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LinuxGazette: Homer's Open Source Odyssey 2001: Classical Computing and a Brief History of OSS

Sep 02, 2001, 23:47 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Elliot McGucken)
"The realm of open source and "classical computing" may represent a hybrid paradigm, wherein programming is closer in essence to physics and mathematics than it is to inventing the world's first functional airplane, or the first light bulb. One cannot patent scientific laws nor mathematical concepts, and thus physics and mathematics have always been open-source endeavours.

In programming the fundamental algorithms are immutable ideals, and though they may be used as machines to ferry information about the globe, when one attempts to patent the machine, one is perhaps trying to take too much credit for the algorithms developed by others, or for immutable ideals which were always there. It seems that more and more innovations in contemporary information technology are dwarfed by the giants upon which they are based, for what sole inventor or invention can be greater than the open platform upon which it is invented, such as Linux and C++?

The GNU General Public License takes the "standing upon the shoulders of giants" aspect of software development into account..."

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