The (Open Source) World in 2020

A History Based Look into the Future

Stefan Merten

The talk addresses the FrOSCon topic "The Open Source World in 2020 -
Ein Blick in die Glaskugel...". To address the topic from a scientific
perspective the talk takes the position of: If you want to predict
future you must have understood history. In its first part the talk
looks back into the history of Free Software as the most visible and
most successful example of an Open Source phenomenon. It sketches a
picture beginning with the earliest forms of Free Software until
today. In the second part the talk explains Selbstentfaltung and
openness as the basic principles of the phenomenon of Free Software
and similar phenomena. It explains how these principles constitute a
new mode of production and why this mode is stronger than the
capitalist one. The talk gives a short introduction to a general model
of development and shows how Free Software as well as capitalism
develop(ed) according to this model. The third part draws the
conclusion and extrapolates the discoveries to the near future. It is
outlined where further expansion and deeper embedding of those basic
principles can be expected.