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A Competent, Caring, Ultimate Authority Needed for Open Source to Work: Linux and Wikipedia

 

The excerpt below is from a WSJ summary of an article from the Summer issue of the journal Strategy + Business.

 

Linux's success isn't as egalitarian as it seems, says Mr. Carr. In 1997, Mr. Raymond praised Linux's founder, Linus Torvalds, for realizing that "given enough eyeballs, all [software] bugs are shallow." However, Linux has always had a central authority -- originally, Mr. Torvalds himself; later, a small group of engineers -- that synthesized the work of the volunteers.

Similarly, the expansiveness of Wikipedia's entries lies in its contributors' wide range of interests. However, the encyclopedia is slowly putting together a management team to identify and improve poorly written articles and correct imbalances like the one where the "Flintstones" entry is twice as long as the one on "Homer."

 

For the full summary, see:

"Informed Reader; TECHNOLOGY; Small Teams Advance Open-Source Effort."  The Wall Street Journal  (Weds., June 6, 2007):  B5. 

 




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