Monday, March 27, 2006

nytimes: how open source concepts are spreading

mar 27th

how open-source is being used more widely these days. the success of linux has been a big factor in this.

one thing we need to remember is that the original idea of open source was in india's innovation machine in the old days. inventors created ideas, and did not even bother to sign them: they just put them in the public domain. and it turns out, mysteriously, that this is at least as good as the patent system which tries to harness people's greed. we need to take credit for the open source nature of indian intellectual activities. the very appealing humility of indians prevented them from taking credit for inventions and ideas. an example is the severe buddhist logician dharmakirti. it was through elaborate analysis of obscure clues that scholars discovered that this was the same dharmakirti who wrote surpassingly tender erotic poetry!

or take one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind, panini's grammar. panini invented it and just put it out there in the public domain. similarly with madhava/neelakantha/parameswara of the kerala school of mathematics and their invention of infinite series and calculus.

the cathedral and the bazaar analogy from eric raymond is valid here: the bazaar has lots of smart people, not only the cathedral.

innocentive's website is interesting too:


thephm said...

Thanks for posting this. I have started to put my own ideas on a blog since I would love to see them implemented, if they aren't already!