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The open source acid test

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1 Author(s)
T. Lewis ; Technol. Assessment Group, Salinas, CA, USA

In the late 1970s, AT&T openly licensed the source code for its fledgling Unix operating system to universities and government research labs. This move got Bill Joy and Sun Microsystems started and resulted in several other famous open source product developments such as sendmail and BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain). Over the next two decades, Unix took root and became the foundation for several prominent computer companies such as Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and SCO (Santa Cruz Operation). You can safely argue that Unix is partially responsible for the Internet as well, and it has certainly been instrumental in stimulating CAD/CAM software, chip design automation, and other technologies fundamental to computing. By literally giving away the source code-with restrictions-AT&T seeded several industries. Open source is the latest in a long line of fads that promise a software development panacea. The author considers whether it can survive the acid test of mainstream viability in the context of Linux

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 2 )