Having trouble understanding the open source movement? Just think of fruit!

Tristan Rhodes has come up with a great analysis of Open Source vs Proprietary software by using fruit. It’s on the same par as Neal Stephenson using the car metaphor to describe Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Here are some of the key arguments that I loved.

Mabolosoft is a company that sells seedless fruit. They have orchards full of fruit trees that they have genetically-altered to be sterile, so that no seeds will be included with the fruit. Consumers want fruit, so they buy it from Mabolosoft. This fruit is seedless, so when people need more fruit they must go back to Mabolosoft.

Now, there also exists an loosely structured coop of fruit farmers who call themselves Open Seeds. This organization gives away their extra fruit, after having already fed themselves with the harvest. This fruit is quite different than the fruit sold by Mabolosoft, because the Open Seeds fruit actually contains the seeds that are used to grow new fruit trees. This allows the consumers to grow their own fruit trees, if they so desired.

Now, you must wonder why people still purchase fruit from Mabolosoft, instead of using the free fruit provided by Open Seeds. Some think this is because consumers like to see the sticker of Mabolosoft’s logo on the fruit. Perhaps some people use Mabolosoft fruit because they have never tried Open Seeds fruit, or because they tried an Open Seeds fruit four harvests ago that had a bitter taste.

Let me tell you, this year’s harvest of Open Seeds fruit is sweeter and juicier than ever before.

Check it out! It’s a very entertaining article!

Author: Eric Mesa

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