Richard Stallman's GNU Manfest turns 30


Unix, one of the earliest computer-operating systems, was developed between the late nineteen-sixties and the early nineteen-eighties, by A.T. & T. Bell Laboratories and various universities around the world, notably the University of California, Berkeley. It was the product of a highly collaborative process, in which researchers and students built and shared their code in an atmosphere of excitement and discovery that was fostered, in part, by an agreement that A.T. & T. representatives had signed, in 1956, with the Department of Justice, circumscribing the company’s commercial activities in exchange for an end to antitrust proceedings. But in 1982, A.T. & T. was broken up and its agreement with the department ended; before long, the company was selling copies of Unix without including the source code from which it was derived, effectively commercializing the operating system and hiding its building blocks within a proprietary program. The move greatly upset many in the programming community, including Richard Stallman, a software developer in his late twenties who was then working at M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Continue Reading

Share this

Related Posts