OpenCola is a brand of open source cola, meaning anyone can make it, and change its recipe freely. It was started on 27 January 2001 by Opencola, a Toronto-based free software P2P company started by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow and John Henson, to promote their open-source software concept.
The first version of OpenCola, 1.0, came out on 27 January 2001. The latest version of OpenCola is 1.1.3. At first, the company wanted to use OpenCola to promote the company to explain free and open source software, but they became better known for the drink than the software they wanted to promote, and 150,000 cans of OpenCola were sold. Laird Brown, the company's senior strategist, says OpenCola was a success due to many people not trusting big corporations and the "proprietary nature of almost everything".
After mixing the concentrate to the recipe (including all recommended safety precautions), the syrup is diluted 5:1 with ("preferably sodium-free") soda water to make the finished drink. At this dilution, 24 litres of OpenCola is made.
The whole recipe also includes instructions to make home-made soda water from basic ingredients, such as yeast and sugar, to make the whole process open-source, otherwise commercially produced bottled or canned soda, or consumer carbonation machines with commercially manufactured carbon dioxide canisters, would need to be used.
- Paul Heltzel (9 April 2001). "OpenCola-Have Some Code and a Smile". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
A software company that happens to produce a soda, OpenCola uses peer-to-peer searching to find information on the Web. Its soft drink, OpenCola, helps to promote the company.
- Malyn (18 February 2007). "OpenCola - Open Source Coca Cola". Digital Journal. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
The soft drink was originally intended to be a promotional tool to help explain open source software but since its launch it's taken on a life of its own. The company that launched it has become more well known for the drink than the software they offer... the website selling the drink has sold over 150,000 cans!
- Ian Steadman (13 April 2013). "Open source cola and the 'Napster moment' for the food business". Wired. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
It's called Open Cola, a product first produced by now-defunct Toronto software company Opencola as something of a joke. Taking inspiration from Richard Stallman's famous dictum that free software was "free as in speech, not as in beer", it was meant as a kind of promotional tool. The recipe was published online for anyone to take and adapt. Version 1.0 was published on 27 January 2001 -- the latest version is 1.1.3. Opencola closed in 2003, but Open Cola's recipe is still around.
- "OpenCola.com - Soft Drink Formula - Internet Archive". 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-02-18. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
- Amanda Foubister (2001). "OpenCola Soft Drink Recipe" (PDF). OpenCola.com. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
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