It’s typical of many professions to cultivate an aura of infallibility and monopoly control of information. Open source doesn’t work that way. There are prima donnas, to be sure, but the culture requires practitioners to show their cards, and it erodes information monopolies. Shared code is just the tip of the iceberg. Below the waterline, there’s a vast body of shared knowledge and tradition, grounded in what Tim O'Reilly calls an architecture of participation. We’ve come to see open source as an economic innovation. Cooperative production of commodity infrastructure paves the way for competitive production of high-value products and services. Perhaps we’ll someday see open source as an educational innovation, too. Cooperative production of shared knowledge isn’t just a by-product. When apprentices, journeymen, and masters engage in a continuous cycle of learning and teaching, an old approach to education is made new again.
Jon Udell wrote an article for InfoWorld called "Open source education," offering another advantage of open source: technology transfer.
Great article, indeed!