Unix and other Open Standards:
A Free Market for Software

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The goal of this site is to provide resources for programming in the Unix and POSIX environment. Unix and POSIX are open standards to which most modern operating systems conform. (MS Windows is the only mainstream operating system that is not Unix compatible.)

The Unix and POSIX standards make it possible for software written on one type of hardware and Unix-like operating system to work on others with little or no changes to the software. For example, a program written for AIX (a Unix OS from IBM) on a Power processor can be very easily ported (adapted) to run on FreeBSD on an Intel or AMD processor or Linux on an ARM processor.

Open standards and open source software make it possible for users to freely choose the best operating system and hardware to run the software they need.

In recent years, the open source software base has come of age. It is now possible for the average computer user to do everything they need on the hardware of their choice, using free open source operating systems such as BSD and Linux, and free open source applications such as Firefox, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, Thunderbird, etc. Thanks to easy-to-use package-based operating systems like PC-BSD and Ubuntu Linux, you no longer have to be a computer geek to take full advantage of open source software.

One of the goals of this site is to help those who are new to Unix/POSIX programming and open source software. The information here is meant to help you understand what Unix and POSIX are, as well as the motivation behind Unix, POSIX, and other open standards.