Portal:Software

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The Software Portal

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Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware). This includes application software such as a word processor, which enables a user to perform a task, and system software such as an operating system, which enables other software to run properly, by interfacing with hardware and with other software. Software also acts as an interface between the hardware like processor(s) and user(s).
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The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement which aims to promote the universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software. The FSF is incorporated in Massachusetts, USA.[1]

From its founding until the mid-1990s, FSF's funds were mostly used to employ software developers to write free software for the GNU Project. Since the mid-1990s, the FSF's employees and volunteers have mostly worked on legal and structural issues for the free software movement and the free software community.

Consistent with its goals, only free software is used on FSF's computers.[2]

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Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1954), often shortened to rms is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project's lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.

Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.

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A refund for defective software might be nice, except it would bankrupt the entire software industry in the first year.


Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, 2003, Introduction, page 14

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...that BIOS software is built into personal computers, and is a type of system software?
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Software is also part of the wider categories Computing and Computer Science.


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References

  1. ^ "FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION, INC. Summary Screen". The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  2. ^ Stallman, Richard M. (2002). "Linux, GNU, and freedom". Philosophy of the GNU Project. GNU Project. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
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