IT Commandment: Don't pretend

It's the one thing you need (other than a lot of money) to make it in the open source world.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Paul Murphy wants to get a dialog started on IT Commandments, rules that should never be broken.

His first one is excellent. Thou shalt not outsource mission critical functions. Speaking from personal experience, I would call that an excellent suggestion.

What would be a good one for open source? It should be a key to success. What is the one thing you need (other than a lot of money) to make it in the open source world?

Don't pretend.

That's it. Don't pretend to be something you are not. Don't pretend to be a fan of open source when you're not.
Don't pretend to be "supporting open source" when you're not. Don't pretend to have features you don't have. Don't pretend to put resources against something you don't plan to invest in. Don't pretend you will meet an arbitrary deadline.

The reason this commandment is so vital is due to the way open source market battles are played out. Your cards are always on the table, face-up. In the proprietary world, you can play FUD games, you can pretend to have features that are still in development. This just doesn't work in open source.

The same goes for financial shenanigans, legal shenanigans, PR and marketing shenanigans. The next half-naked lady I see in an open source booth will be the first.

It's all pretty transparent here, and I think that is a very good thing indeed. Unless, that is, you can find an example of opacity that worked.

Our IT Commandments:
  1. Thou shalt not outsource mission critical functions
  2. Thou shalt not pretend
  3. Thou shalt honor and empower thy (Unix) sysadmins
  4. Thou shalt leave the ideology to someone else
  5. Thou shalt not condemn departments doing their own IT
  6. Thou shalt put thy users first, above all else
  7. Thou shalt give something back to the community
  8. Thou shalt not use nonsecure protocols on thy network
  9. Thou shalt free thy content
  10. Thou shalt not ignore security risks when choosing platforms
  11. Thou shalt not fear change
  12. Thou shalt document all thy works
  13. Thou shalt loosely couple
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