In the early 1980’s Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation: a socio-technological movement that revolutionized the software world. Stallman and Tim O’Reilly – a pioneer of Open Source – tell the story.
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I want to kick this off with a confession: Richard Stallman has always been one of my heroes! Richard Matthew Stallman, also known as RMS, is considered one of the greatest hackers in computer history. The software he wrote in the 1970s is still being used in the present day. On the big screen, when we see a bearded hacker who spends his nights by his computer and sleeping on a bed next to it during the day – we’re actually looking at the mythological figure of Stallman, With his untidy beard and his long grayish hair. He was partly an inspiration for this cliché.
Stallman is also regarded as the father of the Open Source movement, a social-technological phenomenon that inspired the creation of many of the programs we use daily: the Android operating system, WordPress, the Firefox browser and many many others. By the way, Stallman very much doesn’t like to be called “the father of the Open Source movement.” We’ll get to that later in the show.