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A Brief History of Open Source Software, Part 3: The FOSS Environment Today

Jan 13, 2020, 08:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Updegrove)

In this third and final installment, I survey the rich landscape of hosting organizations, platforms and supporting tools that support the development of FOSS today. In its simplest form, FOSS development requires almost no traditional economic, physical or management support. All that is needed is a place to host code in a manner that allows multiple developers to collaborate on its further development. As FOSS has become more commercially valuable and widely incorporated into vendor and customer strategic plans, however, additional layers of services and structures have evolved to allow FOSS development to become more efficient and robust and the user experience even more productive. These include training, a growing certification testing network, a variety of tools to assist in legal compliance matters, and a network of hosting entities providing a wide range of supporting services and frameworks. The development of these tools has been an important factor in allowing the commercial marketplace to rapidly evolve from a closed, proprietary world to one heavily based on OSS.

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