In a recent issue of Forbes magazine (May 7th, 2007) several authors wrote short essays on the nature of networks. One of which (titled “90 Years of Networks” by Amanda Schupak) includes a nifty little time line of significant events in the history of networks and networking. In the 1991 spot she includes the following:
Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds kicks off open‐source movement, a sort of wiki of computer code, with a plea for contributions to Linux operating system.
Note carefully the wording.
Open source is now described as being wiki‐like rather than a wiki being described as being open source‐like.
Please don’t be tempted to exclaim — but that’s a tautology! a wiki is a sort of open source project. You’d be missing the point. This is about paradigm and analogies, not about hierarchical typed‐classification systems. The more familiar object is being used to describe the less familiar object. In the view of this writer a wiki is more familiar to her readers than open source.
That grinding sound you hear is my world view rubbing up against the curbing.
PS I’d love to give you a link to the article but in the three days since I pulled it up to read, it has disappeared behind the for‐pay wall. pfft.