Help - Glossary - O - Open source

There are many statements and interpretations of what is open source.

First, here is mine for Squeak:

Squeak is a programming environment for the furthering of science, art, education and communication, that is free and open like natural language and like mathematics, that can be freely shared by all, and that can be developed by anyone with the required brains, interests and time, in a public open process, conducted on the Squeak developers' list, coordinated by the Guides of Squeak.

It is public, free and open software: By the people, of the people, for the people - like language, like mathematics, like music. In effect, Squeak has been given to humanity by its original makes and developers as a free and open programming environment.

Programming involves both language and mathematics, and the interaction of human beings with machines made and designed by human beings to store, retrieve and and alter information systematically, according to recipes called programs.

Every human being knows some language, some mathematics, some music, and can use these to various own ends, and has received  language, mathematics and music essentially free, as part of his or her human birthright and being educated in a humane society. A good programming language and its environment multiply the capacities of a person who has access to it. A good programming language and its environment should be freely accessible and open to everyone, should be freely usable, and should be shared and developed with other humans, in the same sort of ways as natural language, mathematics and science have been developed.

Everybody should be able to program his or her computer, in a free and open programming environment, with full and public source of everything, as a public tool to produce one's own content in the environment, and as a tool that is publicly maintained and developed by specialists with standing in the community of those who know and understand - parts of - Squeak.

Second, something should be added on developing open source:

Squeak is developed in a public open process, conducted on the Squeak developers' list, by people who use and develop Squeak because they love it, want open source, like to further science, art or education, or simply like their programming (environment) to be real fun - and I did not exhaust all reasons.

However... none of the contributors to Squeak gets paid for his or her contributions, just as a mathematician does not get paid for publishing a theorem. Also, Squeak is and has been developed rapidly. Together, this means, first, that people who are new to Squeak have to work to get to know it (and are learning about a moving target), and second that the state in which the releases of Squeak are delivered to the public are not in the form of a shrinkwrapped box with a (temporally) finished product.

Third, Squeak-as-is is extra-ordinary powerful. Not only are the full code for the Virtual Machine for many Operating Systems freely available on the internet as are the sources, changes, and images files of many versions of Squeak: Collectively, these constitute in fact 35 years of development, first of Smalltalk (1969-1980) and then of Squeak (1995- ).

If the power of Squeak is not immediately obvious to you (and perhaps also not at second glance): It is all there, behind and inside the very environment that Squeak produces and works in, accessible and learnable and reprogrammable by Squeak's Browsers.

Alan Kay quote from list Jan 2004.
Remarks - Open Source

If you want to learn more about open source, here are links to sites of two spokesmen for it, who have an overlapping but not a shared perspective:

GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - (

Another position - related but not the same - is given here:

The Open Source Foundation (

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