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I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Programmers and obscurity

Back in 2002 Tim O’Reilly wrote that “Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.”  I’ve come to realize that there is now a parallel situation for programmers.

Increasingly, the non-obscurity of a talented programmer is established by works that s/he’s created and handed out for free.  Instead of (say) videos these are programs, and their stage is an open-source repository instead of YouTube.  These works aren’t monetized, but the exposure may lead to additional works that are.  (The additional works are likely to be “commissions”, though, rather than whatever the programmer feels like creating.)

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