in reply to PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
I believe that for open source to work, there must be give as well as take.
Yes, but that doesn't mean everyone who takes needs to give as well. "No take unless give", that's the basis of commercial business - even if no money is involved, and even if the give is done under social pressure.
For open source to work, you don't need quantity in people providing. You need quality, and quantity doesn't imply quality. In fact, quantity might hinder the quality.
For instance, a forum where questions are asked and answered is more useful if a question receives just one or two answer of high quality than if it receives two dozen replies, a few high quality, lots of good answers, lots of mediocre answers, and a few really bad ones. (Which often happens on Usenet, Perlmonks and mailinglists).
An open source project doesn't suddenly fail if its number of users grows from 5,000 to 500,000, and none of the 495,000 new users "gives".