The past decade has been marked by enormous achievements and some serious setbacks, says Bruce Perens, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative.
This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the "Open
and the public announcement of the formation of the
Open Source Initiative.
The decade has been marked both by enormous
achievements and serious setbacks.
"This was the first time that the general public heard what open source
was about. Friday, Feb. 8 is the last day of Decade Zero of open source, while
Saturday, Feb. 9 is the anniversary of open source and the start of Decade One.
It's a computer scientist thing. We always start counting from zero," said
Bruce Perens, creator of the Open Source Definition and co-founder of the Open Source Initiative.
While acknowledging the trailblazing role of Richard Stallman, founder of
the Free Software Foundation, Perens also acknowledged the conflict that has
existed between open-source and free-software evangelism.
"I always intended to have open source be another way of talking about
free software, tailored to the ears of business people, that would eventually
lead them to a greater appreciation of Richard Stallman's arguments on that
front. This has come to pass, and I hope you'll continue to make it so,"
Perens said in a blog posting.
Perens said the growth of open source has exceeded his expectations, noting
that free and open-source software is now not only mainstream, but even leads in
many business computing categories. "Our most pervasive penetration has
been in business servers and embedded systems," he said.
Microsoft officials have acknowledged that some of the changes in the
upcoming release of Windows Server 2008 are a response to features and
performance advantages that have made Linux an attractive option
to its customers.
Perens said he is cognizant that free and open-source software has
not really made a dent into Microsoft's dominance on the desktop front, even
though "free software provides a large part of Apple's Mac operating
system as well as of some critical elements of Microsoft Windows."
But some commentators have said they believe that Windows Vista, Microsoft's
latest and widely criticized operating system release, has created the single biggest opportunity
for the Linux desktop to take
The fact that both Microsoft and Apple have been "forced to develop strategies
to live with us, some of them less
comfortable than others," is another notable achievement, Perens said, as
was the release of the third version of the GNU General Public License.