Open Source is the key to innovation.
Innovation requires a lot of effort and while most companies rely on a limited amount of experts to develop the things they need, others open source whatever they develop and get a crowd of experts testing, using, debugging and contributing to their software in a scale that no company can afford to maintain.
That’s why Linux is the most advanced operating system in most of the areas that really matters. It is flexible, easy to extend and adapt to whatever environment you want: I’ve even seen a Linux distro booting from a 1.44MB floppy disk! Today we have it running on a wide range of environments and machines that goes from mobile phones (guess what’s behind Android?) to large clusters and servers. Though I enjoy to work on my Mac, we all have to admit that Linux is the overall winner.
Now that people figured that Open Source is the key to innovation, we’re beginning to see companies and groups of people open sourcing their hardwares, like Facebook and Open Source Ecology.
Facebook just open sourced the technology they developed to build their datacenter, which involves all necessary info to build the server chassis, motherboard, power supplies, etc.
Open Source Ecology is a community trying to come up with the specs for easily building from scratch “50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts“. They even have an open source proposal for vehicles!
With a world evolving so fast, I can’t imagine another model to cope with our ever growing needs and challenges. Now, let’s take part of this crowd, jump in an give a hand!