Compiling “The Zen of OSS” perhaps?

A recent presentation just reminded me of “The Zen of Python.” It’s a collection of 20 (19?) software principles, particularly as they relate to the Python programming language.

Since OSS is software-defined, (almost) all of the principles (not sure about the “Dutch” one) relate to OSS in a programming sense, but perhaps in a broader sense as well. I’d like to share two pairings:

Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.

Unfortunately too many do pass silently, particularly across “best-of-breed” OSS stacks.


Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than right now.

An especially good hint if you’re working within an Agile model!

So that got me thinking (yes, scary, I know!). What would a Zen of OSS look like? I’d be delighted to accept your suggestions. Does one already exist (and no, I’m not referring to the vendor, Zenoss)?

In the meantime, I’ll have to prepare a list I think. However, you can be almost assured that the first principle on the Zen of OSS will be:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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