Code or people?

Open Source LADavid Hurley says you won’t find the true value of open source in the code. You won’t find it in product. You only find it when you look at the community of people behind any given project.

Few will ever start an argument with Hurley for imbuing us with such a warm glow. Sure, sure… you can’t have an open source “community” without people.

But is it even right to call us members of a community in the first place? Doesn’t the nature of open source “communities” really dilute the definition of “community?” Can a community really be organized by a for-profit company?

Isn’t it true to say that most projects only have a small number of core committers who actually share a vision for any give product? Is it fair to say that many other who submit pull requests just want to leave their individual mark on the codebase or enhance their resume? Or am I taking this too far?

I’m trying to provoke you because I think this would be a great topic to have a panel meetup about. What do you think? Join us on Open Source LA, and let’s talk about it.

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