The Null Device

Open source and the Tyranny of Distance

Google's Open Source blog has a video interview with Australian open-source developer Rusty Russell, who has contributed to gcc and the Linux kernel, in which he puts forward a possible explanation for why there are disproportionately many Australian open source developers; and explanation based upon that ubiquitous factor within Australian culture and society, the tyranny of distance. Russell contends that the fact that Australia is so far away from the centres of technological development means that young Australians with a talent for coding are more likely to express that by getting involved in projects on the internet, and, more often than not, open-source projects.

I wonder whether this means that areas with high concentrations of technological companies and startups (such as the Bay Area, London and Berlin) contribute less to open source than (internet-connected) places in the middle of nowhere.

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