Open Source Assignment

Microsoft makes money by designing, writing, and selling software. But there are people who do this for free. In fact there is a whole movement devoted to it. It’s called the “open source” software movement. In fact, if you use the Firefox browser or Wikipedia you are using software that was designed and programmed by many people all over the planet, all for free. Your assignment is to research and write about this movement.

Start by reading about Richard Stallman:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_stallman

Read about the Open Source Movement:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_movement

Watch:

See here for a discussion about how two kids wrote the Firefox browser in their spare time:  http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/firefox.html

Watch a video about the ideas and technology behind Wikipedia:  http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/37

Can anyone make money with open source software?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vthdc42WaAE&feature=related

Question: From the above sources (and whatever else you might have found) discuss the history, impact, and likely future of the “open source” software movement by answering the following 5 questions.

You’ll type your answers into a Word document (DOC or DOCX), plain text (TXT), or rich text format (RTF) file. A minimum of 2 paragraphs for the answer to each question: double spaced, font size: 12 point.

Copy the questions from here.

1. What were the contributions of the two different groups established in the 1970s to the Open Source Software Movement?
a. The GNU project and the Free Software Foundation from the U.S. east coast.

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 1a here.

b. The Computer Science Research Group from the U.S. west coast.

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 1b here.

2. What is the history of the “open source” software movement in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 2 here.

3. How has the “open source” software movement made an impact on society as a whole?

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 3 here.

4. How has the “open source” software movement made an impact, personally, on you and your life?

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 4 here.

5. What is the likely future of the “open source” software movement?

Replace this sentence with your answer to Question 5 here.

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