[Air-l] where did "open source" come from?

Paul Jones pjones at metalab.unc.edu
Sun Sep 10 13:28:19 PDT 2006

in this case, wikipedia is right. Open Source, which is a trademark of the 
Open Source Initiative http://opensource.org/, was created to be inclusive 
of not only Free Software (that covered by the GPL), but other software 
that is not quite Free. For example, public domain software is not Free 
but it is free and may even meet the Open Source Definition 

The word Open may have been used earlier, but not in any cohesive way. 
http://opensource.org/docs/history.php gives a history that is accurate to 
my knowledge and my experience as far as software goes. Blame Chris 
Peterson and Eric Raymond and Tom O'Reilly.

Like you I was surprised to hear, and read on Wikipedia, about the 1992 
usage in the intelligence community. But there it is OSINT all over the 
place. OSINT sounds a lot like "Competitive Intelligence" to me.

On Sun, 10 Sep 2006, Barry Wellman wrote:

+Probably all of us on these lists are familiar with "open source" as a
+term applied to software.
+I was surprised recently at a conference (in Washington DC, of course) to
+learn that the CIA manages an "open source" section -- using the term in a
+much different way to refer to keeping an eye on publicly-available
+information (newspapers, TV, etc.). Wikipedia suggests that the
+intelligence world even has prior use -- dating back at least to a 1992
+conference in Washington. By contrast, "The "open source" label came out
+of a strategy session[3] held at Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's
+January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator."
+Followed by Tim O'Reilly's "Open Source Summit" in April 1998.
+A friend thinks that the term "open source" may predate 1992, and was
+originally used in the business world. Similar to the CIA, it referred to
+making use of publicly available business intelligence.
+Fascinating how the same term could mean such different things in the
+computer developer and the intelligence world.
+ Barry
+ _____________________________________________________________________
+  Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
+  wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
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                             Paul Jones
 "Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation." Alasdair Gray
  pjones at ibiblio.org   voice: (919) 962-7600     fax: (919) 962-8071

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