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  1. I think the original “there’s less open-source activity” is a useful claim. My perception is that 80% of open-source activity before was 1 guy making a project that nobody else would ever be interested in, so there was at most 1 committer, and quickly 0 committers. So if lots of that went away, I’m not sure it’s a huge practical loss (though you could argue it’s a philosophical loss).

    Or, even if you do consider that loss to be “as bad” as having fewer people moving Apache forward, you’d still want to distinguish the two because you’d expect them to have very different change-factors involved.

  2. Obviously, we’d need to see a breakdown of drop in contributions by size of project.

    But by analogy, 90% of startups fail. Nevertheless, you might be worried if the number of startups being started was diminishing even though, personally, you weren’t a customer of any of them. Because you could see that the seeds of tomorrow’s new enterprises aren’t being sown.

    Having said that, I suspect that the shift to cloud (utility, commodity) computing is an inevitable technological evolution. If free-software, as previously understood, doesn’t quite make sense in that world, then we’ll just have to live with it. The Affero license is one attempt to deal with this shift. We’ll see if it works out as well as the GPL has in the “run your own server” world.

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