Open Source 20 Years: 6 pivotal moments in open source history

Here’s how open source developed from a printer jam solution at MIT to a major development model in the tech industry today.

NDAs and proprietary software licenses became the norms, and the best programmers were hired from universities to private projects.

As a reaction to this, Stallman resolved that he would create a complete operating system that would not deprive users of the freedom to understand how it worked, and would allow them to make changes if they wished. It was the birth of the free software movement. In September 1983, he announced the creation of the GNU project. Early in 1985, he published “The GNU Manifesto. The first version of the GNU General Public License was released in 1989.

By the mid-1990s, Linux was starting to take off, and free software had become more mainstream. In the late 1990s, a series of high-profile events led to a huge increase in the professionalization of free and open source software.

Open Source Initiative was formed on February 1998.


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