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First FOSS OS?

First FOSS OS?

Posted Mar 22, 2007 18:44 UTC (Thu) by NigelK (guest, #42083)
In reply to: First FOSS OS? by JoeBuck
Parent article: The road to freedom in the embedded world

There was no free C compiler before GCC. What compiler were you using?

I didn't say it was before GCC, I said before I'd ever heard of GCC.

I don't remember the name - it was something I bought from a PD (Public Domain) library on floppy 15 to 20 years ago. It was a DOS program, supported the full C spec at the time (or as much of it as I used, apart from fork() obviously), and allowed me to write graphical programs for MSDOS5.

It was at least free as in beer, although I don't remember if the source was included or not. I stopped using it in 1992 when I started programming HPUX workstations.

The point is that if that FSF hadn't existed, if RMS didn't write GCC, someone else's C compiler would have taken its place as the compiler of choice simply because other people were writing those sorts of thing at the time anyway. The Public Domain scene was *massive* for a time during the 80's and early 90's before Internet access became more widespread.


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First FOSS OS?

Posted Mar 22, 2007 21:23 UTC (Thu) by landley (subscriber, #6789) [Link]

> The point is that if that FSF hadn't existed, if RMS didn't write GCC,
> someone else's C compiler would have taken its place as the compiler of
> choice simply because other people were writing those sorts of thing at
> the time anyway. The Public Domain scene was *massive* for a time
> during the 80's and early 90's before Internet access became more
> widespread.

Seconded.

Anybody remember Jim Butterfield? My commodore 64 came bundled with a
bonus disk of software, about half of which was public domain stuff he'd
written. Here's an interview with him that predates the founding of the
FSF by a year, where he talks about writing public domain software and
author's rights to do what they like with their programs:

http://www.commodore.ca/history/people/jim_butterfield_co...

Rob


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