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Brief History of Open Source

Created: Sun Apr 02 2023

Last update: Wed Apr 05 2023

Estimated reading time2 min

Open source has its roots in the early days of computing, when many of the earliest software programs were developed by researchers and academics who shared their code freely with others. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that the concept of open source as we know it today began to take shape.

In 1983, Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation, which aimed to promote the use and development of free software. Stallman believed that software should be freely available to everyone, and that users should be able to modify and distribute the software as they saw fit.

In the early 1990s, the Linux operating system was developed by Linus Torvalds, who made the source code freely available to the public. This allowed other developers to contribute to the development of the operating system, which quickly became a popular alternative to proprietary operating systems like Microsoft Windows.

In 1998, the term “open source” was first used by a group of developers who wanted to promote the benefits of the collaborative, community-driven model of software development. This group included luminaries like Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, and Tim O’Reilly.

Since then, open source has become a major force in the software industry, with many of the world’s most popular software programs relying on open-source components. Open source has also spawned a wide range of communities and organizations that are dedicated to promoting open source and supporting open source developers.

Today, open source is widely recognized as a powerful model of software development that emphasizes collaboration, transparency, and community-driven development. It continues to evolve and grow, with new open-source projects and communities emerging all the time.

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