I am in the middle of an open source project, and boy has it been a pain in the ass. The sheer amount of work that was put into it, by numerous contibutors, is apparent. Some things are done one way, some things are done another. A class here could have been used there, but it wasn’t – this routine and that routine were hardcoded instead. Still, with the end game near, I can’t help but appreciate all the work.
Some might say open source software isn’t “free” if it is full of complexity, and I would have to agree. But my analysis of our hard costs more than suggests it was well worth using bits and pieces of the project – I’d do it again. FOSS was much, much better than the alternative. I might be inclined to bitch about the alternative, with all its unfounded imperfections (and hit to my bank account), but I never will about the FOSS. The GPL doesn’t have a clause in it that says “this software is free of defects and perfectly documented,” nor is there an appendix attached listing support numbers. And I don’t care.
Open source software developers don’t ask for frequent tribute – they do it for the love of creation.
To them – all of them – I’ll say, and continue to say, thanks.