The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty: Maria Bustillos profiles Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement and author of the GNU Manifesto, which was published 30 years ago this month: The GNU Manifesto is characteristic of its author—deceptively simple, lucid, explicitly left-leaning, and entirely uncompromising… Stallman was one of the first to grasp that, if commercial entities were going to own the methods and technologies that controlled computers, then computer users would inevitably become beholden to those entities. This has come to pass, and in spades… “With software,” Stallman still frequently observes, “either the users control the program, or the program controls the users.”
Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
Do you like manuals? Do you like Wikis? Do you like open source software? Check out FLOSS Manuals for wiki-fied manuals for popular and fun open source software, including PureData, Inkscape, Blender, Ardour, among others. Taking a page from programmers, the group endorses "book sprints", where creative writers, editors and artists work closely together to complete an online book in a short, intense burst of effort.
Revolution OS [1h25m Google Video] is a 2001 documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf. [more inside]
R is quickly becoming the programming language for data analysis and statistics. R (an implementation of S) is free, open-source, and has hundreds of packages available. You can use it on the command-line, through a GUI, or in your favorite text editor. Use it with Python, Perl, or Java. Sweave R code into LaTeX documents for reproducible research. [more inside]
Bogart not the OSS Open Source is cool. Not only is it free-for-you, but you're also entitled to commercialize it as long as you follow some fairly simple rules. Software company Maui X-Stream seems to have run afoul of not just one OSS project but many, cobbling together entire product lines out of free software and branding them as their own -- and then heartily denying it. (More Inside)
Peru goes GNU. And I quote: "You may have heard about this if you watch the free software news, but I just want to repeat it for anyone who hasn't. The Peruvian government has introduced legislation requiring government offices to use free software; Microsoft is unhappy; and a member of the Peruvian Congress has written a response which I highly recommend reading, in which he explains in strong terms why it's out of the question for the government of a democratic nation to use proprietary software."
Let's stop wasting US$ 78 billion a year. Is software development really this inefficient? Aside from the main theme, there is also an interesting statement from a CIO towards the end of the article. "Those folks [involved in the open-source movement] are very knowledgeable, very good at what they do, and they're producing really great code," [...]