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2008-12-13 Creativity In Free Software

Reading the blog of Frédéric Péters, I stumbled upon his post called "Vers l'infini et au-delà !". I quickly commented as I share a similar feeling about the recent development of the relationship between software "industries" and free software. Frédéric pointed out the recent "2020 FLOSS Roadmap" report where the roadmap is more a tentative to be close to the fuzzy and vague Magic Quadrant than something really coming from the free software community (yep, the community is not only composed of "industrial consortium" even if this report is trying to give this idea).

My feeling is the following : there are no way to predict the future especially while we are talking about (free) software evolution. Roadmaps are more close to science-fiction books (I prefer to read science-fiction books that's more fun) than something else. Why it's like that? Just because software development is a trial-and-error process and especially in the free software community. Free software users also choose their free software by trial-and-error… how can you easily predict the state of free software in 2020 when a trial-and-error process is in use? This reminded me again of the post from Linus Torvalds about "sheer luck" design of the Linux kernel. To quote him :

And don't EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than
what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a
feedback cycle. That's giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit. 

Projecting in 2020 what will be the Free Software is just a joke. What we really need to do to ensure a future to free software is to ensure the diversity and the creativity dynamic in the community. Creation and development of free software without boundaries or limitation is critical to ensure a free future. New free software development often comes from individuals and not often from large industrial consortium… So the roadmap is easy : "Resist and create free software".

Books about ideas and "innovation"