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  1. 1. Open Source Phenomena Mohsen Saboorian <mohsen@zekr.org>
  2. 2. What is Free Software? <ul><li>A software which grants some special rights to the user </li></ul><ul><li>Gratis v.s. Free (līber) </li></ul><ul><li>RMS basic freedom: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Free Software v.s. Open Source <ul><li>Open Design </li></ul><ul><li>Open Format </li></ul><ul><li>Open Standard </li></ul><ul><li>Raymond’s Goodbye, “free software”; hello, “open source” </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Quick History <ul><li>GNU’s Not Unix (GNU) </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source Initiatives (OSI) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christine Peterson and Eric Raymond first applied in in the late 1997 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The term “Open source code” first appeared here: Rosen, K., Rosinski, R., Farber, J., Host, D., UNIX System V Release 4: An Introduction, 2nd Edition, Osborne, 1996 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. A Quick History (cont.) <ul><li>Hardware-centric free software (50s, 60s): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SHARE (A user group for the IBM 701) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DECUS (Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Users Group) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ADR first patented his software on 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>In 1969 the US Department of Justice charged IBM with destroying businesses by bundling free software with IBM hardware. As a result of this suit, IBM unbundled its software; that is, software became independent products separate from hardware. </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Gate’s 1976 “Open Letter to Hobbyists”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what hackers called “sharing” was, in his words, “stealing” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. GNU Project
  7. 7. GNU Project <ul><li>In 1983, Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project to write a complete free operating system </li></ul><ul><li>In 1989, some GNU developers formed the company Cygnus Solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>The GNU project's kernel, later called &quot;GNU Hurd&quot;, was continually delayed, but most other components were completed by 1991. Some of these, especially the GNU Compiler Collection, had become market leaders in their own right. The GNU Debugger and GNU Emacs were also notable successes. </li></ul><ul><li>The Linux kernel, started by Linus Torvalds, was released as freely modifiable source code in 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>Torvalds licence wasn't exactly a free software licence, but with version 0.12 of the kernel in February 1992, he relicensed the project under the GNU General Public License. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Cathedral and Bazaar <ul><li>Open Source Manifesto: Raymond, E., The cathedral and the bazaar: musings on Linux and Open Source by an accidental revolutionary, Revised Edition, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>On fetchmail project (p. 38) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I released early and often (almost never less often than every 10 days; during periods of intense development, once a day). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I grew my beta list by adding to it everyone who contacted me about fetchmail. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I sent chatty announcements to the beta list whenever I released, encouraging people to participate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I listened to my beta-testers, polling them about design decisions and stroking them whenever they sent in patches and feedback. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Cathedral and Bazaar (cont.) <ul><li>Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch . </li></ul><ul><li>Linux world behaves in many respects like a free market or an ecology, a collection of selfish agents attempting to maximize utility, which in the process produces a self-correcting spontaneous order more elaborate and efficient than any amount of central planning could have achieved. (p. 52) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cathedral and Bazaar (cont.) <ul><li>The ‘‘utility function’’ Linux hackers are maximizing is not classically economic, but is the intangible of their own ego satisfaction and reputation among other hackers. (One may call their motivation ‘‘altruistic’’, but this ignores the fact that altruism is itself a form of ego satisfaction for the altruist.) Voluntary cultures that work this way are not actually uncommon; one other in which I have long participated is science fiction fandom, which unlike hackerdom has long explicitly recognized ‘‘egoboo’’ (ego-boosting, or the enhancement of one’s reputation among other fans) as the basic drive behind volunteer activity. (p. 53) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cathedral and Bazaar (cont.) <ul><li>Both the fetchmail and Linux kernel projects show that by properly rewarding the egos of many other hackers, a strong developer/coordinator can use the Internet to capture the benefits of having lots of co-developers without having a project collapse into a chaotic mess. (p. 54) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Bezroukov’s Critics <ul><li>Linux security design problems </li></ul><ul><li>Many problems already solved in Unix </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft beta-testing </li></ul><ul><li>Linux: Cathedral model: Torvald’s dictatorship </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Brooks, Frederik P., The mythical man-month: essays on software engineering, 20th anniversary ed., 1995. </li></ul><ul><li>Broox law: </li></ul><ul><li>Raymond’s rejection of the law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Halo developers (working in parallel) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bezroukov’s critic </li></ul>
  14. 14. Fagel: on the Open Source <ul><li>Fagel, K., Producing Open Source software, 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>SVN author </li></ul><ul><li>Most (sf.net: 90-95%) of Open Source projects fail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Download hit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mailing list and user community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of project plan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The importance of management </li></ul>
  15. 15. Importance of Cathedral <ul><li>IBM and Eclipse ecosystem (initial $40M investment): now over 150 software company with 1200+ developers from 63 different countries </li></ul><ul><li>Java and Open Source community </li></ul><ul><li>MySQL </li></ul>
  16. 16. Importance of the Open Source <ul><li>How importance is it for the end-user? </li></ul><ul><li>How importance is it for a hacker? </li></ul><ul><li>Lefkowitz’s critic on Raymond’s theory </li></ul><ul><li>Which is better? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A binary program that I didn’t pay any money for which will install itself (or run) if I double click on it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A binary program that I didn’t pay any money for which will install itself (or run) if I double click on it, and will also put a bunch of mysterious text files in some folder, reducing the free space available for MP3’s. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A source tarball that I didn’t pay any money for, which I can use to build a working executable assuming that I learn how, and have all the right developer tools, libraries, and header files installed, and the patience to wait. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Is your freedom restricted if... <ul><li>Your pilot needs a license to fly an airplane? </li></ul><ul><li>Cab and truck drivers need a license to drive? </li></ul><ul><li>The surgeon needs a medical license to perform surgery on your child? </li></ul><ul><li>Your lawyer needs to pass the bar to practice law? </li></ul><ul><li>You need to have a ham radio operator’s license to broadcast on Amateur Service frequencies? </li></ul><ul><li>You need to have a programming license to have access to the source? </li></ul>
  18. 18. FOSS and … <ul><li>Psychologic aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul><ul><li>Eliticism </li></ul><ul><li>Revolution? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Questions? <ul><li>? </li></ul>