Beginner’s Guide to Open-Source Software

Beginners Guide to Open Source

Beginner’s Guide to Open-Source Software

26 Nov 2018 click4networks

What is open-source software?

Open-source software (OSS) is a subtype of software which is released under a license which state that holder has all the right to study, change, and distribution of the software for any purpose. Open-source software is commonly written as ‘Open source software’ are barrier-free software to use and customize. This software is majorly developed under a collaborative public manner to make the product stable and simple GUI for public use. The primary objective to design open source software (or open software license) is to support the commercial software industry. Open source software is available in several industries of software development.

There are a lot of companies which are using open source software and use them to design other software. Open source development companies are working on this module. They use open source software like opencart , WordPress, Mozilla browser etc and provide solutions to their customers. Free software is a term that came into existence, around 1982-1983. Free software is the first concept to use, distribute etc with software. Later in 1998, a group advocates changed the name of free software to Open source software. Then after ‘free and open source’ (FOSS) and ‘free/libre and open source software’ (FLOSS) comes in the trend and grab attention based on their licensing.
Why there is a requirement to change the name?
Free software leads to two different interpretation (free in terms of liberty or price) whereas open software has a clear meaning as in common English. You can look at the source code and do whatever you want to do. To remove this ambiguity this change was made in 1998.

You can read the license of both type of software (in terms of usability)

Free-software license
Open-source software license

At the same time, big giants like Microsoft, Google, Netscape, Oracle, IBM etc jumped in the market of open source software. And provide their software to uses to facilitate them. Based on the competition increasing day by day it has become important to specify the license or terms and conditions. So free software foundation and the open source initiative both decided to publish a list of license. Under which every software should enclose with it a license and terms and conditions. Whether it is free of open source software.

 

List of some open-source software?

There are thousands of software available but for your information here are some famous open source software is

  • MySql
  • MariaDB
  • MongoDB
  • VLC media player
  • Apache
  • OpenOffice
  • LibreOffice
  • Chromium
  • Tor browser
  • FileZilla
  • Xampp
  • Xmoto etc

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of open-source software

Advantages are

  • Easier to obtain a copy of a software
  • Implementation and adoption is easy
  • Can easily build developer community and developers feel empowered
  • Low marketing and logistical cost.
  • Any type of customization available.
  • The source code is available (depending on which license the software is distributed)
  • Do not face problems of incompatibility, Because of open standards.
  • Easily modified based on new technology.
  • No timeline and pressure to develop new or upgrade current version.

 

Disadvantages are

  • The source code is available they are less secure.
  • Easy for hackers to know about the weakness or loopholes.
  • A control mechanism is there which is autonomous for an agent in the virtual organization.
  • Manage and develop applications are quite complex.
  • No direct support is available.

 

Is Open source software always free?

Nearly all open-source software is free software but, there can be an exception. It depends on the license attached to the software. There is some open source license which is too restrictive for use, distribute, edit etc. This software which is too restrictive is not free to modify or distribute etc. The condition is clearly stated in their license due to this software do not qualify the free software condition. For example “Open Watcom”. User (or developers) do not have rights to modify it and use it for private uses.

There are a number of views available in the industry about free software and open source software. The values or views can give you a similar conclusion. But not always.
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