Using a product that you didn’t used for years is already interesting. Typically you feel quite easy as most of the features are still where you expect them. Ok this is not the case if a big company introduce a new UI element such as ribbon’s but this doesn’t happen that often.
If you do the same with an open source based product I have to admit I’m always impressed and scared about the speed of change these products have. From my experience its related to the fact that primary contributors change from one major release to the next one. If the community is able to build the environment for someone else to step in the lead moves. Ok we all know that the various options for support within open source projects are quite different and this has an effect as well. As a truly community driven project Joomla is a good example of the different evolutions its able to make.
The category of this article is titled with „open spirit“ as I will also like to speak about open initiatives such as Wikispeed. The concept of creating a car in a combination of using agile methodology and open production standards is quite interesting to me. If you look closer you will see that wikispeed protects their primary assets, such as the optimization of the engine, with patents. This is a quite typical step within the production industry and therefore I can understand it. How else should they find investors to support their ideas. On the other side I wonder if companies such as BMW are so far away. Friends of mine working within the research center of BMW and of course they told me that they use agile methods as well. Now why are they not using open standard, processes or communities too?
With „open spirit“ I like to address these kind of topics and we will see what comes next.