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Book: Open Sources - Voices from the Open Source Revolution

Emacs, Perl, Linux, FreeBSD, Apache, Sendmail, Fetchmail, BIND, X

Windows, and indeed much of the foundation of the global Internet

owe their origins to a remarkable model of economic development

for software and platforms called Open Source.

"Just as the early microcomputer pioneers set the stage for

today's industry, Open Source software has set the stage for the

drama that is just unfolding, and that will lead to a radical

re-shaping of the computer industry landscape over the next five

to ten years," predicts publisher Tim O'Reilly.

The viewpoints and analyses of many of the visionary pioneers

behind this burgeoning paradigm are collectively presented in

this highly readable and fascinating volume, which is a must for

anyone interested in the future of software and Internet-based

infoware services.

The editors are all active members of the Linux community, and

the contributors include Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Apache

co-founder Brian Behlendorf, IETF coordinator Scott Bradner,

Netscape vice president Jim Hamerly, publisher Tim O'Reilly, Open

Source evangelist Eric Steven Raymond, Free Software Movement

founder Richard Stallman, Perl author Larry Wall, and former Red

Hat CEO Robert Young.

"Today, organic chemistry, molecular biology, and basic medical

research are not practiced as a craft by a small body of

practitioners, but pursued as an industry. Computer science, too,

must exist in an uneasy alliance with industry. Once new ideas

came primarily from academic computer scientists; now the

computer industry drives innovation forward," the editors begin.

Eric Raymond, author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," traces

the growth, evolution and convergence between three streams of

programmers: those who worked on the DEC PDP-10s of the 1960s and

70s, the Unix and C hackers of the 1970s and 1980s, and the

microcomputer enthusiasts of the 1980s and 1990s.

Online communities facilitated by bulletin board systems, Usenet,

and later the Internet helped form a critical mass of software

developers who preferred to cooperatively develop new platforms

and languages based on free and open sharing of the original

source code, spawning what would be later called the Open Source


A license for open source software allows users to freely

re-distribute the source code, and modify it or include "patch

files" for changes. Variations in licenses arise over issues like