[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 5 01:11:53 UTC 2007

Quoting Craig Muth (craig.mu at gmail.com):

> I must confess to some ignorance in this area.  I'd thought the term
> predated the OSI.

(The necessary qualifier, of course, is "in the software context" -- 
as opposed to spy/intelligence jargon, etc.)

A couple of years ago on this mailing list, we had one of those
inevitable sorts of dust-ups that occur whenever someone makes an
apparently categorical statement on the Internet -- and one of this
mailing list's regulars made it his mission to track down all
proto-mentions of the term "open source" in DejaNews^WGoogle Groups,
by anyone, anywhere, from prior to OSI's founding.  There were 
several, and I think all but one or two turned out, upon examination, to
intend some concept significantly different from the one propounded by

The one or two exceptions, if memory serves, were more or less in the
same spirit -- except that they were one-off coinages, whose authors
never did anything with them.  I recall saying that I'd gladly buy those
people a pint of $BEVERAGE_OF_CHOICE, for coming so very close.

Other than those isolated results of a resident detail freak's obsessive
searching, no, "open source" in the software context did not predate
OSI, and most definitely was not an established concept that people
spoke of.

Cheers,      "Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first
Rick Moen     woman she meets, and then teams up with three complete strangers
rick at linuxmafia.com       to kill again."  -- Rick Polito's That TV Guy column,
              describing the movie _The Wizard of Oz_

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