I amused myself last week by reading the wikipedia platypus page and decided two things.
First, the platypus is my new favourite animal.
Second, it’s also the perfect metaphor for a typical open source software project.
Consider these true facts about the platypus:
it’s a mammal, yet…
it has a webbed feet
and a beaver tail
and a duck-like bill
and it lays eggs
oh, and it’s got poison claws that can kill a dog
its primary sense when hunting is neither sight nor smell, but electrolocation. It detects electrical fields generated by its prey’s muscles
the female platypus has two ovaries but only the left one works
Some totally jawesome killer features (poison claws and electric duck-bill!)? Check.
A stubborn insistence on being different from the mainstream (ovipary)? Check.
And the occasional oddball bug that no one can figure out (only one working ovary!)? Check.
I love open source software, but we may as well laugh at ourselves because the rest of the world surely laughs at us.
Some other random thoughts about the platypus…
The name “Platypus” is often prefixed with the adjective “duck-billed” to form Duck-billed Platypus, despite there being only one species of Platypus.
And that’s truly a shame, because what if there were other species of platypus?
The fire-breathing platypus is not to be misunderestimated.
You can count on the cool-n-quiet platypus to help reduce energy bills in the summer.
Consider the early-bird platypus when looking for the perfect companion animal for your elderly loved ones.
And never, but never allow the dreaded sister-seducing platypus into your home.
This blog entry brought to you by your friendly neighborhood open-source platypus.