A good understanding of why OSS is getting better is important, since it 
will have a significant impact on careers and societies at large. An 
important debate worth deeper clarification and framing.

Personally, I think  the ability to profit from OSS has lured more 
programmers. And, the greater recognition/impact the larger market 
offers. Eric Raymond mades an interesting point about respect and 
recognition being a fairly significant driving force of OSS development. 
I  think there is something to that, and the fact that the recognition 
has moved mainstream has driven interest. Also, realization that the 
software may be used by the mainstream market is motivating for many 
commerical developers- even if the product isn't commercial, this is the 
market they are used to envisioning and creating for.

The OSS technology stack is now more mainstream- many commercial 
developers are now using cvs/ant/junit/java and this helps a lot. The 
convergence of Windows and Unix development models also helps a lot. My 
initial career was Windows-oriented and this left me pretty clue-less 
regarding Unix development.

Also, I thing there is a demograpic influence- there is a generation of 
programmers 30 to 40 who are a bit burnt out by the commercial rat race, 
and just want to code interesting stuff.

I read an interesting article recently (don't remember where) about the 
difficulties of OSS project manager, as told by KDE and Gnome people. 
One of the significant factors is that contributers on average are only 
available for 3 to 9 months. Commercial money definitely helps there.

And the general zeitgeist now says if you haven't done something 
opensource, or patched an operating system kernel, you just aren't a 
real man/woman :). It's like hippies going to Woodstock.

Nick


Sean O'Dell wrote:

>On Tuesday 15 June 2004 12:41, Zach Dennis wrote:
>  
>
>>Sean,
>>
>>You missed the jist of my point. I dont' want you to agree with me, I
>>wanted you to take a stand on whether or not you believed better
>>programmers were the only reason, or if you agreed/disagreed with the
>>notion that it was also because programmers could spend commercial time on
>>OSS.
>>
>>And you took that stand in your last post, i'm just sorry you had to type
>>roughly 500 characters getting it across and then calling me juvenile... I
>>don't see anyone making personal attacks on you.
>>    
>>
>
>I believe Linux software is getting better because better programmers are able 
>to contribute more to open source software.  I've said that several times 
>now.
>
>	Sean O'Dell
>
>  
>