Numerical technologies have several notable differences compared to previous technologies (those based on mechanical science for example). The equipment required is extremely small (computer / soldering iron), which makes it much easier to access. However, the mechanisms of their operation are invisible, since they are electric, miniaturized and complex. While in mechanical science almost everything is transparent (one can practically understand the operation of a machine by simple observation), here access to information is crucial for understanding.
Before the emergence of the Internet, information was held exclusively by the industry; The individual could only access it through initial training and then integration into industry or university. It was complicated to access the theoretical knowledge, data sheets of electronic components (datasheets), and to get supplies of components. As far as software is concerned, even if the primary vocation (and commercial argument) of the first generations of personal computers was the learning and practice of programming, it turned out in practice that it was in reality A matter of specialists.
With the advent of the Internet and the possibility for all to publish free information, we were able to witness the development of free software and the unprecedented dissemination of information necessary for the development of computer science.
This allows everyone to benefit from these resources (including the industry which reduces costs by reusing and deriving from existing code and hardware).
The philosophy of the free defends our freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute. These freedoms are fundamental since, beyond the enrichment of the individual, they promote social solidarity through cooperation and sharing.
Our entry into a digital age makes this philosophy the guarantor of our freedom in general by putting the user at the center of collective creation. Millions of people now use free software around the world, and this community is growing, offering an alternative to the development of digital technology, by questioning the notions of right and ownership of intangible Economic principles.