talks about business business business from home home internet internet make make money money online online opportunity successforfreedom.com work related things. Go check it out if you get a chance.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Bruce Riddell said...

Does your blog ever get spammed?
If you hate blog spamming then you should read this post!
Is there such a thing as spamming a blog?

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Darryl said...

Excellent internet marketing expert articlre.
Keep up the great internet marketing expert blog. I find it very informative. I check back soon
Thanks again for a great and informative internet marketing expert articlre.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Dominicans resources said...


Free start blogging hosting speicalist

At 7:27 PM, Blogger haidi said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a **Make Big Money**blog. It pretty much covers Make Big Money articles related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Johnjon said...

Wow, I really like this one. I have a website that talks mostly about free online get paid survey taking You should check it out sometime.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger George said...

How would you like a quick and easy way to keep track of all your important information and activities maintenance . maintenance

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Kingypoo said...

Very cool blog you got! I just added you to my bookmarks!

I have a great article resource you might want to check out.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home