Blog/ 7 Interesting Facts About Open Source Software

We live in a world that's driven by open source platforms. From Linux and Apache to Drupal and Joomla, Facts About Open Source Softwareopen source technology has been used to create some of the world's finest websites and applications. Go online and it’s difficult to come across a site that doesn't have an open source connection. My exposure to this world is through Drupal, a popular content management framework. In this article, I will pay a tribute to open source platforms with 7 interesting facts. I hope you enjoy them just like I did compiling them!

Fact #1: The first instance of open source sharing wasn’t related to software at all!

The first instance of open source sharing dates back to even before the first computer was developed. In 1911, revolutionary automaker Henry Ford was instrumental in launching the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. This association launched an open source initiative that witnessed major US auto manufacturers sharing technology patents openly without seeking any monetary benefits in return.

Fact #2: The first open source software is not Linux but the A-2 system.

Many people widely believe that Linux is the world’s first open source software. But this honor goes to the A-2 system that was developed for the UNIVAC compiler in 1953. Users were given access to the source code for the A-2 system and invited to share improvements and feedback.

Fact #3: "Open Source" was first coined in 1998

The term "Open Source" was formally introduced during Navigator's source code release in 1998. Over the next couple of days, the term was promoted heavily. Linus Torvalds – the entrepreneur behind Linux – gave his approval to the term the following week. And it has been popularly in use ever since!

Fact #4: By the year 2015, 95% of mainstream IT firms will deploy open source platforms to develop software applications.

Gartner – the renowned American IT research firm – has devoted time and efforts to understand the impact of open source platforms in modern day businesses. One such finding revealed that close to 95% of IT businesses will go the open source way by 2015.

Fact #5: Earlier, a lot of business heads were wary about using open source platforms in their projects

Till about 5 years back, people at the helm of taking decisions were not sure about using open source tools in their development projects. The reason for this was the mistaken assumption that with source code being widely available, applications can be easily compromised by hackers.

This fact is far from reality though. Since the code is widely available, developers can easily detect threats, allowing for a more secure product.

Fact #6: Just like the Oscars, the open source industry has prestigious awards of its own!

There’s a chance you have not heard about the InfoWorld Bossie Awards before. Instituted in 2007, these awards are given to worthy winners across several categories. Winners for 2013 include Varnish, Magento, SugarCRM, MariaDB and Nginx, among others.

Fact #7: The most invaluable open source software of all time is Linux!

Carrying over from Fact #6, the Bossie Awards recognized Linux as the greatest and most invaluable open source software of all time. Let’s face it – the world would have been a more complicated place to live in if not for Linux.

Like this list? Do you have any interesting facts to add of your own? Please do so in the comments box below!

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