Back in the early PC days, the software developers [Microsoft, Apple, etc] wanted to own their software through and through, make the code proprietary. The nerds and hackers of the world said ‘show me the damn code‘ and the companies said ‘hell no.’ There were lawsuits, and posturing, and all manner of haggling about whether computer code was intellectual property. For users, it was a problem because every new release [of something like Microsoft Word] meant that to get the new features, you had to buy it again or pay for an upgrade. And that extended to the operating system itself [DOS, OS]. It was a monopoly.
When the World Wide Web came along, there was a different tradition. The hardware came from the government [DARPA] and the language that made it work [HTML] came from a think tank [CERN] developed by Tim Berners-Lee for internal use. The Browser used to read the HTML was Mosaic, and later Netscape [that was free, a version of Open Source] – built and maintained by volunteers. Microsoft wanted to grab the Internet, so they gave their Browser away too [Internet Explorer]. Now Google’s Chrome has jumped onto the mix. The tradition of Netscape carried the day and the Open Source Movement took hold – Linux, MySQL, Open Office, Apache server, etc and a whole lot of other very important stuff you can’t see. So the companies held on to their proprietary code and the home computer market primarily by building user friendly interfaces [and inertia]. As Linus Torvolds implied in the Ted interview, hackers, geeks, and nerds don’t do interfaces very well – and they sure aren’t marketeers. So now there’s a mix of Open Source and Proprietary software that’s actually mutually beneficial – a loose symbiosis of sorts. Android being a prime example.
PLOS [Public Library of Science] is a nonprofit open access scientific publishing project aimed at creating a library of open access journals and other scientific literature under an open content license. It launched its first journal, PLOS Biology, in October 2003 and publishes seven journals, as of October 2015.
- PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
- Rxisk: No one knows a prescription drug’s side effects like the person taking it. Make your voice heard. RxISK is a free, independent drug safety website to help you weigh the benefits of any medication against its potential dangers.