The development of Open Source software has gone from mediocre alternatives to paid software at the very beginning to stand-alone complex solutions at the end. Now they are used not only in the private, but also in the professional sphere. However, this path was long.

In the 1970s, American universities like MIT, Berkeley, and Stanford flourished a culture of hacking. It was the norm for students and staff to post their code publicly to exchange ideas and suggestions for improvement.

In these circles, the main role played Richard Stallman – In 1983, he launched the GNU project and introduced the “General Public License” under which most free software runs today. Two years later, he founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which advocates for the freedom of computer users.

Thus, the concept of “free software” was formed. The idea was not so much to offer free software, but to create a whole society involved in the development of technology.

Another pioneer of this movement was Linus Torvalds, the driving force behind the Linux project, which first saw the light of day in 1992. Today, its free operating system has overgrown with countless offshoots such as Ubuntu, Debian and others installed around the world in educational institutions. Only in 1998, with the advent of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), a concept was formulated that defines open source software.

And although the designations “free software” and “Open Source” are practically interchangeable, the FSF emphasizes the difference in philosophy: while free software should be understood as a social movement, in the case of Open Source it is more about development methods and practical use. .

Digital Revolt: How Free Software Was BornRecognition, however, went to the latter term – so much so that the ideas of openness and free access were transferred to other areas of life: the concept of Open Content (open content), for example, is applied to knowledge in the public domain, as suggested by Wikipedia.

Mention should also be made of Open Space-style labs, such as the Fab Lab workshops, where everyone has access to 3D printers or CNC routers. Millions of tools are downloaded from dedicated platforms, including GitHub and SourceForge, and thousands are developed collaboratively.

A photo: manufacturing companies


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