Seeing Michael Stephens post in Tame the Web about updating Ranganathan’s laws made me wonder if they could be relevant to open source software/projects. This is partly because of some of the things that I’ve heard in some of my interviews and a recent conversation about how open source projects work.
The original five laws are:
- Books are for use.
- Every reader, his book.
- Every book, its reader.
- Save the time of the reader.
- The Library is a growing organism.
Ranganathan, S.R. (1963) The five laws of library science. (2nd ed.) Bombay: Asia Publishing House.
Various people have updated these laws for the digital age, including versions for digital libraries, electronic resources, and the web. Mentor Cana made a start on adapting them for open source software. Cana’s version:
- Software is for use
- Every user his or her software
- Every software its user
- Save the time of the user
- A software Library is a growing organism
I don’t necessarily agree with the wording, and will see what I can come up with that might be clearer after the weekend. Over the next few postings, I’ll be saying a bit more about each law, and how it might apply to an open source software project.
February 3rd, 2007