Fight! Fight! The librarians are fighting about software!

I never realized how tough and ideological librarians were until I sat on a University committee on IT. The Librarians were always giving the administration a hard time about their knuckleheaded decisions regarding software, passwords, etc. These people are totally radical, extraordinarily well informed (they actually read the theoretical literature on passwords and software licensing) and are very very scrappy because they know that as the end of civilization approaches and the libraries are burned to the ground they are all going to either die in the flames or go into permanent hiding anyway. So why not fight the good fight while you’ve got the chance?

Anyway, the issue at hand is proprietary vs. OpenSource in document and information management software. Sbling Christina Pikas points out a post by Mark Leggott that is a response to an anti-OpenSource tirade: A Response to Stephen Abram and SirsiDynix

Mark addresses the original document by Stephen Abram on a point by point basis, and it is an excellent study in the contrast between the two approaches to developing software. Many of the routine fallacies are discussed, and it is easy to see how this is, to a very large extent, a religious issue, where the proprietary software supporters …. have the wrong religion.


  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 8, 2009

    Stop it. You’re feeding David Sloane Wilson again.

  2. #2 flynn
    November 9, 2009

    We’re also fighting about who gets to control open source software. Well, discussing earnestly anyway. This article is a thoughtful view of the problem, noting that users of large applications such as library software have such a strong interest in what happens to the code long-term that they, not the developers, should “own” the code.