Posted Feb 23, 2007 19:11 UTC (Fri) by AJWM
Parent article: How an Accident of Hardware Design Encouraged Open Source (O'ReillyNet)
Another point, going back to the mainframe and PDP-11 era, is that most software was distributed as source or at least "source available". Mainframes especially might feature 3rd party add-ons and configuration differences that would require apps to be compiled on the hardware they'd run on.
The first "open source" program I ever encountered was a "star trek" game (great grandaddy of nettrek, perhaps), written in Algol for the Burroughs B6700 and similar. It had changed hands (university computer centers, mostly) several times before I saw it, this was circa 1975.
Even into the early '80s I was supporting commercial mainframe packages that were distributed with source to allow local customization. Not truly open source perhaps, but (IMHO) it was a reaction to the _closing_ of that by Microsoft and others that helped stimulate the Open Source movemnt.
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