Linux Logo penguinLinus Torvalds, initiator of development of the Linux Kernel and who is often described as the open source champion, interested in licensing only insofar as it affects his ability to share code and improve software more quickly.

When asked, which is more important, sharing code or empowering users – he responded “That’s a really stupid question. Why do you put it as an ‘either or’ kind of concept?” He then goes on to explain that, because open source operates in the same manner as scientific query, and is a matter of enlightened self-interest, sharing code and empowering users “are not at odds at all” — a view that, in the end, places him closer to the free software position than either free software or open source followers might care to admit.

“Human inquisitiveness is an even bigger part. The fact is, what’s most important is people. How they are inquisitive, and want to figure out and control the world. How they all have that selfish interest in improving their own lot in life, and almost by mistake they then end up improving other people’s lot in life, too, by uncovering some small detail that explains a bit more about the universe.
“The same is true of open source. It’s not about ‘sharing information’ per se: that’s just a small part of it — it’s a part of the tools to create better software.”

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