Thoughts on Open Source

As I mentioned before, I am not against proper use of open source.  I have open sourced one of the first implementations of W3C DOM API to good effect.  While it has not been upgraded to support DOM Level 2 and SAX Level 2, it included HTML API support which popular DOM implementations are just starting now.  I have also used open source products such as OpenSSL, Eclipse, Perl, Python, and various Apache products.

My issue is with the word 'proper'.  Open source extremists belive all software should be open source.  Extremists on the other end believe that source code, like dirty underwear, should be kept proprietary.  I would like to believe that most people fall somewhere between those positions, within the galatic plane of our software galaxy, the Milky Way.

To get a better understanding of open source and its effects, I am going to post my thoughts and observations on open source until I run dry.  Here are some to start with.

Monopoly – is it possible to have a monopoly in open source?  Can an open source project or group grow popular enough to cause other open source projects to suffer from lack of resource and exposure?  Is Apache a glimpse into the future of open source?

Legality if I build commercial software using open source components which 1000 people contributed to, am I liable in some way?  Can open source licenses stand up in the court?

Genie - open source is like a genie in a bottle, once its out, its difficult to put it back.

As I have other thoughts in the future on the subject of open source, I will post them.  I ask you to do the same.