I sometimes wonder if the community around free software has a future in its current form. To me the reason I started to get involved was because I wanted the infrastructure of tommorows world to be free and open, as I saw it as a fundemental requirement for our society to remain free.

Yet I am not so certain anymore that the Linux community or anyone can really provide this anymore. The problem is simply that as the popularity of what we do increase, more and more people start depending on it for their income and due to that the welfare of themselves and their family. And when ideals cross swords with practical real-world issues like getting money to pay for food, medical bills and so on then ideals then to loose of whenever there is a conflict.

So while the community has always featured persons with varying beliefs and ideals, there has been enough basics agreement among a large enough percentage of the community to keep the train moving in the right direction, with the old Qt free edtion story being the only major derailment so far. But as the commercial interests increase the priorities of the members of the community start to change which in turn is slowly moving the underlaying values and priorities of the community.

I am probably painting the picture bleaker than it actually is, but I do think I see signs of this development many places. I like to note however that this is not really a corporate conspirency theory, more a feeling of resignation when facing the reality of human nature.