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History Of Open Source

This is a timeline-style look at how free and open-source software has evolved and existed from its inception. The phrase "free software" refers to software that is liberally licensed, allowing the end user more freedoms than conventional-software licences. This is not to be confused with software which is available to the end user at no cost, which is known as freeware. Free software may be distributed with or without charge.

Richard Stallman

  • In 1983, Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project to write a complete operating system free from constraints on use of its source code.
  • Particular incidents that motivated this include a case where an annoying printer couldn't be fixed because the source code was withheld from users. 
  • Stallman also published the GNU Manifesto, in 1985, to outline the GNU project's purpose and explain the importance of free software.
  • Another probable inspiration for the GNU project and its manifesto was a disagreement between Stallman and Symbolics, Inc. over MIT's access to updates Symbolics had made to its Lisp machine, which was based on MIT code.

Linus Torvalds

  • The Linux kernel, started by Linus Torvalds, was released as freely modifiable source code in 1991.

  • The license wasn't a free-software licence, but with version 0.12 in February 1992, Torvalds re-licensed the project under the GNU General Public License. 

  • Much like Unix, Torvalds' kernel attracted the attention of volunteer programmers. 

  • The combination of the almost-finished GNU operating system and the Linux kernel made the first complete free-software operating system. Among Linux distributions, Debian GNU/Linux, begun by Ian Murdock in 1993, is noteworthy for being explicitly committed to the GNU and FSF principles of free software. 

  • The Debian developers' principles are expressed in the Debian Social Contract. Since its inception, the Debian project has been closely linked with the FSF, and in fact was sponsored by the FSF for a year in 1994–1995. 

  • In 1997, former Debian project leader Bruce Perens also helped found Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit funding and support organization for various free-software projects. GNU/Linux remains free software under the terms of the GNU GPL, and many businesses offer customized Linux-based products, or distributions, with commercial support. 

  • The naming remains controversial. Referring to the complete system as simply "Linux" is common usage. However, the Free Software Foundation, and many others, advocate the use of the term "GNU/Linux", saying that it is a more accurate name for the whole operating system. 

Eric Raymond

  • In 1997, Eric Raymond published The Cathedral and the Bazaar, a reflective analysis of the hacker community and free-software principles.
  • The paper received significant attention in early 1998 and was one factor in motivating Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software. 
  • This code is today the basis for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.
  • Netscape's act prompted Raymond and others to look into how to bring free-software principles and benefits to the commercial-software industry. 
  • They concluded that FSF's social activism was not appealing to companies like Netscape, and looked for a way to rebrand the free-software movement to emphasize the business potential of the sharing of source code.

Matthias Ettrich

  • KDE was founded in 1996 by Matthias Ettrich, who was then a student at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. At the time, he was troubled by certain aspects of the Unix desktop. 
  • Among his concerns was that none of the applications looked, felt, or worked alike. 
  • He proposed the creation of not merely a set of applications but a desktop environment in which users could expect things to look, feel, and work consistently. He also wanted to make this desktop easy to use, one of his complaints about desktop applications of the time was that his girlfriend could not use them. 
  • His initial Usenet post spurred a lot of interest, and the KDE project was born. 
  • KDE is an international free software community producing an integrated set of cross-platform applications designed to run on Linux, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows, Solaris and Mac OS X systems. 
  • It is best known for its Plasma Desktop, a desktop environment provided as the default working environment on many Linux distributions, such as Kubuntu, Pardus and openSUSE


    Fadhli said...

    perfect and short to read..easy to understood..

    syahida said...

    information is complete and student easy to understand and learn

    azlynn said...

    good for student because it easy to learn and give more information about this chapter..

    4L gurlz said...


    By the end of this article, we learned more about the creator of open source software such as Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond and Mathias Eric. In addition, we get to know the main reason open source software been created. Moreover, we learned that more about phrase free software.

    Anonymous said...

    it's helpful for beginner like me who just using linux. thanks by the way

    Anonymous said...

    it's interesting........and it's great to know a litle about history........

    Anonymous said...

    it's interesting.......and great to know a litle about history about open source