I was just reading the interesting article by Glyn Moody about how Mobile apps and the Web are reducing the opportunity for Free and Open Source to take off, right at the time when it should have the biggest basis for doing so.
What’s interesting is that this is another stage in the tragic commons merry-go-round; where publicly minded, forward thinking people set about creating a new ecosystem where ideas can be shared. So impressively more efficient and free to all is the commons that some people come in who use the now free ecosystem to build upon it, by extension the next generation of proprietary garbage that has to be fought away by the next generation of publicly minded people.
We’ve seen it once before when the computer world, which became an open platform, suddenly developed a whole host of parasitic monopoly companies that based their entire closed platforms on top of the older system. And that wasn’t the first time this happened either.
So now we have open source taking the world by storm. Except of course that it’s now undergoing an interesting shift, instead of the cultural shift from passive consumers to active participants; we instead see a new layer of companies who take advantage of the free ecosystem provided to build a new propritary, closed and wholly controlled market for themselves.
Both the Web and Mobile ecosystems are built on open source. Mobile may have a couple of old world encrusted barnacles, but almost all of these platforms are only possible thanks to the ecosystems they’re built upon. Of course they’re also not interested in being a part of creating a new free ecosystem, just a new proprietary one.
Perhaps this is the way it goes, perhaps in 10 years time we’ll be digging ourselves out of this mess to be told that some company is investing a new proprietary system based on open source mobile and open source server code.