Wikipedia is not exactly an open source project (http://news.com.com/Wikipedias+open-source+label+conundrum/2100-1038_3-5988267.html). I agree.
But it is more open than the old encyclopedias for which you paid thousand of dollars. Those were really closed projects.
Recent incident show that you do not have to be afraid of Wikipedia, fearing that wrong or commercial information is engineered into the database. When this happens, it will be traced easily and removed. Reporters from The New York Times are now banned to use Wiki as a research source.
Linux is an example of an open source project. Should you be afraid of using Linux? The two main problems of using Linux is that you will have to search for support when problems arise and you need to pay for programmers to develop bits and peaces that are missing. The idea of open source developments however is that the source code is open to the public. Second.
I normally close the door when I leave my home. People close (lock) their cars and many borders are closed, which lately is one of the main challenges in governance; how do we manage this constant migration traffic? This is perhaps a globalization issue, we have overlooked. But closing borders won’t ban terror. It’s too late for closing borders when we live in an age where we are all connected. The virus is already amongst us. Yet new viruses will continue to harm (all of) us.
When the European Union is calling one of the largest companies in the world to open up – they are not talking about undressing the source code. They rather mean to give the competition a chance to plug and play with the worlds most used software.
Will the amount of viruses and adware and other spyware increase when using open source software? I don’t think so. And even if they do, you should already use firewall kind of protection the prevent whatever attacks.
Open source developments are social and based on confidence. The same confidence we use all day when we walk on the street; and although there are many traffic incidents, under normal circumstances you do not have to be afraid that someone deliberately runs in on you. If that would be the case, the little trust we have in each other will be gone for ever. But I don’t think it will go that far.
Even if you do not embrace open source initiatives, you shouldn't be afraid of them either.
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account