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The Importance of Free Software


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Presentation to February meeting of WordPress Winnipeg.

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The Importance of Free Software

  1. 1. Dwarfs standing on the nani gigantum shoulders of giants humeris insidentesThe Importance of Free Software
  2. 2. Free Software: Liberty, not Price. Richard StallmanFour Freedoms: to run the program, for any purpose; to study how the progam works, and change it; to redistribute copies to help your neighbour; and to to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
  3. 3. (GNU) General Public LicenseThe GPL does not: require you to release your code (for your own use only, or that of your client) prevent you from charging a fee (distribution fee is okay, fee to write it is okay, however...)The GPL does: prevent you from having proprietary rights in the software (everyone gets to enjoy it) require you to provide the source code (or access to it) (open source, so shows exactly how it works) include the notice that the code is subject to the GPL (notice must accompany the software) requires users accept the GPLd code without warranties (cmon, it was free...)
  4. 4. Great Moments in Free SoftwareFrom: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)Newsgroups: comp.os.minixSubject: What would you like to see most in minix?Summary: small poll for my new operating systemMessage-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI>Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMTOrganization: University of HelsinkiHello everybody out there using minix -I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu)for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready.I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles itsomewhat(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).I’ve currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This impliesthat I’ll get something practical within a few months, and I’d like to know what featuresmost people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won’t promise I’llimplement them:-)Linus ( Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable(uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-
  5. 5. Great Moments in Free Software
  6. 6. Great Moments in Free SoftwareBIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain)(“L.A.M.P. Stack”) Linux (over 90% of worlds supercomputers run Linux) Apache (58% of all websites, 65% of busiest sites) MySQL (over 65k downloads/day; busy sites, Wikipedia) PHP (or Perl, or Python – open source programming languages)WordPressNetscape / Mozilla / FirefoxOpen Office / Libre Office
  7. 7. Open SourceEric Raymond, The Cathedral and the BazaarOpen source isnt just access to source code:distribution terms of OSS must include: Free Redistribution Source Code Derived Works Integrity of The Authors Source Code No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor Distribution of License License Must Not Be Specific to a Product License Must Not Restrict Other Software License Must Be Technology-Neutral
  8. 8. FOSS: Free and open-source softwareis software that is both free and open source. It is liberally licensedto grant users the right to use, copy, study, change, and improve itsdesign through the availability of its source code. – source: WikipediaPrevents vendor-lockEnsures flexibilityReduces riskTakes advantage of previous work
  9. 9. No proprietary software was usedin the making of this presentation. *Certified 100% Free Software.