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I think there will always be people who abuse the generosity of others. However, I also believe that one of the ideals of the Open Source movement is that there are more ethical people in the profession than there are abusers. That the advantages of sharing knowledge outweigh the risks.

There are communities where specific information is guarded and protected for some nebulous competitive advantage. I would hate to see PM turn into one of those.

Also, there are other ways to contribute. Buy Stuff, for example. Heck, I've even been using the [isbn://] tag in private /msg's to myself when buying non-Perl tech books for that very reason. Why? Because I believe that's the ethical thing to do and it's something I can do.

There are certainly other ways to contribute and the beauty of an effective online community is that individuals find ways to help. For example, it would be just as easy to write a BannerBot that logged into PM every fifteen minutes and clicked whatever banner was displayed. (I don't know if Fearless gets a click-through kickback, but it would certainly look like the advertisers were getting hits.)

In short, keep sharing.

-f


In reply to Re: PM and XML (ab)use? by footpad
in thread PM and XML (ab)use? by Masem

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