Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nine Attitude Problems in Free and Open Source Software

I love free and open source software (FOSS). The cause -- essentially, an extension of free speech -- is one that I can get behind as a writer, and community members are not only brilliant but both passionate and practical at the same time. It's an exciting field, and the one in which I've chosen to make a career.

At times, though, the community can be its own worst enemy. Certain attitudes, often long-ingrained, make the community less united than it should be, and work against common goals, such as providing an alternative to proprietary software or spreading the FOSS gospel. Practically everyone in the community has been guilty of one or more of these attitudes at some time or other -- including me -- but we rarely talk about them. And, for this reason, the attitudes continue, hobbling community efforts.

Admitting these attitude problems seems the first step to overcoming them, so here are nine of the most common ones I've observed both in myself and in the community around me:

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