Open Source, The Revolution Spreads

Open source is a big movement in software. But the idea is spreading beyond computers. “In 2003, the method is proving to be as broadly effective – and, yes, as revolutionary – a means of production as the assembly line was a century ago.But software is just the beginning. Open source has spread to other disciplines, from the hard sciences to the liberal arts. There is open source publishing: Prentice Hall is publishing a series of computer books open to any use, modification, or redistribution, with readers’ improvements considered for succeeding editions. There are library efforts like Project Gutenberg, which has already digitized more than 6,000 books, with hundreds of volunteers typing in, page by page, classics from Shakespeare to Stendhal; at the same time, a related project, Distributed Proofreading, deploys legions of copy editors to make sure the Gutenberg texts are correct. There are open source projects in law and religion. There’s even an open source cookbook.”