Talk:Open source

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History of the term 2[edit]

There is currently two sections both trying to take on the history of the term open source. One is called History, the other Society and culture. Both is mostly/all unsourced in the regards of any information which dates back before 1998 and thus the creation of the open source movement. I could do a free hand rewrite of it, but without sources it would be better to start with an open discussion first.

  • The History section starts with: "The concept of open source and the free sharing of technological information existed long before computers". But what the "concept of open source" is and how it differs from the "free sharing of technological information" is not described, just written as being different. It later says: "Open source on the Internet began when the Internet was relatively primitive". again unsourced, and very unclear if it actually describes the open source definition as described by the open source initiative [1].
  • Society and culture section creates a term called "Open-source culture" and bases most of the section on that term and how the section describes it. Since the name of the term gives some decent amount of Google hits (206k), it would be nice to see some sources and historical description of it, but to my ability I could not find any. It also says that Open-source culture precedes the Free Software movement (1983), with "Sourcery Systems BBS were dedicated to providing source code to Public Domain, Shareware and Freeware programs". It would be nice to know when Sourcery Systems was used like this. Also, todays term of Shareware was created 1984, Freeware was trademarked, and history of freeware says: "term freeware was used often in the 1980s for programs released only as executables, with source code not available". The only part left would be public domain software, but that article does not mention this.

My first thought would be to rewrite History section to simply start talking about free sharing of technological information, and then let the term open-source be used after the events of 1998 has been described. For Society and culture section, the history of monetization of culture could be a good choice for subjects pre-1998, and open-source culture for post-1998. Belorn (talk) 07:48, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

The OpenSource Movement did not start with the "availability" of the internet but with the introduction of the usenet news system and it's comp.sources hierarchy. This worked even over modem connections. For this reason, I have names like Rich $alz (note his own special spelling) and Larry Wall in mind and it is a pity that the names are not mentioned in the article. --Schily (talk) 14:49, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
if you are talking about pre-1998 then the term open source was not invented, and thus any movement would be under different name, and my guess under slightly different concept. Please provide source so one could try to piece together a better history section.Belorn (talk) 15:19, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
The term open source movement was in use in the early 1980s already. I remember news articles from e.g. Larry Wall and Rich Salz. It was seen as a movement of liberty amd not political, so the term was not used as a figurehead. Finding the related articles again did not work - probably because of different google search filtering. --Schily (talk) 18:16, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
First rewrite of the first History section. The section is currently a bit long to be a summery of the History of free and open source software article. Other issues I would highlight is the relevance of the included pre-1998 subjects like cooking recipes and patents. If courses given at a restaurant would be provided with its recipe, then it would have some relevance to concept behind open source. As for the patent part, its a bit of a stretch. If the goal is to illustrated how historically it have been shown that sharing is bettering than owning, then I think the practices of early universities/libraries should be ideal. Should be good historical examples. It also reeks of WP:OR and the article trying to push a point to the reader. Belorn (talk) 15:19, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

This is still a problem, added a "cleanup-merge" tag. -- Beland (talk) 16:45, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Re-creating Category:Open source[edit]

There are a lot of articles in Category:Free software culture and documents which don't relate to free software at all. I'd like to re-create Category:Open source to house these and other related articles, and include subcategories like Category:Open content. This category was removed in 2006 after this discussion. – Pnm (talk) 02:01, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Please provide more details on why you think the old consensus from that discussion is wrong and in which way a Open source Category would differ from the current Free software culture and documents. Belorn (talk) 10:13, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
The "Open source" category would include topics which are not about software, like open politics, open-source journalism, open design, and open content. Those topics don't belong directly in a free software category. On second thought though, instead of recreating Category:Open source I think a more concrete category title like Category:Open-source methodologies is better. Here's a mockup. – Pnm (talk) 19:57, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I think I see what you are trying to accomplish, but any category need to have a clear defined definition. To take a category on open source, it would have to follow the open source definition as by OSI. Looking around, I find the Category:libre as an example that has clear definition, although that one is lacking a source. So while there is nothing wrong with calling it Open-source methodologies, it would beg the question of what the exact definition of Open-source methodologies is. Belorn (talk) 21:02, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Heck, Category:Libre is essentially the category I want to build. I'll expand it a little bit and request a rename at Cfd. As far as a definition, this article's lead sentence works for me: "practices in production and development that promote free redistribution and access to the end product's source materials." It's been roughly stable since "source code" was removed in March 2010. Though synthy, it is clearly defined. –Pnm (talk) 23:05, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I requested a rename to Category:Open methodologies: Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2012_January_7#Category:Libre – Pnm (talk) 16:45, 7 January 2012 (UTC)


The current list is quite long, goes against the WP:NOTDIRECTORY, and is also quite arbitrary in what is on it. If noone objects, I will prune the list, maybe do a summery like in the Free Software#Examples of free software. Including a list of best-known examples can be useful to the reader, but a very long list will not benefit the reader, and will only invite bad edits where someone want to add their favorite software/product/stuff to the list. Belorn (talk) 16:55, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Opening statement[edit]

The current text that "In production and development, open source is a philosophy,[1][2] or pragmatic methodology[2] that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product's design and implementation details" is quite unsupported given that both cite 1 and 2 do not make any statement to support the claim that open source is either a philosophy or a pragmatic methodology. Source 1 (Ubuntu) states that open source is: collective power in action. The power of a worldwide community of highly skilled experts that build, share and improve the very latest software together - then make it available to everyone.

Out of this, there is at best some implied/indirect support of some hinted philosophy, or pragmatic methodology, but same could be said about Collective bargaining which is neither described as a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology. If one would dare to guess the intended message, I suspect Ubuntu want to describe the effect and result of open source.

The second source (android), is describing the android philosophy, which in turn states: Android is intentionally and explicitly an open-source -- as opposed to free software -- effort: a group of organizations with shared needs has pooled resources to collaborate on a single implementation of a shared product. The Android philosophy is pragmatic, first and foremost. The objective is a shared product that each contributor can tailor and customize.

It is of course free to interpretation, but from my point of view it looks like they say that Android is the result from the open source community, not the free software community. If they had wanted to say "The Open Source philosophy is pragmatic", they would had said that and not "The Android philosophy is pragmatic". In the end this leave me with the impression that neither those sources are directly supporting the claim that: open source is a philosophy/pragmatic methodology. Instead the only reliable source we got is the OSI open source definition, which is describing software licensed under specific distribution terms. Belorn (talk) 00:22, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

information good[edit]

The "Economic analysis" section opens with "Most economists agree that open-source candidates have an information good" and lists citation 14 as "Grandstand, 1999". Searching Google for '"information good" Grandstand 1999' returns nothing relevant. Is there a better citation for this statement? Greensencha (talk) 06:29, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Found it, it's Ove "Granstrand", not "Grandstand" and his 1999 book "The Economics and Management of Intellectual Property: Towards Intellectual Capitalism". I can't verify that the book actually supports the statement "Most economists agree that open-source candidates have an information good", but I'm going to update the wiki article reference [14] to correct the name mis-spelling and add the book title. Greensencha (talk) 20:04, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

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And... Open Source includes Open Income?[edit]

The article lacks economic content. At least a brief independent section on the economics of open source should be included, established financing practices, project costs, estimated social benefits, state of wages (not all participants are income stalled, right?)... djb — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

There is two articles already on this subject, Business models for open source software and Open source economics. I suspect writing a summery here would be useful, and later on merge those two articles into one. Belorn (talk) 13:29, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I expanded the section here and linked both of the other articles. -- Beland (talk) 16:53, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

History and article weight[edit]

As it stands, the article is very heavily weighted towards "open source" in its technology-related meaning, specifically with regard to computing and software. While that's accurate in the sense that this is by far the most common use of the term today, we already have a separate article for open-source software (OSS). Imo, this article should focus on the history and use of the term in all known senses and leave the details about OSS to that other article.

The history section in particular needs to go into more detail about the origin of the term and its use generally, especially in non-technological contexts. For example, the 1982 edition of the World Factbook says, at the beginning of its entry about the United States (page 244, emphasis mine), "This 'Factsheet' on the US is provided solely as a service to those wishing to make rough comparisons of foreign country data with a US 'yardstick.' Information is from US open sources and publications and in no sense represents estimates by the US Intelligence Community." Clearly the term was in use back in 1982 in the general sense of freely available and distributed information. I imagine the term probably predates that.

So, basically, if anyone's out there who knows more about this, it would be good to have more detailed information about the etymology and usage of the term in this article. -- Hux (talk) 03:51, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

I understand that you want the article to include more detailed information regards to open source outside software development and licensing, but Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint.. (WP:WEIGHT). That said, what I can see, "open source", as a term, has never existed before 1998. The term "Open sources" is synonymous with public sources, and thus refers to sources of information. This is a completely different and unrelated concept than open source. If we applied that context to programs, the source of a program would be the programmer who wrote it.
One would also not call, in 1998, a specific source to be an "open source", rather you would just call the source to be open, or accessible, or public. A group of sources on the other hand was sometimes called open sources, as compared to classified sources.Belorn (talk) 17:24, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Why do you use the year 1998 here?
The term "open source movement" appeared in the early 1980s in the athmospere of Larry Wall, Henry Spencer and Rich Salz. It was a natural result of building the usenet. --Schily (talk) 18:42, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Sounds skeptical since Raymond is commonly attributed to inventing the term in January 1998. Do you have a source that shows Larry Wall, Henry Spencer and Rich Salz creating a movement that they, in the 1980's called "open source movement"? Belorn (talk) 20:28, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Everybody who was using the news system in the early 1980s, knows that the usenet is a child of OSS and a few years ago, I was able to find news articles from the early 1980s via google that contain the term "opensource movement" in articles from the named persons. Recently, I tried to remember the search criteria but was no longer able to locate these articles - you may try it by your own. Anyway, the "free software movement" from Stallman started with Stallman taking the existing OpenSource Gosling EMACS and distributing a slightly modified version as "free software" under the name GNU EMACS around 1984. --Schily (talk) 08:57, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Got limited time, but sure I can take a early test on the first name and see what I can find. --- . Here is one: [[1]] originally published 1999. This is the first article that I could find that in talks about Larry Wall and the open source movement. Now I might not have found "the right article", or maybe one of the other 2 names has articles in the way that you describe (will search later when I got a free moment), but one should be skeptical in cases like this. It is common that people want to retroactive apply terms to points before it was crated, as a way to extend it. That is however not encyclopedic to do. Belorn (talk) 09:31, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

multiple issues[edit]

  1. Lead need to be directly supported by sources or sourced claims later in the article. It reads currently as original research trying to prove a point. It try to prove this point by giving single examples to support generic claims (the "source" used to support this claim: This is increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as biotechnology.) was Open Source Drug Discovery ). example about a single open source project does not prove an increasingly trend of anything. Last, the lead is fumbling around trying to define open source to mean something outside software. Find a source that direct support that definition for that please! (see Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2012_May_22#Category:Open_methodologies for example attempts to do so.)
  2. Sections like Open source #Economic analysis reads like editorial piece. What Economic analysis claims/story only really supporting source is that "most economists agree that open-source candidates have an information good". After that point, it rambles around the concept of zero marginal costs, brings up the social costs (and administration and enforcement costs) of copyright, and end on a "there is an efficiency argument to be made on behalf of open-sourced goods." not a single statement in all that is supported beyond the simple (related?) fact that Creative Commons have websites where individuals can file for alternative "licenses", or levels of restriction, for their works.
  3. Open source#Society and culture: Open-source culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of found and created content.. Never heard of something called open source culture, so lets look and see if anyone uses that word. First hit is Wikipedia? Oki not a good sign. You can find a discussion here at Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard/Archive_22#open_source. Potential first fix could be to rename it to "Methodologies used in open source". Next, it is a really long essay style text, largely unsupported by sources. It takes up an aggressive standpoint vs "Free Culture, and proclaiming that "The idea of an "open-source" culture runs parallel to "Free Culture," but is substantively different. Free culture is a term derived from the free software movement, and in contrast to that vision of culture, proponents of open-source culture (OSC) maintain that some intellectual property law needs to exist to protect cultural producers.". Nice little opinion piece (NPOV issues?), and Free culture article has not a single hint of what is being said here. It also discuss the history of open source and make claims that open source culture is older than 1983, (see above discussion, see history section, and so on why this is wrong factually.).
  4. Open source#Applications. Beyond being a list (which should always be avoided see WP:NOTDIRECTORY), it has serious issues of undue weight. Beyond the software stacks being described, basically everything else is unknown to mainstream use of the word open source. Are Vores Øl really a significant subject to open source? This list of non-software use of open source might belong to its own page where the relevance of open source beer has much more weight than in the article about open source. Belorn (talk) 21:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Hhumm... do I smell that earthy sent of a troll?--Aspro (talk) 21:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
What a crime, I am asking that sections and lead should be supported by sources´. See above section about open statement and History of the term 2. I honestly do not know why the computer articles have a tendency to accept no citations and long essay style segments, but it should not be like that. So No - No troll. Belorn (talk) 09:12, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, I largely rewrote the "Economic analysis" section and added examples to the intro, which may take care of some of your concerns. Definitely still needs work, especially citations. -- Beland (talk) 16:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

A good start, and since the main article has a few more sources that this one (through, lacking in general), maybe some of those are useable here. Also, by increasing the size of the section, it will make rewriting the still rambling unsupported parts much easier since it wont reduce the section into meaningless. The initial paragraph that talks about zero marginal cost economics is really hard to read. [2], [3], and [4] might help there, as might Yochai Benkler and Eric von Hippel ([5]).
The lead still need to be completely rewritten. Since the lead is trying to prove points with defining open source to be all kinds of things like philosophies, pragmatic methodologies, Historical environments, and conceptual models, it kind of fall apart everywhere without sources in it or from the rest of the article. Belorn (talk) 09:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Copyrighted Material Removed[edit]

I just removed a lengthy comment from (talk) because it was plagiarized from a copyrighted web page at [ ] or [ ]. Please do not post copyrighted material to Wikipedia, and do not present it as your own work without attribution. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:17, 25 October 2012 (UTC)




"In production and development, open source as a development model promotes a) universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and b) universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone"

This is cited but I kind of disagree with it: I think it is entirely possible for an entity to release something that is open source whilst having a restrictive, non-free licence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J05HYYY (talkcontribs) 01:47, 31 December 2013 (UTC)


How about a criticism section? Due to lack of proper funding, open source software is sometimes unfinished and sometimes the quality assurance is not good enough. (talk) 14:52, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Open source[edit]

This term has a conceptual problem: it mixes up software licensing with development methodology, using a term "source model" whose meaning is unclear.

"Open source software" is a criterion about how a program is developed. If a program's source is available under a certain kind of license, then it is "open source".

There is an "open source development methodology", what ESR called the "Bazaar" model. But the two do not necessarily go together. Which one does "source model" refer to?

If a single person develops a certain program, and releases source code once a year under the GNU GPL or the modified BSD license, that program qualifies as "open source". If he never releases intermediate versions and declines to discuss its development with anyone, he does not practice the "open source development methodology", but the program is "open source" anyway.

What should be entered as the "source model" of that program?

It is also possible to practice the "open source development methodology" but release the program under licensing that is not "open source". What should be entered as the "source model" of that program?

Is "source model" really a way of characterizing licenses, or does it refer to development methodology?

--David Hedlund (talk) 19:23, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

For the moment Wikipedia obeys the open source doctrine which calls for making free software appear marginal. But this could be changed with your help. --David Hedlund (talk) 20:24, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Google. Com

Yassin kabouri (talk) 02:27, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

What do you call code that's open for viewing but otherwise fully copyrighted?[edit]

As in the section heading. Thanks, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:14, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Rephrase needed[edit]

Starting in the beginning of the 2000s, a number of companies began to publish a small parts of their source code to claim they were open source, while keeping key parts closed. This led to the development of the now widely used terms free open-source software and commercial open-source software to distinguish between truly open and hybrid forms of open source

this doesn't sound right — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

It is right, see Open-source software and Free and open-source software. Mion (talk) 11:55, 7 September 2014 (UTC)