Second Law: Software is for all

March 23rd, 2007

Ranganathan expressed his second law as ‘every person his or her book’. As with the first law, he came up with this law in response to his observation that books were restricted to a small number of privileged people. Interpreting this law in the context of open source software is easy: conditions 4 and 5 of the Open Source Definition say that software must not be restricted from individuals or groups or from specific fields of endeavour. It is tempting to suggest that Ranganathan saw the second law of library science as the most important, since he spent three chapters (of 9 total), comprising 178 pages (roughly 1/3 of the book) to discussing its struggle, global uptake, and implications.

Entry Filed under: Free/open source


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