The Evolution of Open Source Software
Open Source Software (software where the source code is available and users have the right to distribute modifications) has been around for a long time. But for a period it almost disappeared outside the ``hacker'' community, a victim of proprietary interests. It is now making a comeback; companies have started to realize that it can make good sense to give away source code for their products.
This approach is especially popular for ``mission critical'' applications such as BIND (domain name system server), Apache (web server), and sendmail (electronic mail server) because of the high reliability and flexibility that the Open Source approach engenders.
This talk will give an overview of the history of source code availability, a discussion of how the rise of the Internet has changed market pressures, and an overview of how companies are adjusting their business models to fit into this new world. It ends with some predictions for types of software that will and will not fit comfortably into the Open Source model.