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The Mercury News: Open-source Movement Fueled by Community Spirit

Jul 25, 2002, 11:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Gillmor)

"It was as if the town's smile had lost a tooth when the church in the center of tiny Lincoln, Vt., burned down in the early 1980s. But townspeople found the money and resolve to move an abandoned church up the road to the site.

"I was living in Lincoln at the time. I'll always remember the spirit that drove people, whether church-goers or not, to volunteer time and dollars to solve a problem that was affecting the community--and I'll especially remember the pride we all felt one summer day as we watched the replacement church being trundled down the country road to its new foundation.

"That spirit, it seems to me, is part of what fuels the open-source software movement and its close relative, free software. With open source, the programming instructions (source code) are openly available for anyone to use and modify, with the general proviso that improvements are returned to the overall community..."

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