Search Result for "open source":

The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

open source n. [common; also adj. open-source] Term coined in March 1998 following the Mozilla release to describe software distributed in source under licenses guaranteeing anybody rights to freely use, modify, and redistribute, the code. The intent was to be able to sell the hackers' ways of doing software to industry and the mainstream by avoiding the negative connotations (to suits) of the term ?free software?. For discussion of the follow-on tactics and their consequences, see the Open Source Initiative site. Five years after this term was invented, in 2003, it is worth noting the huge shift in assumptions it helped bring about, if only because the hacker culture's collective memory of what went before is in some ways blurring. Hackers have so completely refocused themselves around the idea and ideal of open source that we are beginning to forget that we used to do most of our work in closed-source environments. Until the late 1990s open source was a sporadic exception that usually had to live on top of a closed-source operating system and alongside closed-source tools; entire open-source environments like Linux and the *BSD systems didn't even exist in a usable form until around 1993 and weren't taken very seriously by anyone but a pioneering few until about five years later.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):

open source A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely. The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "free software" (promoted by the Free Software Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge. There are various open source licenses available. Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs. The Open Source Initiative promotes the Open Source Definition. The Cathedral and the Bazaar ( was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon. Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text online ( Articles from ZDNet ( (1999-12-29)