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Open source

A partly moral and partly cynical decision to make Blot’s source code public

Open source feels good. It suggests a modest attitude to money that seems dignified. Although these aesthetic considerations are most important, open source is also appealing to a technical audience, who are often sceptical of proprietary closed-source software. So it makes business sense for me to make Blot’s source code available freely under the most permissive license possible.

As a moral decision

Intellectual property as a legal regime has its costs and its benefits. Ideas are obviously innately free but sometimes there are advantages to setting up legal structures to protect them. But generally I think the legal structures we’ve established to protect intellectual property are overgrown and tend to limit rather than encourage creation, so I will not participate.

Working in public

I also quite like the spectacle of working in public. I suspect it’s reassuring to potential customers to see my git commits on the news page, for them to know that Blot is alive.

Terminology

I like the ideals of the free software movement and I like Richard Stallman. However, I think the free part of Stallman’s term free software is confusing. After starting too many explanations with it’s not free as in beer… I’ve not to push against the current of popular usage. I’m also aware of the politics of the term ‘open source’, so I decide to side-step both and simply say Blot’s source code is dedicated to the public domain.

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