Do you know what the word ossify means? If not, can you guess?
No, it’s not another of my made-up words to describe OSS in an obscure way.
For those of you who didn’t already know that it’s a real word and what it means, wait for it… it means to cease developing; to stagnate. It’s more commonly used in medical circles – to turn into bone, become bony, harden, solidify, stiffen, rigidify, petrify, fossilize.
Hopefully the name is not a portent of doom for the OSS industry. Some already believe that our OSS are stagnating and are looking for a new term and a correspondingly new and innovative approach to managing comms networks.
Naturally, I don’t believe we’re stagnant because I can see all the amazing work that’s being done around the globe to make our OSS bigger and better. And yet I do have the sense that we’re putting so much time into incremental change that we’re missing the bigger picture – the picture of the exponential growth that’s going on around us.
A “more of the same” approach means that we are ossifying in a relative sense. We’re still developing, yet losing ground.
For me, one of the most amazing stories in the Pixar phenomenon is that almost every movie (or every couple of movies) requires a complete overhaul of their hardware / software platforms. By contrast, many OSS are still heavily based around platforms from the nineties and early noughties. If Pixar can take that mindset, effectively an exponential thinking mindset to counter techonological half-life, then surely our equal dependence on technology requires a similar concept of complete regeneration to avoid ossification.Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email