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.