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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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