Yesterday Dana Blankenhorn published a column about what will happen to open source software in 2010. As traditional closed-source companies embrace open source technology, will what we call open source today be open source tomorrow?
It's a valid question, because usually when products and ideas become mainstream, they also get more watered-down and homogenized. The same could happen with open source software and according to Tim Yeaton, president of Black Duck Software, that's what we're likely to see in 2010.
Here's what Yeaton wrote to Blankenhorn via e-mail: "So from our perspective, it's not so much about pegging a certain percentage of code or content that allows a "product" to be considered open source, it's more about if the product uses open source in a meaningful way to make it more useful to customers, and if the company building the product acts as a good citizen in open source."
But Blankenhorn writes that in these tough economic times, open source executives have become pragmatists. If the economy turns around, Blankenhorn thinks idealism could take hold again.