Time for Open-Source to Grow Up

Friday, 9 August 2002, 1:03 AM EST

It's time for the open-source community to grow up. For years we have acted like rowdy, self-confident teenagers demanding the keys to the car, with only occasional success. It's time for us to acknowledge the larger world, and our relationship with it. Our teenage solipsism must go if we hope to blossom into mature, respected grown-ups.

This doesn't mean "selling out," we can retain at least some of our youthful optimism. But we need to find a set of principles upon which we can base our relationships with others -- common ground that we share with the big bad world outside.

The debate over the withdrawn full-disclosure draft and HP's DMCA threats are an obvious case where we need mature, reasonable community standards. Without general agreement on a framework for disclosure, we will continue to be treated like adolescents who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves.

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