July 9th, 2003

breaking bad

Penguins of doom

Is Linux the devil's work? Is open source software an abomination to God? These serious questions are considered here.

Early this year, I received a note from a reader attacking open source, and specifically Linux, from a proclaimed Christian perspective. This reader equated the open source movement to socialism and claimed that Microsoft products were essential to the spread of the gospel. This obviously challenged me to more deeply consider these claims.

This deep consideration lead the writer into a number of thought areas which clearly disturbed him. The Acts of the Apostles state that early church members held their property in common. Wasn't this a bit 'socialistic'? Yes, pursue this thought a bit further and you will discover that the two principles which underpin your world view are actually incompatible with each other. Then what are you going to do?

However - phew - the anxiety is overcome. Although Linux is developed by a community

Although these developers aren't joined together by corporate employment, that doesn't mean that open source projects are characterized by anarchy. Large projects have well defined leadership.

And - getting back on firmer ground - 'companies built to distribute and support open source products can be profitable'

in conclusion, I don't believe that the open source movement is socialistic. I don't believe that it's inherently evil or should be "stopped."

As you were.