I had two conversations today that set me to pondering the future of open source. One was during a panel I moderated on "cloud-based computing" at the Webguild Web 2.0 Conference. The second was over lunch with an old friend.
First, what happens to the open-source development community if the world moves to cloud-based computing? Open source has been a server or PC-based phenomenon. Why did Linus Torvalds develop for an x86 architecture? Because that's what he had. He didn't have a massive server farm to work with. Neither do you.
Think about it. What software could you or I write in a world where there are only a few "computers" (five, according to Yahoo), computers to which you and I don't have access? I suppose developers will increasingly be able to write code for others' "clouds," but will this be the same?… Read more