From Food to Sofas: How Open Source is Changing the World Beyond Software


The term open source software has existed since 1998. Before that, the only people who spoke about open source were in the intelligence community, where open source was a specialist term that referred to publicly available intelligence information.

This usage played a role in inspiring the invention of the term open source software, according to Bruce Perens’s essay “The Open Source Definition” in the 1999 book Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. In that sense, open source software is itself an extension of a concept that originally applied to something entirely unrelated to software.

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