Is Dead Code Worth Open Sourcing?

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Here's an interesting question from Adobe's Dave McAllister:

Is it ever a good idea to open source a program or technology from within a company if the company is no longer enhancing it? Basically, is dead code ever a good thing for open source?

Dave says: “no. Then yes. And finally, a definite maybe.”

Personally, I'd say definitely “yes”, for the simple reason that you can't lose open-sourcing “dead” code. If some part of it is useful – maybe all of it – to somebody, it will live on; even if it's not useful now, it might be one day – who knows? And even if it's *never* useful, what have you lost?