“Using” Open Source

At a recent tech conference hosted by a proprietary software company one of the presenters said

We’re serious about open source, and we use it to build our software

I guess he thought that this was a virtuous statement of coolness and openness. The speaker then went on to talk about the ways that the company was giving back to the open source community.

It prompted me to think about the absorption of open source libraries and tools into proprietary software and the extent to which software businesses give back to these foundational open source projects or leech off of them.

You’ve probably seen this xkcd cartoon

If you are serious about open source then contribute to it and support it, don’t just use it and leave the effort to someone else.