Is Open Source Eating The World?

Is Open Source Eating the World?

Thanks to Dominic Alves for the base image! CC BY 2.0

The phrase, “Software is eating the world,” first showed up in 2011. In 2015, open source took its rightful seat at the table.

“If the theory pervades deeper – and software does eat the world – then surely open source software will swallow it, right?” Forbes hesitantly prodded in early 2015. Later in the year they more confidently thrusted with a piece titled It’s Actually Open Source Software That’s Eating the World.

This isn’t a movement spearheaded by a single voice. Wired joined with articles like, Open Source Software Went Nuclear This Year. Replete with quotes like: “This is not just a turning point, but a tipping point,” says Brandon Keepers, the head of open source at GitHub.

This was also echoed at events like Defrag2015. I attended a talk titled, “Open Platforms and Strategies – Why your platform should be open.” Wherein I heard strong conjectures such as: In about five years most products will be shipped as open source, on a platform like GitHub.

Is open source software eating the world? Is the future all GPLs, MITs, and Apache licenses? Of course not. Linux, Netscape and Apache httpd have all been hungry in the name of FOSS for a good long while.

If that’s the case, why the rush of excitement in 2015?

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