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IBM developerWorks: The hard roots of open source software

“Author Peter Salus takes you back before the beginning of
(Internet) time, for a look at how the open source community
emerged.
Before the Internet appeared on the scene, disperse
user groups were sprouting up to address hardware issues that were
as new as the computers they were working on. USENIX followed not
too long after, and soon the difference between free and
proprietary software arose. Even so, says Peter, open source
software managed to survive, and some of the developer’s best
tools, including the UNIX editors, flourished.

“Many appear to equate the Internet and the Web. In fact, The
ARPANET dates from 1969, whereas the World Wide Web dates from
1991. Still, the two are often spoken of as the same entity.
Similarly, a lot of people think the concept of open source arose
with Linux, or perhaps with Emacs, the popular editor and
programming environment. But like the World Wide Web, open source
finds its origins further back in time, and from different roots
than today’s most prominent causes célébres.”


Complete story
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