Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Toward an Open Source Society

Filed under
OSS

One of the oldest arguments against anarchism is that it is impractical, that without central authority to keep the peons in line any large project will dissolve into chaos and disorder. Yet the open source software movement provides modern day proof that anarchism works, even when not conducted by anarchists. Source code is the human readable text of a computer program, written by programmers and compiled into binary format for execution by the computer. Without the source code, it is nearly impossible to modify a computer program, or even understand how it works. Proprietary software vendors like Microsoft keep their source code confidential, distributing binary-only software to rob users of the ability to modify it for their own purposes.

They also throw in things like undecipherable file formats that no other software can understand. Customers are left completely dependent on the vendor for bug fixes and new features, trapping them on an endless treadmill of upgrades, always hoping that the next version will fix their current problems without introducing too many new ones. Usually they are disappointed.

Open source software projects, by contrast, make their source code available to everyone. Anyone with an Internet connection can access the code and submit changes to the project maintainers. Non-code contributions can include bug reports, testing, documentation, and tech support. Development is thus conducted by a community for mutual benefit, instead of a corporation for maximum profit. This advantage is not just hypothetical. Successful open source projects in all areas of computing are slowly burying their closed competition.

Anarchist hacker Richard Stallman probably deserves more credit than anyone else for starting the open source movement.

More Here




More in Tux Machines

Open source demonstrates the future of work

Open source communities and projects are examples of non-standard work structures that are successfully productive while existing outside typical paradigms for "work." OpenSSL, for example, is an incredibly important software library that serves a large majority of websites across the web. The authors of the software, ranging from one time collaborators to continuous contributors, have collectively forged arguably the most important networking encryption library to date, and they've done it outside traditional business models. The software is a the result of effort from a diverse community of volunteers working on "their own time," rather than on the rigid production model of a proprietary software development firm. Read more

HPE Introduces Linux Server for Data Analytics and Real-Time Computing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has rolled out a new Linux-based server that it says will help enterprises manage high-performance, large-volume data analytics and real-time processing workloads. The platform, called the HPE Integrity MC990 X Server, was announced Tuesday. The company says it was developed in response to growing demand for more efficient and scalable computing power for the datacenter. Read more

Wine Staging 1.9.3 Adds Compatibility Fixes for a Bunch of Older Windows Games

We reported at the end of last week that the Wine developers were working hard on the next major update to the open-source software that lets Linux users install and run all sorts of Windows applications and games. Read more Also: Wine-Staging 1.9.3 Brings Improvements For Old Games, Even 16-Bit Apps

Canonical Updates the All-Snap Snappy Ubuntu Images to Remove Misplaced SSH Key

We reported last week that Canonical, through Michael Vogt, informed all users of the Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system for embedded and IoT (Internet of Things) devices about the general availability of new all-snap images. Read more