Richard Stallman can rightly be described as the father of the open-source movement. He created the GNU Project, which aimed to create a free Unix-compatible operating system (finally completed when Linus Torvalds used GNU development tools to create his Linux kernel) and founded the Free Software Foundation.
Stallman was programming before companies thought about restricting access to their code, and has stated throughout his career that free and open access is crucial to software use, growth and development. To some extent, his motivation was personal: after modifying the source code of the MIT AI Lab’s Xerox printer to notify users when their job had printed, and to notify everyone waiting when the printer jammed, he was denied access to the code when they bought a newer model. He has made the free sharing of information for the benefit of all his life’s work.
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