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Type Cola
Manufacturer Opencola
Country of origin Canada
Introduced 2001
Related products Free Beer

OpenCola is a brand of cola unique in that the instructions for making it are freely available and modifiable. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long as they, too, license their recipe under the GNU General Public License. Since recipes are, by themselves, not copyrightable, the legal basis for this is untested.[1]

Although originally intended as a promotional tool to explain free and open source software, the drink took on a life of its own and 150,000 cans were sold. The Toronto-based company Opencola founded by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow and John Henson became better known for the drink than the software it was supposed to promote. Laird Brown, the company's senior strategist, attributes its success to a widespread mistrust of big corporations and the "proprietary nature of almost everything."


[edit] Flavoring formula

[edit] Concentrate formula

[edit] Dilution

After mixing up the concentrate to the prescribed recipe (including all recommended safety precautions - see links), the syrup is diluted 5:1 with ("preferably Sodium-free") Soda Water to make the finished drink; at this dilution, the above combination of ingredients will yield approximately 24 litres of OpenCola.

The full recipe also includes instructions for home-made Soda Water produced from basic ingredients such as yeast and sugar, in order to make the entire process open source (as otherwise there would be a need to use commercially-produced bottled or canned soda, or consumer carbonation machines such as Soda Stream with commercially manufactured carbon dioxide canisters).[2][3]

[edit] Company

A Toronto-based software company founded in 1999[4] by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow and John Henson[5] to create "collaboration object lookup architecture" software, and sold in 2003. The software and specifications produced were all released as open source. The earliest archived page of the company website uses "OpenCOLA" to describe an application, a protocol, suite of tools, and the company itself.

The Opencola desktop client/server (or "clerver" in Opencola's parlance) application enabled users to collaboratively search, acquire, manage and share information from multiple data sources, including the Internet, peers on the Opencola network, and existing proprietary databases, from a single interface. Opencola extended search engine capabilities with the ability to perform contextual searching – a process that searches the entire contextual subject matter of a document for relevance and tries to replenish previous searches with more relevant results. Searches would propagate throughout the network as needed to locate the specified content.

The company funded development of and released Swarmcast[6], then released it as GPL software May 18, 2001. The software used peer-to-peer swarming techniques to accelerate distribution of large high-volume (frequently accessed) content, as a way to reduce load on source servers, with emphasis on content streaming. The company's Folders project used Swarmcast technology to accelerate content distribution within organizations.

In summer 2003, the company was sold to Open Text Corporation of Waterloo, Ontario.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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