Happy Birthday to GNU

This month GNU marks its 25th anniversary. It was on 27 September 1983 that Richard M Stallman announced that he intended to develop a Unix-like OS that would be completely open and hackable, giving anyone the right to modify and distribute the work. 
Richard Stallman felt a threat from commercial-closed companies which developed their products in closed environment and created such a situation where a ordinary user/developer cannot modify or redistribute the software. He started this 'Open Source' Mantra as a counter attack to all proprietary software vendors. Over the next few years, he created a toolchain that allowed other developers to create working, open computer systems on entirely new/alien hardware. 

Along the way, Stallman's puritanical approach managed to lose him many of his best and oldest collaborators - critics argued this wasted too much of the Free Software Foundation's resources. But the same uncompromising approach resulted in Stallman's other significant achievement of the past 25 years: codifying his principles into a strong copyright licence. The GPL is founded on the strength of creator's rights, but attaches mandatory stipulations on how the work should be used.[source]. GNU General Public License(GPLv3) was "officially" released on 29th June 2007 by Richard Stallman. This day ended the long run of GPL version 2, which was released 16years ago. Basically GPLv3, like its older version GPLv2, is targetted for the distribution, modification, sharing of "free" softwares. The main goal of GPLv3 is to defend the "freedom of every user".

Check out this video by Mr. Stephen Fry where introduces you to free software, and reminds you of a very special birthday. Fry says that proprietary operating systems are akin to "bad science," as unofficial modifications to the operating system are prohibited.

"We intend for the 25th anniversary to be more than just a reflection on the history of the free-software movement. Because, despite all of the success brought about by the GNU system and other free-software projects, we still need a determined effort to replace or eliminate the proprietary applications, platforms, drivers and firmware that many users still run," Peter Brown, the Free Software Foundation's executive director, said in a statement. he foundation plans further releases as part of the monthlong anniversary celebrations, with announcements timed for Software Freedom Day on 20 September and for the GNU anniversary itself on September 27.[source].

Join the movement to make 25th anniversary more special. Long live GNU. :)


Abhishek said...

What an irony! And this is the month when a company harping itself to be great supporter of Open Source actually shows its true colors.
Do you think Google will still support FF like it was doing till now!

Amit M Surana said...

Google has Open Sourced Chrome. I believe that Chrome is 'like-a-browser', a platform for Google which will take their brand to next level. But FF is truly a dedicated browser. FF will continue to grow and Google should continue to support. Thats what GNU philosophy says. :)

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