I came across this interesting take on open source’s acceptance in mainstream culture. Wikipedia, the Internet Encyclopedia once shunned by academic minds and institutions alike for its unreliable and inconsistent data and writing, is now being utilized by professors as a teaching tool. You can read about it here.
In particular, one paragraph caught my attention:
“To reach its goal of academic standards, said Wikipedia’s Web site, it set up an assessment scale on its English-language site. The best encyclopedia entries are ranked as “Featured Articles” and run each day on the home page at www.wikipedia.com.
That comment speaks to a larger trend playing itself out within the software market, where many old school minds still consider open source application vendors, such as SugarCRM, as simply a group of disparate code writers spread across the globe writing code from their basement or kitchen table.
Such notions couldn’t be farther from the truth, and as open source and community-developed concepts continue to take hold within the software industry, I expect such opinions will continue to disappear.
It’s certainly nice to see academic minds “opening” up to such concepts.