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Open source software: 20 years and counting

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OSS

Twenty years later, that campaign has proven wildly successful, beyond the imagination of anyone involved at the time. Today open source software is literally everywhere. It is the foundation for the internet and the web. It powers the computers and mobile devices we all use, as well as the networks they connect to. Without it, cloud computing and the nascent Internet of Things would be impossible to scale and perhaps to create. It has enabled new ways of doing business to be tested and proven, allowing giant corporations like Google and Facebook to start from the top of a mountain others already climbed.

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Also: Open source is 20: How it changed programming and business forever

More on OSI/OSD

  • The history behind Christine Peterson’s term ‘open source software’

    Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of open source software. The term open source has become an important phrase in the software development world, but it didn’t always exist.

    The phrase was coined by Christine Peterson, the cofounder and past president of the nontech public interest group Foresight Institute. After 20 years, Peterson is revealing more insight into how the use of the term open source software began. Peterson noted there are a variety of different accounts on coining the term, but hers came from a need to make the field more accessible.

  • Open source turns 20 this weekend

    OPEN SOURCE software is 20 years old this weekend.

    At first, you might say "really, is that all?" but let's be clear on what we (and the industry) means by 'open source'.

    It's not to do with copyright either. US law didn't allow software to be copyrighted until 1974, but that's still 24 years in the wilderness. Open source software still has a copyright. Somewhere. Lots of them in fact.

    Open source is not free. Well, it usually is, but that's not the point. Open source means literally, that - the source code is open and editable and anyone can have it and modify it under the terms of a set licence. It's free to the end user, providing you don't profit from it yourself, and (in most cases) you contribute any changes you make back to the community.

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