I hate the term “open source”
Nadia Eghbal

What I’ve struggled with a lot recently is the recognition that “Open Source” is an identity more than it is a definition that pertains to code. Many, if not all, of the people I followed 10 years ago were “open source people” in the vein of GNU/Linux and Apache Era open source. When the world of open collaborative software changed in the GitHub Era the open source identity didn’t expand to include all of these new participants.

For whatever reason, the cultural standard bearers of Open Source didn’t grow that identity to include people who engage casually and haven’t adopted a particular set of values that the last generation of open source adopted. So now this new generation of participants don’t consider themselves “Open Source” people even if all the code they write and all their free time is spent in open software under open source licenses and in the community around all of that.

I think it’s appropriate then that as we work to catch up with the state of participatory/collaborative software that we start with a definition that is free from decades of identity politics. +1 for public software :)