Welcome to Open Source 2.0
There is no doubt that 3 February 1998 was a historic day. For it was then, at a meeting in Mountain View, that a small group led by Eric Raymond came up with the term “open source” as an alternative to the description “free software”. The question is, will history count 21 June 2007 as another such pivotal moment – the day that Open Source 2.0 was born?
The meeting in Mountain View was held because some believed it was time to move on from Richard Stallman’s crusade for freedom through free software, and to adopt a more pragmatic approach. Doing so, the argument went, would make free software/open source more attractive to business users who were more interested in efficiency than ideology.
For Stallman, of course, this re-branding exercise was little less than a betrayal of everything he had fought for. He had called his movement “free software” precisely so that freedom would be foregrounded; open source turned that idea on its head, making what had been the means – better software – into the end itself.
Whatever your position in that debate, there is no denying that free software/open source has now well and truly entered the mainstream. Alongside traditional success stories such as Apache and GNU/Linux, projects like Firefox and OpenOffice.org have shown that it is possible for free software to take on market leaders and steadily gain market share.
Read more: Linux Journal