☝ Community Escrow

I’ve written previously about the freedom to leave, but there’s another value delivered by the liberties open source provides, one which it would even be worth paying extra to get. When your vendor changes direction, what do you do?

With open source software, there’s an option proprietary software can’t offer, one that it might even be worth paying extra to obtain. As long as it’s really open source and not compromised in some way, the community around the free-software commons can just “Rehost And Carry On“. Another company can step in to take the lead, or in the case that the project was already a truly diverse co-development community like PostgreSQL or an Apache community, there will already be a choice of alternatives available.

[Continue to read over at ComputerWorldUK…]

☂ “Rehost” T-Shirts Available

There was such a lot of interest in the “Rehost and Carry On” graphic I mocked up for an article a while back that I’ve just created a CafePress store with t-shirts, mugs and other stuff. They make perfect gifts 🙂

The image itself was created by adapting a public-domain design from Wikipedia, itself a representation of a second world war British information poster. Over here in the UK the design is pretty iconic, no idea about the rest of the world.

The message behind it is that, when the open source project you depend upon goes seriously bad and you can all see it, the four freedoms – to use software for any purpose, study the source code, modify it to better suit your needs and distribute the result – mean you can just take the source code, rehost it somewhere that the problem you are facing isn’t in the way and all carry on as if nothing had happened. Some may call it a fork (and yes, it is) but when everyone agrees apart from the one who is messing it all up, it’s also a rehost. So don’t panic. Keep Calm, Rehost and Carry On.

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