Guns, Germs, and Open Source  

By Ryan Tomayko under Then they fight you..., F/OSS on 16. July 2005

A colleague of mine had suggested on numerous occasions that I read the book, “Guns, Germs, and Steel“, by Jared Diamond. Wherein the author explains that the rise of Western civilization was due largely to a series of lucky developments that turned out to be so disruptive when introduced into other environments that there was just no chance of their old ways surviving.

Tim O’Reilly recently pointed to a bout scheduled for this years OSCON where Byron Sebastian, CEO and Founder of SourceLabs, will go toe to toe with Bob Sutor, VP of Standards at IBM Corporation, on whether F/OSS is to the Enterprise as Guns were to the Incas.

The format is interesting with Sebastian taking the extreme position of “open source takes all” and Sutor the position of “protracted struggle between proprietary and open source enterprise software”. It’s interesting to note that they couldn’t find anyone to champion the “proprietary takes all” scenario.

I’m not able to attend this years OSCON but I’m hoping this debate makes it’s way onto IT Conversations. If anyone attending wants to live blog the debate for lesscode.org, it would be much appreciated.

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