Two Kinds of FOSS

April 17, 2013

About a month ago, I went to 10Gen’s MongoDC Conference. It was a nice little day long conference; the speakers were highly technical and included the 10Gen CEO and COO. I hung out with a few friends and learned some new things about what Mongo can do, and what it will do in upcoming releases.

I was also reminded that there are two kinds of FOSS. FOSS has become a sort of watchword for business-types. They hear the Free part and smile, and they willingly interpret the Open Source part to mean community driven and low risk.

I’m glad they think that, and I’m glad FOSS is now the de facto standard for a lot of software. But the kind of shop 10Gen is running with Mongo is much different than a lot of the other FOSS you’ll find on Github.

In other words, almost fifteen years on, The Cathedral and the Bazaar is still highly relevant, and you should know which is which.

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