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Open Source Web Design

(Hey, look! Darrel is finally posting something!)

I stumbled across the Open Source Web Design site today. Interesting idea. Sure, it’s really no different than public domain art, but it’s interesting to see the concept of open source permeate non-software realms. Is this a good thing (more accessible design for the masses) or a bad thing (hey…they’re competing for free)?

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PUBLISHED ON Dec.13.2002 BY darrel
Armin’s comment is:

I think yes, it's interesing. But I don't think much of free design. It will just make the web look more generic than it already is.

I think the templates are of very poor design quality.

It's great if you don't know jack about web design and can use one of those templates to post pictures of your son's birthday. But I don't think this open source approach is as revolutionary in web design as it is in software development.

On Dec.14.2002 at 10:50 AM
Su’s comment is:

No, the free designs aren't very special, but assuming they've got decent documentation, they're still way above the standard Blogspot templates so many people tend to end up using because of their lack of knowledge.

On Dec.14.2002 at 12:55 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I was more interested in people's opinions of open source all-around in terms of intellectual property. Another site along those lines is istockphoto.com. Again, not truly 'open source', but rather public domain works being created by fellow artists/grphic designers/photographers.

On Dec.14.2002 at 02:39 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>I was more interested in people's opinions of open source all-around in terms of intellectual property.

Well, I think it's great the way they do it for software, where people actually get excited and seem to be ethical about it. But in the field of design I think there is too much at stake, creativity and designer's egos would probably get in the way of Open Source working in a field ruled by intellectual property and a 'who-done-what' mentality.

I don't see it working as well.

On Dec.16.2002 at 08:47 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Interesting comment Armin. I do see that there are ego problems in the software side, too. Keep in mind that software is solely an intellectual property rights industry as well.

In terms of software, I think it's important that both commercial and open source exist side by side. I'm not sure how that should work in the realm of visual arts, but I can say that personally, over time, I've become much more open to the idea of 'sharing' rather than 'hoarding' intellectual property rights.

On Dec.16.2002 at 11:33 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>I've become much more open to the idea of 'sharing' rather than 'hoarding' intellectual property rights.

I think sharing your creativity, because that's where intellectual property comes from, is kind of risky. Not in the "I'm gonna sue you every chance I get" way, but you are risking who you are and what makes you valuable to your clients or employer. What separates one designer from the rest? his/her creativity. And if you share/give that away you have nothing left to compete with. If competing is what you want of course.

Personally, I don't think I could ever say "here you go... here is my design ideas for all you to do whatever you wish." Not me, at least.

On Dec.16.2002 at 11:51 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Armin, I think your POV is completely valid. However, it does seem to work for many on the software side.

"hey, I designed and wrote this code. Take it. Do what you want with it."

I guess I'm beginning to like that attitude more than the 'everything is for sale' attitude. But that's just me. ;o)

On Dec.16.2002 at 12:22 PM