Is open source a trend? Or leave the world a better place than when you found it?

The Eclipse Effect: Changing the State of Development

Tod Nielsen (Borland)

Is open source a trend?

Tod says: “Not that there is no value here but we just have to figure out the model to find out what it will be.”

The reasons open source excels is because there is:

  • Improved Transparency – everyone knows where you bugs are
  • Encouraged Accountability – Significant pride and ownership by software developers (side note: Gosh this sounds a lot like War Cunningham’s let’s work together and driving the community togetherness talk…together we can prevail… And Microsoft’s ideas of brining together developers with our Architects)
  • Foster collaboration – collaborating between individuals, vendors and customers as well as academia (back to what Ward said about the “ALL” model)


The impact the community has had on Borland has been help Borland with product evolution. So if you are a user of Borland product you can be a part of the bug list and see how to prioritize to fix them etc.

We at Borland have really tried to become more transparent, to encourage discussion at ever level as well as improving collaboration. To create a collaborative code owner ship with peer review to have a agile development environment.


“It does take significant investment to be part of the community” so I still wonder what part of this is free? Seems most people see there is no free product. What several people have quoted along with the students, who came up with RadRails, is: “Seems the community is waiting for people to write code, so the companies can grab it, make it their own and sell it.” So at lunch yesterday with conversations with NASA, it seems the only thing the community really enjoys is being a part of the process and when they submit bugs, they can see it get fixed. So if that’s the case, can Microsoft then perhaps open the product to be tested by the community and then everyone who submits the bug will be kept in process till it is fixed or prioritized? (Just wondering, because then people will feel much more connected to the software)

“It’s very difficult for me to see what the future will be, so you as a community can help us see what the next 24 months will look like so we can plan accordingly. And you can provide not just the Home Depot of all software but more leadership from the Eclipse community so that all the part and pieces work well together” says Tod. (I wonder, Is he asking for the community to step up and help him build a product? )

“Leave the software community and the world a better place than you found it.” Great way to end it all!