Introduction to Free Software by Jesús M. González-Barahona, Joaquín Seoane Pascual, Gregorio

By Jesús M. González-Barahona, Joaquín Seoane Pascual, Gregorio Robles

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That supported the daily work of many people, especially software developers. There were still many pending assignments (the main one to have better graphical user interfaces at a time when Windows 95 was considered the standard), but there were already several thousand people worldwide who used exclusively free software for their day to day work. New projects were announced in rapid succession and free software embarked on its long path towards companies, the media and public awareness in general.

Bibliography Readers interested in learning about this transition period, can read, for example "How the ICP Directory began" [226] (1998), in which Larry Welke discusses how one of the first software catalogues not associated to a manufacturer was born, and how during this process it was discovered that companies would be prepared to pay for programs not made by their computer manufacturers. In the mid-1970s it was already totally common, in the field of IT, to find proprietary software. This meant an enormous cultural change among professionals who worked with software and was the beginning of a flourishing of a large number of companies dedicated to this new business.

Everything in its way Around 1990, most of the components of a complete system were ready as free software. On the one hand, the GNU project and the BSD distributions had completed most of the applications that make up an operating system. On the other hand, projects such as X Window or GNU itself had built from windowing environments to compilers, which were often among the best in their class (for example, many administrators of SunOS or Ultrix systems would replace their system's proprietary applications for the free versions of GNU or BSD for their users).

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