compatibility and the OSD

Rick Moen rick at
Wed Sep 29 00:48:15 UTC 2004

Quoting Michael Sparks (zathras at

> This comment made me ponder searching google groups (not to check what
> *you* say, but to see what people were generally saying). I can find a few
> references in 1996 to open source, and described as open source code, and
> the poster expected to be understood, so the concept & phrase existed
> before '97.  Example:

This newsgroup post, like some similar one-offs, does include the phrase
"open source", but with no indication about what author Nico Flores's
specific concept was behind it.  Having been on that newsgroup at the
time -- and pretty much all the other Linux groups of the day -- I can
tell you that very likely there was little to nothing specific behind it
and other random appearances, just a vague notion of code availability.

I'm sure that the term was vaguely floating around from time to time.
(After all, the crowd at the Palo Alto restaurant probably heard it
somewhere, and not just from espionage circles.)  OSI's contribution was
to make it _mean something specific_.

> Requesting a change in wording in the name of trying to have a nice
> and clear world for people choosing software I think is a good thing. 

Quite so.

ObOffTopic:  The actor who gave you your login name was killed in a
motorcycle crash, yesterday.  Tim Choate, R.I.P.  "Zathras is finite", 
indeed.  (One might add:  "Motorcycle is wrong tool.")

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