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For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  3 reviews
The free and open source software movement, from its origins in hacker culture, through the development of GNU and Linux, to its commercial use today.

In the 1980s, there was a revolution with far-reaching consequences--a revolution to restore software freedom. In the early 1980s, after decades of making source code available with programs, most programmers ceased sharing
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Kindle Edition, 335 pages
Published August 4th 2017 by The MIT Press
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Andy Oram
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Although many personal memoirs concerning particular free and open source (FOSS) projects have been penned by key contributors, and although numerous academic or popular books talk of the philosophy and economics of such projects, Tozzi is the first (to my knowledge) to produce a history of the field as a whole. The book is important and carefully researched. It's important to understand, though, the consequences of the focus Tozzi chose: the parallel development of the GNU software project and ...more
Stephen Wellbow
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a well-research, broad, and (mostly) impartial history of FOSS from the origin of Multics/Unix to the present day.

I will caution that the level of detail is exhaustive, especially as it relates to legal entanglements and licensing, and it took me quite a few sessions to get through given the relatively short length. However, despite the tedium, it's 100% worth the time and effort to read.
Eric
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
Decent overview of the major projects in the FLOSS movement. Too short. Ends abruptly. I think it doesn't explain well enough why the BSD, Linux, and Apache camps found the Gnu camp stiflingly ideological. What exactly is the appeal of actively avoiding the GPL? Does the GPL actually have a chilling effect that discourages adoption of free software?
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