First of all. People are getting older, software or technology specifications don’t.
When we run closed source product we need to pay people to maintain it, it is ok when we have pockets filled with money to invest in young students that could handle code after elders. If we can afford car service, returns, repairs and so on.
It’s good when lead developer change his job we could hire consultants and have money so we can fix or rewrite products from scratch.
It’s ok if we have money to upgrade obsolete hardware, libraries, operating systems. But usually product dies with the team of developers and is replaced with new technology stack.
- 20 years ago right after Hallowen Documents leak who would say that Micro$oft will run Linux on their cloud.
- COBOL was a great language at it times but as time passed no one was going to work in it anymore so it’s a huge problem nowadays.
Software complexity increase.
Ten years ago AWS was 2 years old and there was not much people using it. There was no Google or Microsoft cloud. Sun Microsystems was still java owner and Java itself was released as opensource software only for one earlier. Nodejs was not existent. Virtualbox got released year before, VMware or Citrix just started acquiring companies in the virtualisation business. iPhone was one year old and first version of Android was just released.
Now we got multiple cloud providers with their products and certifications. Multi cloud orchestrators, containers with lightweight operation systems.
Who knows what software we would have 5 years from now. But yesterday desktop computers are tomorrow phones and more computing power means more complex systems that can handle things like distributed networking, blockchain, computer vision or machine learning stuff.
There is a price with technology that people pay. Software price is that there is always lack of early adopters or contributors. Increase of software adoption increase demand for software developers and software development is only a skill not a superpower so we see lot’s of coding camps, coding tutorials. Simple tasks can be handled by newcomers and more experienced developers are in even higher demand. Loyality is a big thing in todays world.
With complex software we need more people maintaining it and more people means either more money or more freedom. Free software which is maintained and developed over the years with small number of people is winning with multimillion dollar corporations and that’s the power journalists, managers, business investors or even politics don’t understand.
Politics are so scared they try to regulate something that is beyond their knowledge with methods they know from their childhood. But it won’t work because we don’t live in 80’s or 90’s and those are laws that politics are trying to apply to technology. But let’s not focus or those poor bastards.
There won’t be cloud, big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence without open source because of it’s complexity. And because complexity require lot’s of people most disruptive technologies are developed in foundations. Mozilla, Apache, Cloud Native, Linux, Python foundation to name a few. We got portals that drive innovation and help developers to found rise their projects.
There is greater access to cell phones than toilets in some countries. That is what technology become but not much people can contribute to itself.
If someone tries to close opensource project or some people decide to drive it the other way there is fork like hundson -> jenkins, mysql -> mariadb, khtml -> webkit, openssl -> libressl, ncsa httpd -> apache server, openoffice -> libre office. Even cryptocurrencies are forked like bitcoin -> bitcoin cash.
It’s more natural like evolution of species or extinction of others which didn’t adopted to environment changes.
Despite many crazy things people made trough history freedom was always priority. USA are telling their citizens that they fight for foreigner freedom not oil or world dominance and it works. Most of great wars were because someone was telling other people that they would get more freedom when they attack other nations. Without technology freedom was more money, land, skins, heard.
Now it’s easier but there are still cyber wars like ip or website block, DDOS attacks, security breach or surveillance.
Still all of those are driven by open technology because of shorter step learning curve. Ten years before when our washing machine broke we called mechanic who could help or not if he got no skills. Today those skilled mechanic are making youtube videos, people are selling parts of their broken equipment on auctions so you can replace your broken parts by yourself.
We are nowhere near the ideal world but if we follow the open technology path we would change and maybe even save this world for other people.
There is still lot’s of things to do especially in old business like open buildings, open cars, open electric power source, open electric devices, home appliance, phones. Open hardware should be next big thing and it’s happening with Arduino, RaspberryPi, or RISC-V. The problem are regulations but those would probably start to expire with death of today’s 40-60 years old people since they would stop protecting their money. I hope newborn people would be more liberal and praise invention, technology and openness instead of regulations that are protecting corporate business.
We see digital revolution in music or tv with services like Spotify or Netflix.
We got SDR so we are building our own antennas and downloading images from weather satellites, printing with open source 3d printers our own designs or designs of other people which are open on portals like thingiverse.
We are living in interesting times, where access to knowledge is not limited to universities and rich people, world is shaped by individuals and collective movement. I hope this trend would not change.