Any interest in a FOSS History Project?

Wow. The response to my last post, How I came to find Linux, was simply overwhelming.

Maybe it’s just because I recently reread Stephen Levy’s Hackers for the nth time, but I’m thinking our generation’s story needs to be told. It really was a different time then vs. now—compute and storage were scarce, not abundant; connectivity was rare, not ubiquitous; and the idea of the world’s information being organized and universally accessible was science fiction.

I’m not sure what form this story would ultimately take. It could be a book, a sequel in spirit to Hackers (which would certainly be an appropriate way to think about it, since Hackers ends with a young Richard Stallman founding the GNU Project, while our generation’s story arguably begins there). It could be a podcast, our version of The Glory of Their Times. It could just be a set of essays like the one I wrote. Whatever form it takes, something I’m thinking of as a “FOSS History Project” is starting to take shape.

Before I sink too much time into the idea, though, I thought I’d run it up the flagpole.

Any interest out there?


10 comments on “Any interest in a FOSS History Project?

  1. Luke Jones

    Hi. I just stumbled upon your last blog, “How I came to find Linux”. It was a fascinating read, up there with Levy’s “Hackers” and other computer history books.

    I know I won’t be the only one of the new generation who would appreciate another addition to the growing computer history pile.

    Go for it!

  2. Alexander Wauck

    As a computer geek from a family of history geeks, I am totally on board with this. I’d love to help in any way I can, even if I wasn’t there personally in the early days.

  3. Gordon

    Oh goodness, yes please. An intellectually honest history of FOSS is needed while we still remember what people like you did.

    Podcasts – um, the infrastructure for long-time management of content (indexing, cataloging, preserving) is much more advanced for books, or even blog posts, than podcasts. Look at how often ‘Hackers’ get mentioned.

    Slight bias on my part perhaps – I’ve done a lot of technical writing, and editing.

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