mildly OT: FOSS/proprietary equivalents, advances, etc. When is FOSS the first?

anthony baldwin anthony.baldwin01 at
Mon Nov 26 16:37:22 UTC 2007

I'm curious...
Folks often come asking for our FOSS "equivalent" to such-n-such a 
program/tool/package, etc.
And, as such, it could easily occur to one that we are often trying to 
keep up with
advances in, and emulate software from, the proprietary software world.
I know that to say such a thing would not be entirely accurate.
I am certain that there must be cases in which the proprietary world has
scrambled to keep up with advances and/or emulate tools created first in the
FOSS world.
Unfortunately, I don't actually know of a single case of this phenomenon.
I do know of cases in which the proprietary world has borrowed stuff from
FOSS, such as the gecko rendering engine used in pretty well any browser
currently in use (to my knowledge), but, what else is there?
Where have FOSS developers been the first to invent something, that has, 
been emulated in proprietary software?


Translation & Interpreting

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