Open Sources

Open Sources

  • Voices From The Revolution
  • Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman & Mark Stone
  • General Computing

I bought this book after buying and watching the Revolution OS DVD a few months ago. We use Red Hat Linux, as a development platform, at work where I only started to hear about Linux in 1998. At the time I had used Unix a little in the past but always thought of it as a multi-user business operating. A few years ago now I found out that the familiar shell prompt could be hidden behind a GUI, so I downloaded and installed it, with some success, on my ageing laptop. The installation didn’t last long as it seemed slow and a little clunky, even compared to Microshite’s® Windows, but I did get a considerable amount of software with that Red Hat distribution.

The book is really a collection of essays by the leaders of the open source movement covering: Apache, Emacs, Perl, PHP and of course Linux. It describes how things started and what motivated these people to basically work for nothing but the challenge of writing good code. It also covers Netscape’s leap into the open source revolution when it took the brave step of giving away the source of its web browser in 1998.

A few of the pages detailing the Open Source Definition are a little hard going but you can skip that section as the rest of the book more or less covers the basic concept.

If you are interested in anyway with Linux, or open source software in general, then this book is certainly worth a read. You certainly have to know a few of the acronyms and even a couple of the recursive ones.

The book was first published in 1999 and, with the advances in the computer industry since, could do with an update.

  • Reviewed on Sunday, 23 October 2005
  • Tagged with book review