Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open to Misinterpretation

Filed under
OSS

Before "open source", before free software, there was software in the public domain. You could say that software in the public domain was truly free. The code was "open source" and the user had the right to take it, break it, appropriate it, re-use it, package it, sell it, re-brand and license it, or do what you will with it.

The problem with software in the public domain, was that, more often than not, any changes to the software didn't come back to the developer in any usable form, and modifications didn't revert to the original maintainer of the code. In some cases the software was appropriated and relicensed by the user. In other words there was no guarantee that the software would remain free, or would grow.

The solution to this problem was the GPL. Not only did the GPL protect free software and keep it free, but it opened the door for a community to form around the software in the knowledge that contributions were fed back into the original body of code. The often criticised "viral" nature of copyleft and the GPL was the instrument that fostered participation and feedback from the community, and provided the framework for the later success of free and "open source" software.

More Here.




More in Tux Machines

Can Jolla Deliver the First Open Source Tablet?

Some dreams die hard. After the KDE-based Vivaldi tablet failed to appear after three years of anticipation, Jolla is planning a free software tablet of its own. The product is off to a roaring start, having just raised $1,824,055 in its crowdfunding campaign-- almost five times the original target. So, this time, we might actually see some hardware. Mind you, whether the tablet will satisfy everyone remains open to doubt. Although Jolla is talking loudly about being "people powered" and listening to want users want, some requests, especially for hardware, may be impossible to fulfill. The manufacturing capacity of advanced features is limited world-wide, and monopolized by large companies like Apple and Samsung. More importantly, exactly how free the tablet will be has yet to be announced. Read more

First Ubuntu Phone Will Launch In Europe This February

The first Ubuntu Phone will go on sale in Europe in the second week of February. Read more

Sandia looks to open-source robot tech

Researchers at federal defense and energy laboratories are open sourcing some of the electronics and software for two advanced ambulatory robots in hopes of boosting their ability to handle perilous situations. In a Dec. 16 announcement, the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories said it is developing more energy-efficient motors to dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots performing the types of motions that are crucial in disaster response situations. The project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Read more

Google releases open-source Java SDK for Cloud Dataflow service to form data pipelines

It’s been a long, long time since Google came up with the foundational technologies for storing and processing big data. This year, the company developed a new tool for working with data as it comes in, and now Google is keen to see people use it. Read more