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Freely available source code, with contributions from thousands of programmers around the world:….It is described as a grass roots revolution. The age of freely available source code for all, developed by thousands of programmers around the world for anyone to access has dawned.
As the editors point out, science is an ultimately Open Source enterprise. Why not computer programs?
For in the end the discovery process must be served by the sharing of information to enable others to go where one cannot.
In this revealing book, 14 of the acknowledged leaders of the Open Source revolution present a reasoned and powerful argument to sustain a new type of software industry powered by people who themselves do not see programming as work but as a satisfying intellectual exercise. It’s an attitude which has helped lead to exciting developments now used worldwide–among them the fast growing Linux operating system, Emacs, described as the world’s best editor and Perl, now the most popular of all scripting languages.
For the computer user Open Source brings what Bruce Perens of Open Source Initiative describes as a bill of rights–free upgrades when you need them, free switch of software when changing from Mac to PC being among them.
And he highlights the fact that those who don’t make their programs Open Source now find it difficult to compete with those who do.
All in all, an intriguing look at revolution that in time will affect every computer user. A thought provoking read. —Stuart Russell