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Open source computer software is nominally owned by one individual or entity and then licensed out according to an open source license; the license gives the user free use of the software as well access to the source code, so that the software can then be further developed by whoever is interested. Among the works that explore and justify open source development is a series of works by Eric Raymond which include the [Cathedral and the Bazaar]? and [Homesteading the Noosphere]?.

The [open source movement]? is a large movement of programmers and other computer users to give easy access to computer software. It grew out of the Free software movement, and the line between the two is somewhat blurry. In general, the Free software movement is based upon political and philosophical ideals, while open source proponents tend to focus on pragmatic matters. They assert that this licensing allows for a superior software development process, and therefore is not at all incompatible with egoism.

The term "open source" should only be applied to software that meets the terms of the Open Source Definition.


Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, Paul Vixie, Richard Stallman

Projects and Organizations:

Slackware Linux Inc., Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Open Source Initiative, OSDN, Mozilla

Companies Involved in Open Source Development:

Apple, Caldera?, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems

Examples of Open Source Licenses:

BSD License, GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser Public License, MIT License

For a more extensive list, see Open source license

[Open Source Software]?:

GNU/Emacs, TeX, VIM, Apache, XFree86, the GIMP, PHP, Zope, KDE, Gnome, Linux, Mozilla


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Last edited November 22, 2001 5:35 am by Chenyu (diff)