Interesting… more than 500 emails on the BeOS Refugee articles, and for the first time someone has pointed out an embedded puzzle in my thinking:
On one hand I talk about how I believe in the open source philosophy, benefit hugely from the fruits of open source efforts in my daily work, and always support collaborative development as a general concept.
On the other hand, I know from experience that closed source development models under a single control structure, with a single unified vision, are capable of producing a better user experience, more cohesive design, etc. more quickly. Despite best intentions, open source efforts are inevitably tripped up by fragmentation or bad communication resulting in a “cobbled together” atmosphere in the user experience.
The email I received subtly implied that there was a hypocrisy in my thinking here, but I see it more as an irony. And on further thought, this probably has something to do with my attraction to OS X – it’s the perfect blend of open and closed source development models – closed at the desktop level, where the user experience matters, and open at the command line level, where collaborative efforts work best. Hmm….