Peter Marklund

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Mon August 19, 2002

The Value of Open Source

In an interview at RedHat.com, security and Open Source Software (OSS) expert David Wheeler talks about the impact and value of Open Source:

"OSS/FS has made the world a far better place. Examples include the Internet (particularly the BSD TCP/IP stack), the Internet's naming system that makes the Internet practical (DNS through bind), universal e- mail (sendmail), and the World Wide Web (NCSA httpd and Apache). OSS/FS has made it far easier for people to communicate and take control over their lives."

"It's reasonable to expect that OSS/FS will continue to innovate faster than its competitors. After all, the techniques of OSS/FS development are very similar to scientific inquiry; both make it possible to merge a large number of ideas into a larger framework everyone can draw from. As Microsoft's secret internal document (now called Halloween I) notes, "Research/teaching projects on top of Linux are easily disseminated due to the wide availability of Linux source. In particular, this often means that new research ideas are first implemented and available on Linux before they are available/incorporated into other platforms...The ability of the OSS process to collect and harness the collective IQ of thousands of individuals across the Internet is simply amazing.""

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