The realm of personal computing has been around for a while now. In the past, there were very few choices as to what kind of software you could reliably run on your own computer. There wasn't very much openness in proprietary computing systems and few people took up programming their own software. As the times change however, Open Source software is becoming increasingly available to the everyday computer user. In his opening statements at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference, Tim O'Reilly elaborates on the level of openness that Open Source has achieved thus far.
What exactly makes a piece of Open Source software 'open' in the first place? Is it that it is available free of charge? Or that users have the ability to improve upon it and even create their own version of the software? Or that participation is open to anyone and everyone? Or a combination of all of the above? O'Reilly runs through a few of the ways in which he believes Open Source software should be classified.
The term Open Source is also making its way onto the world wide web, where Web 2.0 applications are pushing the envelope of user interactivity in ways never before envisioned. For example, Facebook and Google Maps (just to name a few) allow users to create their own applications based on their platforms. Users can share with their friends, or make maps to show where people with similar hobbies or interests live. In this presentation, Tim O'Reilly takes a broad look at what constitutes the modern day title of Open Source.
Tim O'Reilly is founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to publishing pioneering books like Ed Krol's The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog (selected by the New York Public Library as one of the most significant books of the twentieth century), O'Reilly has also been a pioneer in the popularization of the Internet. O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator site (GNN, which was sold to America Online in September 1995) was the first Web portal and the first true commercial site on the World Wide Web.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Conference series.