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osOpinion: The History of Open Source and Why It's Important

Jan 27, 2000, 06:25 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Wesley Parish)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"I heard some time ago about a tape that mainframe developers had in the seventies, containing source code for various utilities, etc. I know that Madnick and Donovan, authors of a book imaginatively titled "Operating Systems", that actually contained a sample System/360 operating system, had a PL/I System/360 simulator and other software related to the book. What happened to it, is anyone's guess...."

"BYTE once even published the circuit diagrams to an XT clone, by Ciarcia. If that isn't "open source", what is?..."

"I think that people are in danger of forgetting one of the more important benefits of the open source concept is. That it allows you to avoid the worst errors of the past, in much the same way that you hope universal literacy will help the general populace avoid some of the more grotesque errors in public life. This is of no benefit if you don't at least attempt to keep the past in mind. This is what you have trained historians for, this is why you attempt to teach history in school."

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