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The 'Linux' of writing (1 Viewer)



I read through the history of Linux the other day, and was wondering if any published work has been written in the same manner. When Linux was created, a whole bunch of coders who believed that an OS should be free (as in 'able to be manipulated at your own discretion' free, not 'free beer' free) and banded together to develop an Operating System which everyone owned the rights to. The way it worked was that there was generally 1 or 2 ring leaders at the present time who decided what went in and what didn't. Surprisingly, they were able to fairly represent everyones image for linux and thus the project was a success. Maybe not commercially, but that was never the intended result.

Has there ever been any published work, that come to creation through the same process as linux, where writers came together and worked in a fairly democratic state to produce something that is greater than the sum of its parts? It may not have happened on the same size level as Linux, but it would be interesting to know if any work has been written like that.

And I know that if you wanted to get deep and psychological about it you could say that ALL work is written like that, as each writter has been affected and influenced by all their favourite writers, but that's not exactly what I mean.

PS. Didn't exactly know where this kind of topic would be posted, so if a mod has to move, I apologise in advance.


I meant more along the lines of books rather than TV Shows and movies and such, but you've got a point.


The Closest thing to a "Linux" of writing is an entire story setting: The Forgotten Realms, published by TOR.

There are basic rules to the magic and races in the setting, but in general, any writer could make their own stories that occur in the setting, but use the same "rules" of that mythological world, and submit it to TOR to ask them to publish said story/book.


Senior Member
Linux and OSS aren't exactly democratic projects. People contribute, but every project is patented and has an owner who decides what does or doesn't go into it.

All books are like that. Literature is, by it's very nature, Open Source.

That is to say, in writing it's impossible to hide things or conceal sources and influences. Every novel is based on, and extends the ideas of, every other novel that went before.

Really the Linux/OSS movement is all about returning the creation of software to what it was originally-- an art form like any other.