Samuel James Murphy
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    Samuel James Murphy Samuel James Murphy Document Transcript

    • The Open Source: Understanding the Pheomenon Samuel James Murphy Ford Forum April 28, 2009 Professor Carolyn Johnston Eckerd College
    • Murphy 2 Open source has been described as a movement, a revolution, a community, and a rebellion.(Behlendorf et al. 11) The term brings images to mind of computer-savvy techno-geeks sitting in darkened rooms alone, staring into computer screens for hours on end. Open source is almost synonymous with software development and computer programming. While these preconceptions may be accurate in some cases, as most blanket assumptions do, they miss key defining elements of what the term “open source” means. It is a broad, wide-spanning concept for development of ideas, but more than that open source refers to a philosophy of sorts. More importantly it refers to a new way of approaching problems that have plagued the progress of human innovation for centuries. Depending almost entirely on the expertise and willingness to contribute of random strangers, open source projects have redefined and reinvented the art and science of collaboration. These projects have brought together individuals from every corner of the globe and from every walk of life; unifying them in a single purpose, to improve existing technologies and methods. With contributions from novices and experts, students and Ph.D.s, spending as much or as little time as they can afford, products have emerged to rival those produced by large multi-national, multi-billion dollar firms. Open source has made its mark and will continue to do so in the years to come. These ideas however are not brand new. Free exchange of information, close collaboration, and respect for original thought and new ideas have always been hallmarks of a good educational system. The academic realm is built not on the philosophy of competition, but on that of the collective efforts of all willing participants to ensure progress toward a unified goal. Education has long been understood as a responsibility that a community has to itself. Many open source philosophers have fought for the same approach to be applied to technological development.
    • Murphy 3 What is open source? A major cornerstone of any capitalist society is the protection of intellectual property. Within such a society, a guarantee of such protection is often viewed as a necessary motivation for innovation. It is widely believed that in order to achieve and maintain a fertile environment for technological progress, these protections must be strictly upheld and enforced. This ideology of protection has been manifested into modern copyright laws enacted by every major government of our global society. The term “open source” comes from early developers of software that shared their “source code” freely. This source code is at the heart of any software program and is what makes it unique. It represents the core intellectual property of any software product. If this argument for the necessity of intellectual property protections is to be assumed, how then can we reconcile the success of the modern movement of open source development practices within the software development community and others? (Weber 2) The idea of open source development seems to be at odds with traditional ideas of property rights. To make use of Steven Weber's analogy, Coca-Cola does not include a copy of its formula on the can, and because this formula can not be derived from the final product, the company's property is protected. The product of research and development for Coca-Cola is not what comes in the can or bottle; it is the formula that enables them to produce it. Similarly, the product of a software design firm is not the software product as it’s distributed (usually in a binary code not readable by anyone but a computer), but the source code as it’s written by the firm's programmers. This source code, if revealed, could be understood and modified by anyone fluent in the language in which it is written. The software product itself can not be dissected in this way, however, so the product of investment by the company is protected. (Weber 4)
    • Murphy 4 In the alternative model of software design now widely referred to as open source the source code, the formula for producing and modifying the software product, is included right along with the final product itself. It is not hard to imagine that if Coca-Cola were to begin distributing copies of its secret formula with every bottle of Coke purchased, the results would most likely be to the detriment of the company's profits. It is amazing then, that software companies who provide this code with their products can still maintain steady profits; in some cases higher than those of a firm who employs more traditional practices. In order to understand this, the origin of this seemingly counterintuitive method of development must be explored. Where did open source come from? What we call open source development today traces its roots as far back as computers themselves. In fact, it is conceivable and perhaps could even be shown that what could be considered a form of open source collaboration took place on technological development projects much earlier. However, if that is the case, no such examples survived the expansion of their respective technology. Software remains the sole medium that has sustained an open source community alongside a proprietary, centrally-driven one dominated by large corporations. Why this is makes for an interesting discussion which will be pursued later in this paper. In the early 1950's computers were in their infancy. Not only were they large underpowered and complex machines, but those who used them were few and far between. The community of programmers—the only users of computers in those days, as one had to know how to program a computer in order to use it—were close knit. It was a small community and it was therefore natural for collaboration to take place in order to facilitate faster development of new ideas. The early days of computer and software development have been characterized as a group
    • Murphy 5 of people who would rush to one another after any substantial breakthrough to share what had been discovered (Moody 26). Help would also be sought from colleagues whenever a solution could not easily be found. This is perhaps not unique to this particular emerging technology. What is unique is that this group collaboration continued into the era of commercialization of computers and software. By the 1970's computers had proliferated. No longer were computers restricted to the Department of Defense and its contractors by astronomical price tags. Now universities and commercial institutions could afford to pursue computer-based research. The demand for a powerful and standardized operating system (OS)—the foundation of a computer's software on top of which all other programs are run—led to the creation of Unix by a researcher at then AT&T-owned Bell Labs.(Weber 25) The ensuing battle that raged for the next 20 years over rights and restrictions regarding Unix provides interesting insight into the strengths of, and complex problems facing open source as a philosophy. Originally written by one man in one month’s time, Unix would eventually become the operating system of choice for labs and universities world wide. AT&T’s Bell Labs was the first establishment to make use of Unix. It served simply as a pet project for a small number of their developers until it was licensed in 1974. The University of California at Berkeley was among the first institutions to embrace Unix. Over the next decade researchers at UC Berkeley modified and refined their own version of Unix, the Berkeley Software Distribution or BSD, and distributed it alongside the AT&T version. Initially the two teams and their respective institutions had no qualms about sharing ideas and advancing their respective versions of Unix. However, when AT&T made the decision to commercialize Unix in 1983, Berkeley developers faced a problem: they could not legally distribute their version of Unix as much of the code was protected property
    • Murphy 6 under AT&T’s new license. The solution to this problem was to be the first mass collaboration between software developers across vast distances using a computer network similar, although far more primitive, to the modern internet. Over 400 individual programmers submitted code to the team in Berkeley. Almost the entire Unix operating system had to be rewritten. Three developers in Berkeley spent countless hours reviewing, editing, modifying, and reworking all the pieces together. The final result of their tireless determination was re-released in the same manner as before, under the same open license and with the source code included. The Berkeley Software Distribution of Unix would go on to become the basis for Linux and Mac OS. (Weber 27-38) While these two different philosophies regarding the development of Unix, and their respective licenses (the liberal BSD license, and the restrictive, proprietary license of AT&T and others) stand in stark contrast to one another, there is yet a third philosophy that emerged in the late 20th century regarding the concept of open source software development. Richard Stallman was working at MIT in 1979 when a problem with a new printer prompted him to carefully consider his stance on computer programming. The printer malfunctioned and he was denied the source code by the manufacturer. Unable to fix the printer himself, Stallman was frustrated by the evident ridiculousness of proprietary software design. To him, programming software was not simply a utilitarian endeavor; it was a workman's craft. It was something to take pride in and to pursue for the simple fulfillment of a completed job. Source code was something to be shared and talked over with colleagues; to collaborate on and improve upon. If something doesn't work, those who are available should get together and solve the problem. But here he was, being told that he can't fix his own printer because to give him the information he needed to do so would jeopardize the intellectual property of the company who
    • Murphy 7 manufactured the printer. (Weber 43) Stallman's views of computer programming were that of a community service. Designing software should be done by a community, and for a community. To him, programming was a form of expression to be shared, not to be hidden and clung to. This led Stallman to eventually resign from MIT to pursue what he dubbed “Free Software.” The term “Free” here can be misleading. Stallman has gone to great pains to explain that “free” is meant as a description of the freedom that should come with a software program, and not that software shouldn't cost any money. (Behlendorf et al. 77) However the meaning of the phrase has unfortunately been skewed. Stallman laid out this explanation and his ideals on what freedoms should be included with software products in his General Public License (GPL). Within this license several applications, utilities, and other programs have been written by Stallman and others under the GNU (a recursive acronym: GNU's Not Unix) project. GNU was originally intended to be a free software replacement for the Unix OS, but Stallman and members of the open source community that rallied to him and his Free Software Foundation, were initially bogged down creating other programs under the GPL to run on non-free Unix. (Weber 44) This history of just one major piece of computer software, albeit an incredibly prolific one, has given us many interesting viewpoints to consider in the open source debate. From one standpoint it would seem that no commercial venture can be successful without some amount of propriety. One can bring up the argument of added value. If a final product is more valuable than its constituents, than it has the potential to be a viable product. Upon providing this added value by modifying and improving a source code, how can any serious programmer ignore the viability of his product. From the AT&T example one may come to the conclusion that a commercially viable product can not remain free forever. It either must increase in price, decrease in value, or
    • Murphy 8 both. AT&T could not ignore the viability of Unix indefinitely. In fact, if it weren't for legal action restricting them, AT&T may have commercialized Unix sooner. Also apparent, is the battle and seemingly mutual exclusion of open source and proprietary software. It seems that open source is a great way for a software project to start, but commercialization and proprietary products are almost always the end result. Open source takes shape in the history of Richard Stallman and the FSF more like a philosophy and less like a method for software development. Indeed the success of an open source project depends on the shared belief in such a philosophy. If there was no one who believed in the prospect of community solutions to community problems, open source projects would not exist. Why should open source exist any way? In a capitalist society, the assumption is made that the promise of wealth and prosperity drive innovation. The ideology behind our country’s free market system is that competition, not collaboration, breeds technological advancement. For volunteers on an open source project, there is no promise of receiving even a small piece of a larger pie. The pie simply does not exist. The most a contributor can hope for is to have there name listed among hundreds if not thousands buried deep within the source code. It would seem that motivation for open source projects is lacking. Even if a significant number of satisfactory volunteers agree to collaborate on a project, there are unique challenges that face open source projects. Within a corporate-structured research and development lab, there exists a functional hierarchy that facilitates the division of labor, and the transfer of information between the different aspects of the project. Surely having a large group of private programmers, all of varying skill, working on essentially whichever part of the project they wish could never make any sort of efficient progress toward a goal. Even if assignments are made directly and feedback is given to these private developers, what authority
    • Murphy 9 does any one particular contributor have over another? Since no one has any real stake in the project they are free to walk away whenever they choose. If all this is true, how then can open source projects ever be completed, let alone on a schedule and with a quality comparable to the products of industrial software firms? Yet software continues to be developed this way. For years now programmers have sought each other out, initially within their own labs and labs of acquaintances, and now on the internet, to collaborate together on new projects and to improve upon old ones. If such a collaborative spirit is embedded within us all, one would expect to see open source practices taking place in other areas. Software however, does have some unique qualities. Development of any new idea always includes some inherent costs. If you invent some new technology, an investment is required to begin production. With software however, products can be developed for little or no cost. Anyone can simply write code and run it. If it performs a task well and there is a potential demand, one can distribute the software. Copying software costs virtually nothing. Today in fact, when anyone can turn on their computer and download a copy of a software program from the internet, the cost is literally nothing. There are few other industries that share this property of free distribution, and there are few other industries that have gained so much from mass collaboration. Collaboration is always part of the design phase for any new technology. Colleagues usually seek one another’s opinion regarding new ideas. At some point however, the viability of the idea or technology becomes apparent and the decision to commercialize is made. From that point, intellectual property is usually fiercely protected. The software development community started this way, but the decision to commercialize for some was not partnered with a decision to protect intellectual property. Many firms certainly
    • Murphy 10 saw the advantage of protection and commercialization but open source communities endured and competed. While free distribution certainly seems to be a unique quality, there is no simple answer as to why open source has maintained steam within the realm of programming and not anywhere else. However, the firm belief in a philosophy of software as a community project to benefit the community has stood up to larger proprietary corporations and has stood the test of time. Or perhaps there is just no reason for open source to end in the software industry. If the product can be distributed digitally, any number of users could theoretically be supported without additional cost. This would mean that a finite number of developers could maintain a software program for an unlimited amount of users. In most industries, for each consumer purchase of a product, there is an associated production cost to the manufacturer. This is not necessarily the case with software. No one can argue that a survey of all owners of personal computers would show any substantial margin of open source operating systems. While open source operating systems for PCs do exist, and there are a number of users who make use of them, it would be inaccurate to suggest that these users register in any significant numbers. As consumers we tend to think that our computing experience is facilitated only by the machine that we touch and stare into. In reality however, a modern computing experience involves several different types of computers, working in several different ways, all at the same time. As it turns out, a majority of these computers make use of open source software. While recent declines have been reported, open source operating systems account for at least 60% of all active server operating systems. (“The Rise of Linux”) This includes Apache and Linux systems primarily, but also BSD and its derivatives as well as legacy Unix systems. Many of these systems are simply maintained and
    • Murphy 11 updated by in-house programmers that work for the company that owns the servers. In addition to operating systems, several of the most popular applications and utilities in use in large corporations and on servers are open source, such as: BIND, MySQL, and Sendmail. Several large companies make use of Linux-based operating systems including animation companies like Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, large bank databases at E*Trade, (former) Merrill Lynch, Reuters. Several state governments have recently began the process of automating government IT systems using Linux and other open source software. Several departments within the federal government use Linux as their core OS. Mac OS X, the proprietary operating system used in Apple Inc. computers and the now popular iPhone, is based on the Unix operating system. The popular internet search engine, Google, makes use of Linux in all of its servers. Mozilla products including FireFTP, the Thunderbird e-mail client, and the highly popular Firefox browser are all open source programs. (Weber 21) The Mozilla website clearly states that source code for any of its products is available online ( If we are to believe that open source development is some how inferior to centralized proprietary software development, than we would not expect products of this less efficient process to be so widely employed. It is apparent that an open source approach can yield superior products. One must also not forget that “open source” and “free software” does not mean that companies can not charge for it. There is no inherent reason that an open source software company can not be highly successful. While any company would find it difficult to eclipse the software giants of the 1990's and early 2000's, open source, or at least forms of the philosophy, is making its way into highly successful business models. Where is open source going?
    • Murphy 12 In the 1990’s, the popularity of the Unix operating system was eclipsed by Microsoft’s DOS and Apple’s Mac OS. (Moody 66) Luckily for volunteer programmers and fans of free software, Linux quickly took up the mantle of the OS on which it was based. Personal computers in the late 1990’s ran mostly Windows and later versions of the Mac OS. In the mainstream realm of personal computer operating systems, open source products were almost nonexistent. Linux however, has endured is now gaining ground. As frequently happens with open source systems, Linux finds itself divided. There is not one singular version of Linux. Over the years, several open source developers have seen fit to take linux in a different direction than it was heading. Under the liberal GPL license, they were free to modify and redistribute the code as they saw fit. Thus today there are several major, and countless minor, distributions of the Linux operating system. In this way, there is generally a Linux distribution that is satisfactorily suited to almost any hardware situation. While this is in many ways a benefit to users of Linux as they have more options to suit their own individual needs, many potential users have found the lack of standardization and the potential for difficulties in hardware support too much to make the switch from traditional proprietary systems. One realm in which Linux has gained recent popularity is among small, low-powered notebook computers commonly referred to as “netbooks.” Several major manufacturers now offer various Linux distributions as an alternative to more robust, and therefore slower, operating systems such as Windows XP. In this way, open source software has moved slightly more into the mainstream. Once a world that belonged solely to the hackers and underground programmers, open source is slowly making its way into the spotlight. A recent earnings statement released by Microsoft, has shown that the companies profits have fallen, in comparison with the previous year and quarter, for the first time since the company went public in 1986. Many analysts and
    • Murphy 13 professionals in the field have cited the popularity of open source operating systems such as Linux on these low-powered machines as one possible factor in Microsoft’s downturn (Goldman). The software industry is not strictly divided into proprietary companies and open source communities. Increasingly, large mainstream, traditionally centralized companies are embracing open source-inspired practices as well. Some progressive companies have shown that a successful proprietary business can benefit from utilizing certain open source practices. One major drawback on the proprietary model of software development is that software engineers within one company don't have access to programming solutions that were dreamed up at another. This serves an obvious purpose to maintain intellectual property rights and motivate innovation, but in many cases this results in a new idea or technology having to be unnecessarily re-engineered in each firm. This is inefficient. Instead of focusing on new ideas and driving innovation, companies are forced into a pointless race to solve a problem that doesn't breed new ideas, but simply wastes time and resources. Open source communities are inherently immune to this dilemma. Since all work is shared the amount of times that any developer must “re-invent the wheel” is drastically reduced. Some traditionally proprietary companies are realizing that this problem of wheel reinvention is unnecessary. One such instance is the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Founded in late 2007, the OHA is a group of 47 major mobile phone carriers, mobile hardware companies, software design companies, and semi-conductor companies that formed with their express goal to “accelerate innovation in mobile [technologies] and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience.” The first result of this alliance was a software product called Android. Android is a mobile operating system promising unparalleled openness and availability for
    • Murphy 14 adaptation. The Android OS is in fact an open source project. The source code is widely available free of charge and contributions to the software can be submitted for review by engineers working for the companies.(“Open Handset Alliance.”) While perhaps not the first open source venture pursued by a chiefly proprietary company, the OHA represents the largest. Never before has such an esteemed group of large companies come together to produce an open source product. The OHA includes Google, T-Mobile, Garmin, Motorola, LG, Samsung, HTC, Sprint Nextel, Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, eBay, Intel, Broadcom, and ARM just to name a few. Such an alliance represents a powerhouse of engineering possibilities. It would certainly seem that the appeal of open source collaboration did not go unnoticed. Implications Several companies, most of which had little to no experience with open source development, have at least in some way embraced open source as a path to new innovation and ideas. The technological environment is always changing. As new companies emerge, those who resist adaptation fade away. If open source continues on its current path and captures a permanent stronghold within the programming community, it may only be a matter of time before we see the philosophy taking root in other areas of innovation. Many have called open source an opponent to a free market, capitalist society. It rejects traditional ideas about property protection, and indeed redefines property itself. But in some sense, an open source society would be perhaps the most entrepreneurial. What better way can be imagined for anyone with a decent idea and the confidence to put it forth to rise from the ranks and become an important leader of innovation? The negative effects however, can not be ignored. It has been seen that the vast majority
    • Murphy 15 of users of open source software do not contribute. Open source projects depend on contributions from their users. If open source became too commonplace, the fear of far too many free riders and not enough contributors could be a real one. But if the cost doesn't escalate for each subsequent user, than perhaps such a fear is unfounded. One thing is certain. The philosophy of cooperation is on the rise. From the OHA, to alliances between Microsoft—the classic case of a proprietary software developer—and wireless carriers and mobile manufacturers, collaboration is gaining momentum in every direction. Education The education realm, particularly that of higher education, has always been founded on the principles of collaboration. Open source practices may in fact have their roots in colleges and universities around the globe. But with the ideology of open source and collaboration, coupled with an increase in telecommunications resources and the improved ease of media sharing in the internet age, the way Education is pursued in homes and on campuses across the world is changing. It is now easier than ever to share a lecture with an individual, a class, or the masses at large. More and more universities are taking part in various opportunities to publish and stream audio and video lectures to any and all who care to listen. An example of one such technology is the popular media program from Apple Inc. iTunes. Included with the free download of the iTunes software from Apple is access to the iTunes store. Within the store is a section that Apple has called iTunesU. This section of the store houses videos of lectures from hundreds of schools all across the country. Anyone with a computer can now enjoy a lecture on linear algebra from a tenured professor at MIT. Not just a sub-par poorly scripted and rehearsed version of a lecture as
    • Murphy 16 what was once available for a price on traditional media, but a reasonably high-quality normal lecture, students included. Numerous subjects and disciplines are available from a wide range of institutions, and each course is presented in full; every lecture in the course. Furthermore, this is all available at no cost to the user. This case poses many of the same concerns inherent in any open source endeavor. Most notably, why should a student pay a substantial amount of tuition each year to attend an Ivy League school when anyone can receive perhaps the same education, certainly the same instruction, for free? From a protectionist point of view, this could be seen as rendering a degree useless. If the same lecture “property” is available to everyone, the value of the lecture would surely be diminished. A school must secure its property against the prying eyes and ears of those who have not purchased the right to enjoy it. The idea of an institution securing its intellectual property against outsiders of course sounds ridiculous. Colleges and Universities have always been founded on principles of openness, free thought, and collaboration between great minds. Any protectionist measures would undermine these beliefs. These ideals are at the heart of the open source philosophy. They are the foundation for the argument of proliferation of open source practices, and they have their roots in education. It has indeed always been the goal of educators to broaden their audience and influence so that the information they have to share can reach as many minds as possible. New technology has made this goal an easily achieved reality for anyone with a computer and a connection to the internet. There was once a time when scholarly journals resided only in the reference section of a library. They were limited in number and in accessibility. Today it is easy to access these publications online through a variety of open access websites, the largest and most popular of
    • Murphy 17 which being Google Scholar. While advances in network technology and the internet created the potential for such widely accessible information, it has been a continued return to the open philosophy of education that has maintained and expanded upon the availability of scholarly information on the internet. (Sunstein 101) Beyond academic publications open source practices have introduced a concept that has exploded onto the mainstream and has had a vast effect on education as well as business practices. The online Oxford English Dictionary defines a wiki as “A type of web page designed so that its content can be edited by anyone who accesses it, using a simplified markup language.” Wikis, originally named for a Hawaiian word meaning “quick,” have revolutionized information collaboration on local networks and on the public internet. Perhaps the most famous wiki site is the popular, user-editable online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Users can find information on almost any topic imaginable. Users are encouraged to create any topic they cannot find, and edit any article they find inaccurate. While Wikipedia does employ moderators and programming techniques in an effort to minimize illegitimate and inaccurate information, the bulk of the editing is performed by those who access the site externally. Obvious questions have arisen as to the creditability of information obtained from a website that allows and encourages its users to freely edit whenever they see fit. Many schools have enacted strict policies against using information obtained from Wikipedia on formal research papers. ("How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories | OEDb.") Much in the same way that society has often discredited the legitimacy and quality of products developed in an open source environment, so have several institutions called in to question the integrity of the information published on what is essentially an open source encyclopedia. While some may disapprove, Wikipedia has grown to incredible proportions. With over 75,000 active contributors, Wikipedia
    • Murphy 18 has expanded to include over 10 million articles, almost 3 million of which are in English; all of this since the websites conception in 2001("Wikipedia:About - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."). With websites like Wikipedia and access to virtually the entire web enabled by search engines like Google, the internet has become a stockpile of information. There are incredibly few questions that cannot be answered in some manner by a quick search of the internet. From various sites and in various ways over the past decade and a half, the internet itself has almost become an informational open source project in and of itself. The academic realm is still trying to find its bearings in a world in which the way we access information is changing at a constantly accelerating pace. The faster that we progress, the more uncertain the future becomes. Education has always been quick to adapt. Much of the innovation that drives our incessant progress is dreamed up in a classroom or lab on a university campus. It is not so difficult to see the bonds tying the academic world to the commercial world and to the world in which we all live. It is not a stretch then to imagine that education will continue to morph and change as the information landscape changes. If recent history is any indication it seems that these changes will likely include an increased emphasis on close collaboration within large communities through the use of better and more advanced technologies. Proprietary commercial production and development will not likely ever be eclipsed by open source endeavors. However we will most likely continue to see an increase in open collaboration between individuals and even larger corporations. It seems that the benefits of increased productivity and a decrease in redundant engineering are not easily overlooked by even the most competitive of companies. Finding the right balance between open development and
    • Murphy 19 proprietary design and production will continue to be a challenge facing modern organizations. Competing in an ever changing landscape is never without such difficulties. We can hope that when that perfect balance is finally achieved, all of us will benefit.
    • Murphy 20 Works Cited Behlendorf, Brian, Scott Bradner, Richard Stallman, Mark Stone, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Paul Vixie, Larry Wall, Bob Young, Chris Dibona, Jim Hamerly, Kirk Mckusick, Tim O'Reilly, Sam Ockman, Tom Paquin, Bruce Perens, and Eric Raymond. Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (O'Reilly Open Source). Sebastopol: O'Reilly Media, Inc., 1999. Goldman, David. "Microsoft's profit sinks 32% - Apr. 23, 2009 ." Business, financial, personal finance news - 25 Apr. 2009 < postversion=2009042316>. "How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories | OEDb." Online Education Database - Online Colleges and Universities | OEDb. 17 Apr. 2009 < education-10-success-stories>. "Macintosh: System Software Version History." Apple - Support. 27 Apr. 2009 <>. Moody, Glyn. Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution. New York: Basic Books, 2001. "Open Handset Alliance." Open Handset Alliance. 28 Apr. 2009 <>. Sunstein, Cass R.. Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2006.
    • Murphy 21 "The Rise Of Linux - IT Channel - IT Channel News by CRN." Channel News, Technology News and Reviews for VARs and Technology Integrators--ChannelWeb. 15 Apr. 2009 < channel/18825181;jsessionid=U2JCYDN1YGMCGQSNDLOSKHSCJUNN2JVN>. Weber, Steven. The Success of Open Source. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. "Wikipedia:About - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Apr. 2009 <>.