Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: A History of "Open Source"

Author:Brett Glass
Posted:8/27/2000; 9:14:46 PM
Topic:A History of "Open Source"
Msg #:20379 (In response to 19844)
Prev/Next:20378 / 20380

Just looked back at this history, which was posted before Dave mentioned this discussion to me. It is incorrect in that it starts with Richard Stallman. In fact, there is a much older tradition of open source software which includes such programs as BIND, Sendmail, BSD, X, and others. Stallman came relatively late to the party, and when he did, he attempted to destroy the spirit of cooperation between colleagues by attempting to turn open source into a weapon against commercial software developers. He first targeted Symbolics, an MIT AI Lab spinoff, for destruction, attempting to kill the company by producing no-cost equivalents of its products. He later broadened his agenda to include all commercial developers.

In the same way that he attempted to claim credit for the Linux phenomenon by renaming it "GNU/Linux," Stallman has attempted to become known as the originator of open source. He wasn't, and his mean-spirited efforts to destroy commercial developers have polluted the spirit of sharing which originally existed in the community. The story in the message above this one reflects Stallman's convenient revision of history.

--Brett Glass

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