I’m an engineer because I want to understand how things work and I love to expand on that knowledge to make new things work. Recently I stumbled upon an analysis of web browser architecture. It is not surprising that most details in this analysis are from open source browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox), as opposed to the proprietary source browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Opera, and in part, Safari).
In addition, open source browsers compete vigorously for speed and standards compliance. Not that closed source browsers don’t, but they seem not to lead in that regard. It seems to me that the open source community was more willing to start the effort and now everyone is on board.
Last but not least open source projects are transparent about their future plans and experiments. While not all open source projects are equal in this regard, projects with an open governance body, such as Firefox or WebKit, let you follow the discussions as they happen.
In a proprietary world, one lives on a diet of press releases and trials or beta releases. Open access to the components that I deal with, on the other hand, helps me make better informed decisions. That is why I love open source.