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New York Times: Making Programs Like Water: Free and Transparent

Jun 14, 2001, 21:44 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Katie Hafner)

Tim O'Reilly is interviewed by the NYT here, generally about Free Software, tangentially about Linux:

NYT: Why do you think Linux took off the way it did?

O'Reilly: In a funny way, I'm not sure Linux did take off the way people thought it did! One of the things I've been disappointed by over the last few years is that so much of the focus around open source has been on Linux. It's a great operating system, but it blinds people to other programs that may be even more important. I've firmly believed for years that the key thing to watch is the role of open-source software in building an emergent next-generation Internet operating system. There's this great passage in the book of Jeremiah, where he says, "Oh, earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord." He starts preaching to the ground because no one else will listen. I've been saying to open source people for years: "It's the Internet! It's the Internet!"

As a result, I've always considered Apache to be probably the single, most important open source project, but I've also been fascinated by the role of Perl, the computer language they call "the duct tape of the Internet."

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