Mondaq: United States: The Truths and Myths of Open Source Software
Jun 01, 2006, 22:45 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Melise R. Blakeslee, Brian E. Ferguson)
"In the 1960s and 1970s source code was passed between a close
knit community of programmers at the pre-eminent computer science
institutions in the United States, such as MIT, Stanford, Carnegie
Mellon and Berkeley. Programmers expected that any improvements
made to code would be published to the entire community. The
movement did not gain widespread publicity until 1998 when
Netscape, in an effort to ensure Microsoft's dominance would not
erode open internet web protocols, released the source code to its
web browser, Netscape Navigator. Following this announcement, the
Open Source Initiative was founded to improve the marketing and
distribution of the free software community. Vendors, such as
Oracle and IBM, began to announce their support of the open source
operating system Linux.
"The definition of open source is slightly more contentious than
its history suggests..."
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