The Cloud Made Open Source "Invisible" This Year

"Big Brother is Watching You: Learn to Become Invisible" “The big open source news in 2010 is that open source became essentially invisible,” writes outgoing Canonical COO Matt Asay in his 2010 year in review column for The Register. It’s not that the media stopped reporting on open source Asay explains. In fact, according to Google News, the number of stories mentioning the phrase “open source” roughly doubled. What’s happening is that open source is moving behind the scenes, thanks in large part to cloud computing.


Asay wrote:

Hence, for example, 2010 was the year that we talked a great deal about NoSQL citizens like Cassandra and MongoDB, but not so much because of the companies formed to monetize them (Riptano and 10gen, respectively), but rather because of the exciting web applications built using them.

These web applications, mostly built using open-source technologies like Hadoop and Lucene, have turned the idea of an operating system on its head. Or rather, in Tim O’Reilly’s words, the operating system is now “the whole web.”

Asay makes a really interesting point: open source hasn’t destroyed the dominance of proprietary software. Instead, open source projects are primarily funded by the proprietary profits of companies like Facebook, Google Yahoo!

It’s a brave new world for open source, and not the one that Richard Stallman envisioned 27 years ago. In fact, he’s now cautioning people against the cloud (our own Alex Williams echoed some of these sentiments in his open letter to Google today).

Where do you think open source will be going next year?


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