Open source software, or OSS refers to software developed, tested or enhanced via public collaboration and distributed with the idea that it must be shared, ensuring an open collaboration in the future. The collaborative of a lot of developers, particularly those in the academic space, in the development of different versions of UNIX operating system led to the open source movement and the approach to develop and distribute programs as open source. Open source means something that people could modify and share since the design is accessible publicly.
OPEN SOURCE IN THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT
The open source term originated in the context of software development to designate a certain approach to build computer programs. However, these days, open source designates a broader values set or what is called the open source way. Open source products, projects or initiatives embrace and celebrate open exchange principles, rapid prototyping, collaborative participation, meritocracy, transparency and development that is community-oriented.
OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE AND OTHER KINDS OF SOFTWARE
Some software possess source code that only the person, the team or the organization who made it and maintains exclusive control on it could modify. This is called ‘proprietary’ or ‘closed source’ software. Only the original authors could copy, inspect and change it legally. Furthermore, to use proprietary software, users of a computer should agree, typically by singing a license displayed the first time they run the software that they would not do anything with the software that the authors have not expressly permitted.
An open source software is different. The authors make the source personalberatung wien code available to others who want to see the code, copy, learn from it, alter or share it. The same as with proprietary software, users should accept the license terms when they use it but the legal terms of open source licenses significantly vary from those of proprietary licenses. The open source licenses impact the way people could use, study, change and distribute software. Generally, open source licenses grant permission to computer users to use it for any purpose they want.
THE RELEVANCE OF OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE
Is open source software only relevant to programmers? The answer is no. Open source technology as well as open source thinking benefit programmers and non-programmers alike. Since early inventors created much of the internet itself on technologies that are open source, such as Linus and Apache Web server application, anyone who uses the internet nowadays benefits from an open source software. Each time a computer user views web pages, chat with friends, check email, stream music online or play multiplayer video games, their mobile phones, computers or gaming consoles connect to a worldwide network of computers using open source software for routing and transmitting data to the local devices in front of them. The computers that perform all this vital work typically are located in far places that users do not actually see or could not access physically, which is the reason why some call these computers as remote computers.
WHY PEOPLE OPT FOR OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE
People opt to use open source software to proprietary one for several reasons, such as the following:
1. CONTROL. A lot of people prefer open source because they have more control over it. They could check out code to ensure that it is not doing anything that they do not want it to do. Furthermore, they could change parts if they do not like. Non-programmer users benefit from open source as well, since they could use it for any intent they wish, not just the way that someone else thinks they should.
2. SECURITY. Some people go for open source software since they consider it to be more stable and secure. As anyone could see and modify it, someone could spot and correct errors or omissions that the original authors have missed. Furthermore, since a lot of programmers could work on a piece of software with no need to ask permission from the original authors, they could fix and upgrade it faster than they could with proprietary software.
3. TRAINING. Other people like open source since it helps them to become better programmers. Because open source code is accessible publicly, students could study it easily as they learn how to make better software. Moreover, students could share their work with others, invite comment and critique as they develop their skills.
4. STABILITY. A lot of users prefer open source software than proprietary software for long-term, critical projects. As programmers distribute the source code publicly for open source software, users who rely on the software for vital tasks could ascertain that their tools will not disappear or fall to disrepair if the original creators will stop working on them. In addition, open source tends to integrate and operate based on open standards.