Computers & Society - Examine the extent to which Richard Stallman’s GNU manifesto has succeeded in challenging the dominance of conventionally distributed software

ninetimesdissemblingSoftware and s/w Development

Nov 10, 2012 (4 years and 7 months ago)

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Computers
and

Society

Examine the extent to which Richard

Stallman’s
GNU manifesto

has succeeded in

challenging

the dominance of

conventionally distributed software
.


Seminar presented by

Thomas de Lazzari


03009323@napier.ac.uk


Napier University

Overview



History and definition



From Utopia to Recognition



Why this challenge ?



Conclusion



Richard M. Stallman


Early developer of Unix for MIT


Founded
Free Software Foundation

in 1985


“Dedicated to promoting computer users’ right to
use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs.”


Free Software ≠ Free Beer


Think of it as Free Speech

Free Software Foundation


General Public
License
-

GPL in
1991


The community
rather than the
company


Copyleft


No limits on software
released under this
license


Opposite of
proprietary software

The meaning of “free” software


Open Source vs. Free Software


Development
Technique


Better Software


Allows software to
‘evolve’


Sun, Apple, Netscape,



Political Philosophy


Ethical Rights


Allows unconditional
‘sharing’ and collaboration


Only GNU/FSF meet
standards


Richard M. Stallman (FSF)

Eric Raymond (OSI)

The cathedral and The bazaar


First worldwide claim of the importance of free
software development



Consequences


Netscape decides to release Mozilla


The Halloween documents written at Microsoft


Huge media cover!


GNU/Linux



GNU manifesto written in 1983.



GNU Project : develop Unix
-
like
operating system that is free software.



Each year :
massive growth

of

users : 200 to 300% and in tight
competition with Windows NT on the
server market.



GNU Tools + Linux = GNU/Linux



Oracle vs MySQL


OSS database that is very fast


22% of the database market


0.02% of worldwide revenue for databases
($5 million 2002
-

should double in 2003)


Users: Yahoo!, Google, SAP & OSU


Different license: OSS but commercial orgs
must pay $395 per server


Similar Oracle install is $20,000


[Commercial] Open Source projects


Mozilla / Netscape: web browser

www.mozilla.org


OpenOffice / StarOffice : MS Office clone

www.openoffice.org


NetBeans / Forte for Java : Java IDE

www.netbeans.org


Darwin / MacOs X : operating system

www.opensource.apple.com


Some other OSS Examples

Many other “free software” are now essentials on

the internet market. Here are the main examples :



Apache

: daemon http, 60% of the web servers far
away from IIS.


Sendmail

: mail server solution, almost the only one
used.


Named

: name server, leader on the market. Name
resolution are essential for internet.


gcc/g++/gdb

: compilers for a lot of software.


Microsoft the Great Satan ?



Microsoft active hostility towards free software :


making software
proprietary
.


various methods : designing secret protocols and file formats, and
patenting algorithms and software features
-

“Halloween documents”



Not alone : software industry based on
dividing users and
taking away their freedom
.



The only real significance of the “Halloween documents” is
that Microsoft seems to think that the
GNU/Linux system

has the potential for
great success
.


Why does the OSS model work?


Too many resources to fail


So many eyeballs looking at the code


Runs on inexpensive hardware


Reliability


Costless


For a company, licenses costs are huge. For
example Windows 2000 and Office 2000 cost
approximatively 350£ for a professional. And
nothing compared to other specific software.




Final Thoughts


“When it comes to defending the freedom of
others, to lie down and do nothing is an act of
weakness, not humility.” , RMS



The GNU manifesto from Richard Stallman has
revealed the necessity of free software.


First step to prevent a
total dominance

of
conventionally distributed software.

References


www.gnu.org


www.opensource.org

Eric Raymond : “Open Source Initiative”


www.fsf.org

Richard Stallman : “Free Software Foundation”


www.stallman.org


Richard Stallman's Personal Home Page