Open Source Comes of Age


As of today (June 1, 2017), we’ve been talking about open source for exactly 19 years, 3 months and 23 days. The start date was February 8, 1998, when Eric S. Raymond distributed an open letter by email with the subject line Goodbye, “free software”; hello, “open source”. What followed was a deliberate (though barely coordinated) effort by many geeks (including yours truly and this magazine) to make open source a thing.

It worked. In books alone, the result looked like what’s shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Google Books Ngram Viewer: Open Source

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