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IBM developerWorks: The hard roots of open source software

Mar 02, 2000, 17:08 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Salus)

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"Author Peter Salus takes you back before the beginning of (Internet) time, for a look at how the open source community emerged. Before the Internet appeared on the scene, disperse user groups were sprouting up to address hardware issues that were as new as the computers they were working on. USENIX followed not too long after, and soon the difference between free and proprietary software arose. Even so, says Peter, open source software managed to survive, and some of the developer's best tools, including the UNIX editors, flourished.

"Many appear to equate the Internet and the Web. In fact, The ARPANET dates from 1969, whereas the World Wide Web dates from 1991. Still, the two are often spoken of as the same entity. Similarly, a lot of people think the concept of open source arose with Linux, or perhaps with Emacs, the popular editor and programming environment. But like the World Wide Web, open source finds its origins further back in time, and from different roots than today's most prominent causes célébres."

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