Stop For a Minute, and Imagine an Internet without Open Source and the Sharing of Ideas

Published in General on Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Imagine no Wordpress, no Sourceforge, no PHP, no Apache, no perl, no ruby, no rails...

...Imagine no shoulders to stand upon: remove that blog that helped you get MT installed the first time, that WP plugin that gave your site that extra oomph. Imagine no Drupal or any other sort of free CMS, no code to pull apart and learn, no free forums, no blog comments (no Firefox!).

Imagine not meeting the people that you have met through working on and sharing code, tips and stuff with others.

Imagine if the Internet functioned like an industry that doesn't share it's best secrets amongst its members.

I have no idea what brought me to think of this today, maybe the whole net neutrality dust up. Whatever it was, I shudder to think of what the Internet in all it's glory and spam would be without all of the people who spend hours of their lives to solve millions of problems and then share them so easily on the web, to help other people.

You just gotta love the community. Where would you be today without it?

Comments and Feedback

Maybe here's a good place to say sorry to the folks I haven't gotten back to who have e-mailed with the odd question *blush*. Been busy, hope to answer some of that e-mail soon!

I heard about a kind of "privatization" of the Internet... a kind of "sponsorized" Internet reality... I'm worried about it.
And I'm worried about many kind of false "security" issues (read Fritz Chip and Trusted Computing) or "Copyright Management" issues...
I think they could be usefull only if they can assure (really) not to infiltrate, propagate, limitate any kind of other rights and or freedom.

In any other case... well I'm worried

I saw the words "no Firefox", then there was a huge scream inside my head.

Ummm.... That would suck I guess...

Eek.. sounds like 1990. There would be no Internet without an open Internet. It'd just be AOL or Compuserve or some crap. I don't think it would even be so wide spread. If it cost money to do everything on the web, nobody would bother (except those with money and wanting to make money). People would still call BBSes or something.

There will always be an independant underground. We can't be stopped.

I have goosebumps.

Hi - I am with the Hands Off the Internet coalition and I wanted to jump in here and say that in no way is this about getting rid of an open internet. Think about it this way - if you are getting access through one company and they are blocking some kind of content or search - then you would leave them for a competitor. Hands Off is opposing NN because it would regulate the internet to the point where future development would be at risk (i.e. new Bit Torrent) Anyway, don't take my work for it - read up on what these guys have to say:

Bram Cohen, Founder of Bittorrent –

Mark Cuban, founder of –

I had a very similar conversation yesterday... take that thought a step further and imagine how many less web designers there would be today if browsers didn't have "View Source."

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