Open Source Computing
Transcript of Richard Stallman talk from 2002: My Lisp
Experiences and the Development of GNU Emacs
Lisp Machines, Inc was founded by one of the members of the MIT AI lab,
named for the MIT Lisp machine (lower case). A competing company was
founded a short while later, named Symbolics. Both companies agreed to
make Lisp improvements available to MIT. But Symbolics declared that any
such improvements were to be made available only to MIT; MIT
could not redistribute the changes. This irritated Stallman, and he took
Up until that point, I hadn't taken the side
of either company,
although it made me miserable to see what had happened to our
community and the software. But now, Symbolics had forced the issue.
So, in an effort to help keep Lisp Machines
Inc. going — I began duplicating all
of the improvements Symbolics had made to the Lisp machine system. I
wrote the equivalent improvements again myself (i.e., the code was my
After a while, I came to the conclusion
that it would be best if I didn't even look at their code. When they
made a beta announcement that gave the release notes, I would see what
the features were and then implement them. By the time they had a real
release, I did too.
After two years, the MIT AI lab closed and Stallman founded the GNU
IBM Closes Landmark Acquisition of Red Hat for $34 Billion
Red Hat certainly figured out how to make money in open source!
The death watch for the X Window System (aka X11) has probably started
Maybe so, maybe no. On the one hand, X was why we have the MIT license.
On the other, the demise of X is long overdue. The replacement is likely
to be Wayland, which does also use the MIT license.
Debian GNU/Hurd 2019 released
Still limited to 32-bit support, though. This is probably a bad sign.
The Ruby strong_password
gem (Ruby's name for library), version 0.0.7, was hijacked.
See the code.
This happened in March with a different Ruby package: zdnet.com/article/backdoor-code-found-in-popular-bootstrap-sass-ruby-library.
In both cases, the github.com source was unchanged; the distribution at
rubygems.org was what was compromised.
Individual Assignment 1: Find a bug in LibreOffice (or something else) and report it to me.
You can either find the bug by using
LibreOffice, or by looking at their bugzilla site, bugs.documentfoundation.org
(you might have to create an account). Either way, you should be able to
reproduce the bug, so you will probably have to install LibreOffice. If
you are reporting a bug from their bugzilla site, you must
able to reproduce it.
If you find the bug yourself, you do not
have to report it to
LibreOffice (to report it you really should search to see if someone else
has already reported it, and that's quite a bit of extra work).
Your report to me should describe the bug, and how you reproduce it. You
should also include a sample LibreOffice file to demonstrate the bug, in
whatever format is necessary (although some bugs don't have files; for
example, "create a new file, store it in .docx format, paste a .png image,
and save"). The sample file is particularly important if you're reporting
on a bug you found at the bugzilla site.
Be sure to let me know what operating system you're using, and what
version of LibreOffice, and which program within the LibreOffice suite (eg
I'm suggesting LibreOffice because it's, well, so easy. (Ok, maybe not
easy when you're actually trying
to find a bug, but there are
quite a few out there.) However, you may
instead report on a bug
in some other open-source project, if you wish.
Examples: sudoku.doc alignment issue, try recreating
in the current LibreOffice
Group assignment 1 preview (due
sometime next week, after class):
Create a document describing your project and what changes you intend to
make. This is not a definite commitment; you may decide later to modify
the changes. For example, for the calculator your document might look like
- We will organize the keys
- We will fix the issue with the zero key
- We will add support for the Bessel and Gamma functions
Actually, you are encouraged to give a little more detail than that: a
sketch or screenshot of the desired keyboard layout, a specification of
how the program is to respond to keypresses generally, and a specification
of what the new Bessel/Gamma keys do. (You might also consider listing
potential sources for Bessel or Gamma algorithms, though I don't
necessarily recommend implementing this feature as these functions are
A deeper dive into licenses