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Daily Yomiuri On-Line (Japan): Is open source the wave of the future?

May 23, 2000, 07:38 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Jerney)

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"On the surface, it all seems rather hard to believe. The conventional wisdom is that software development, especially for complex programs such as office applications and operating systems, requires a tightly managed team of designers, developers, and testers. In fact, some of the most successful programs of all time have been created exactly this way, including Microsoft's Windows operating system, Apple's Macintosh OS, and countless other tools and applications."

"But a not-so-new model based on the distributed and decentralized anarchy of the Internet may be set to change all that. The so-called open source movement works by having dozens, perhaps even thousands of programmers and testers from around the world work together to develop complex systems."

"In most cases, these people may never even meet, communicating with each other through a combination of electronic mail, instant messaging, and of course, the exchange of computer source code."

"What guides and motivates these people is the principle that software source code should be freely available to anyone who wants to see it, test it, tinker with it, and hopefully, enhance it. The idea isn't new. In fact, much of the software for the Internet itself was developed using this model."

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