Book: Open Sources - Voices from the Open Source Revolution
mixing with non-free software, private rendering of
modifications, and special privileges for original creators.
Legendary MIT hacker Richard Stallman advocates the sharing of
software the way recipes are shared. "The idea that the
proprietary software social system - the system that says you are
not allowed to share or change software - is antisocial, that it
is unethical, that it is simply wrong, may come as a surprise to
some readers," says the controversial founder of the Free
Software Movement, who created the GNU operating system and GNU
Open Source, which traces some of its roots to the Free Software
Movement, has built an image focusing more on features like
reliability of the new software model, and has also broadened its
discourse to include strategies of business viability.
"Created from open source software, the Internet has become a
fantastic enabler for the development of new open-source
software," says Michael Tiemann, founder of Cygnus Solutions, a
leading provider of open-source embedded compilers and debuggers.
The Internet's spectacular growth is a testament to the power of
this open standards model.
Addressing the software engineering impact of this new paradigm
of open, collaborative, internationally distributed model of
software development, Paul Vixie - head architect of the most
popular DNS implementation BIND - says that open-source software
enjoys the "best system-level testing in the industry," driven by
"real-world experiences of real users."
"An additional advantage enjoyed by open-source projects is the
peer review of dozens or hundreds of other programmers looking
for bugs by reading the source code rather than just by executing
packaged executables," according to Vixie.
"Software is not software without source code," according to
NASA, which needs the perfect reliability possible with the Linux
Larry Wall, author of the rn news reader for Unix as well as a
the Perl programming language (sometimes called the "duct tape of
the Internet"), identifies some of the seemingly contradictory
traits of open source developers: diligence, patience, and
humility as well as laziness, impatience and hubris.
Linux began as an operating system for only one architecture -
the Intel 386 - but today has millions of users, thousands of
developers and a growing market, according to Linux creator Linus