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Open Source: Collaborative Development to be the Norm Rather than the Exception

By Dick Weisinger

The 80-20 rule.  Vilfredo Pareto first described it in the 19th century when he noticed that 80 percent of the wealth of people was held by only 20 percent of the population.  The so-called Pareto or 80-20 rule is is now applied to  many different phenomena.

In the keynote speech recently at the Linux Collaboration Summit, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said that “Open source will be the new Pareto Principle.”  He expects that going forward 80 percent of software will be open source and only 20 percent will be proprietary.  Open source is expected to drive technology devices and IT.  Zemlin said that “no one makes anything these days without open source software. Phones, TVs, even at Apple, you’ll find the GPL and dozens of open source programs being used in every single iPhone and iPad.”

A recent survey of developers by the Linux Foundation tapped into a sense that open source collaborative development will continue to have a dramatic impact on technology.  The survey found that cloud computing, mobile devices, Internet of things, software-defined networking, and operating systems are all areas that will see significant new open source contributions and development.

Zemlin said that “A new business model has emerged in which companies are joining together across industries to share development resources and build common open source code bases on which they can differentiate their own products and services. … In the past, collaboration was done by standards committees; now it’s being done by open source foundations.”

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