Can anyone cite an open-source project that wasn't the result of a company failing in the market?


#1

Just thinking about open-source as an ideal, and, well, all the projects I can think of have relied on the ability for a business to fail in the open market.

There must be some intentionally started open-source projects.

Or, are market conditions essential for self interest to produce something, fail economically, and be shared for the greater good?

Just a thought, but I can’t find any examples.


#2

Okay, Wikipedia, obviously, forget that


#3

WordPress

Also, I’d love to know what projects you’re thinking of!


#4

I’d say there are more projects that have started as open source rather than being released post-failure. There are huge examples like Linux and Apache, Python, etc etc. Too many to list. Clay Shirky’s books are great on this stuff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Comes_Everybody


#5

I thought Linux came from Unix being developed by AT&T.
I’m thinking mostly of creative tools, Blender, Open Libre Office. Lot’s of games, but I’m glad to be shown some good examples!


#6

Well, if you’re thinking of Linux then that absolutely wasn’t a failure of a company.

UNIX was starting to dominate computers, despite it having a pretty awful reputation! But it was expensive, so Stallman started to build GNU - a fully free operating system, and built a huge amount of what we call Linux today. What he was missing was a kernel. Linus Torvalds built the Linux kernel and paired it with GNU to build the first Linux (or if you are Stallman, GNU/Linux).

Since then, Linux has basically replaced UNIX, so you could argue that open source caused the failure of that company :slight_smile:


#7

…and then Apple came along :slight_smile: