T’was the night before Christmas, when suddenly Rudolf stormed through the door of Santa’s office to find him buried in his new iBook. “Damn WIFI is down again”, Santa mumbled, “I can’t post anything to my new weblog.”
Rudolf used the break in Santa’s surfing to launch into his well prepared speech. “You know Santa, I’ve been thinking about this whole Christmas project thing. Maybe we should be looking at open sourcing the project – what do you think?”
“Open sourcing Christmas?”, Santa nearly leapt out of his chair, “you must be joking. Why would I want to do that?”
Rudolf had prepared his arguments well. “First, if we open source Christmas then we can start building a real community around it. You could be project lead and I would be a committer. You know, there are lots of people who don’t like Christmas or can’t seem to get in the spirit. If we make the whole thing open source then people could get involved. And we can get people to write new documentation for the project. The documentation we have seems to be a little out of date.”
“What would people want an open source Christmas for?” Santa was trying hard to follow.
“Well, they could change bits they don’t like. Like for instance perhaps people would prefer Christmas to be in say Summer, instead of Winter. Or have a flexible Christmas depending on which hemisphere you live in. Or perhaps they would prefer you to come through the front-door instead of down the chimney. You know that sort of thing. If Christmas was open source then the community could vote on things they would like to change. Maybe we can even get other festivity projects to merge with the Christmas project – wouldn’t that be great.”
Santa gazed out of the window of his office for some time. “You know Rudolf”, he said after a while, “this open source idea is not bad. Really. But there might be a couple of drawbacks. What if the community decides it doesn’t need a Santa to bring the presents. What if they decide that some Brad Pitt lookalike would be better? And as to Rudolf and the other reindeers pulling my sleigh, what if they decide that Brad should arrive driving say the new BMW?”
Rudolf paused for a moment. “Ah, yes, I hadn’t thought about that. Ok. So, when do we leave?”. “Soon, Rudolf, soon.”, smiling to himself, Santa went back to his weblog.