Exposing the source: 16 pieces of classic software whose code is now accessible

The source code behind proprietary software doesn’t always remain hidden forever. Here are a number of examples where the code behind well-known applications has come to light
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Credit: flickr/Trevor Mattea

Last year NASA published a catalog of software code it has developed over the years which you can now access for free. While NASA has a history of making technology it develops available to the public, other developers of proprietary software will sometimes also lift the veil on their code. Often, it's years after the software's prime and is usually shared for historical purposes. Occasionally, though, developers will make formerly proprietary code open source to encourage others to continue its development. Here are 16 pieces of classic proprietary software for which the source code is now available, either through being open-sourced by its developer or, sometimes, because it was literally rescued from the trash heap by a fan.

See also:

Superbugs: 10 software bugs that took way too long to meet their maker

Keyboard for one: 8 of the most impressive solo programming efforts

Superclass: 14 of the world’s best living programmers

Lazy like a fox: 8 ways great programmers save time and energy

Head-scratchers: 10 confounding programming language features

Pants on fire: 9 lies that programmers tell themselves

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