Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

LAMP Oil: Anniversaries

Where's the birthday cake?

Talk to young programmers and developers today and you'd be fooled into thinking that free/open source software (FOSS) was a relatively new invention. Those crusty old folk among us (myself included, born in that prehistoric era of the early '70s) know that it goes back a little further than that.

Many of us become dewy-eyed about our memories of Linux when it first came out - or the first Red Hat release. In fact, many of the FOSS projects that we take for granted today are a heck of a lot of older than people realize.

Last month both the Apache HTTPD project and the MySQL database turned 10. I have to admit this surprised me. I can't remember when I first started using MySQL, but I can tell you that the earliest version I've got in my archives is version 3.23.41, which came out the summer of 2001. Before that, I think I used PostgreSQL, first released in 1996 but based on the much older Postgres project that started in 1986.

I used the Apache Web server long before it became famous, and I certainly remember using a version of httpd before it was an Apache project under it's original guise as the NCSA httpd server. That was only a few months before I installed my first publicly available Internet server based on the Gopher protocol.

Looking at programming languages, it's going to shock a lot of people when I tell them that Python was 14-years-old this past February. I was a relative newcomer to Python - I was only introduced to it when I started porting applications to the BeOS platform - when Python was one of the early tools ported to the new platform, but not by me.

PHP first came into being in the latter half of 1994, although the first PHP4 beta - the first major release of PHP that got widespread use - was on July 19, 1999.

The granddaddy of them all in the LAMP space is Perl. First released to the public by Larry Wall in December 1987, Perl will be 18-years-old at the end of the year. I'm proud to say that I've been using it for more than half its life, approaching a third of mine.

What's curious is that we don't celebrate these dates with more hoopla. There are exceptions - MySQL just celebrated it tenth anniversary at the MySQL Users Conference - but this is hardly the fanfare we should expect for such an important part of our (and by that I mean those developers and users among us) culture.

Why shouldn't we celebrate these dates? Some of these applications have had a huge impact on our lives. For me, FOSS became the way I got into book writing, and writing in general. Without it, I'd still be a system manager doing a 9 to 5 job frustrated by users who don't understand what "press any key" means.

For many of us, FOSS is our job, our hobby, and our life. Even among people who don't know what FOSS is, many use and employ the software everyday to write their e-mails, browse Web sites, and update their blogs. Even buying CDs, reading the news, or watching movies today rely on FOSS products. Let's face it much of the Internet exists only because of FOSS technology.

The problem with forgetting about the age of the FOSS technology that we use is that it means we forget how mature the products are. Talk to opponents of FOSS technology and they talk about how immature, untested, and untried these products are. Yet the reality is that many of the core FOSS products - Apache HTTPD, Perl, and MySQL - are actually older and more mature than the commercial products they're promoting.

To try and redress the balance I'm starting a FOSS anniversaries project. Initially it's going to be held on my personal blog at http://mcslp.com - click on the FOSS Anniversaries link to go to the page. If I get enough interest, I'll consider improving on it and moving it elsewhere. Until then, if you've got some additions or corrections, use the contact form to let me know.

Meanwhile, next time you use a FOSS product don't think about its age, think about its maturity and how that maturity is its best endorsement.

More Stories By Martin C. Brown

Martin C. Brown is a former IT director with experience in cross-platform integration. A keen developer, he has produced dynamic sites for blue-chip customers, including HP and Oracle, and is the technical director of Foodware.net. Now a freelance writer and consultant, MC, as he is better known, works closely with Microsoft as an SME; has a regular column on both ServerWatch.com and IBM's DeveloperWorks Grid Computing site; is a core member of the AnswerSquad.com team; and has written books such as XML Processing with Perl, Python and PHP, and the Microsoft IIS 6 Delta Guide.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...