Swapping what?!

Swapping what?!

Ok, so maybe it's a little obtuse, but this comes from one of my favourite quotes that for me epitomizes the concept of Open Source.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” - George Bernard Shaw

This is why (ultimately) proprietary software can't be as innovative and original as software that's developed in an Open Source community. Some big companies (like IBM) get this and some (like Microsoft) historically seem less able to.

So, before we get too wrapped up in denial, consider what's out there today. Operating Systems, Linux easily has the most coverage with Android and embedded versions. Languages & compilers, GNU C/C++, Python, PHP, Ruby, Go, Javascript, all Open Source with little competition.

Web browsers, IE had it once upon a time, but now it's been canned in favour of Chrome and Firefox. Once upon a time we had commercial web servers, remember 'Netscape'?! Now we have Apache, Lighttpd and NGINX.

You can always point at exceptions where commercial software houses are still out there with leading products, but maybe it's just that not enough people have swapped enough apples yet ....