What is open source software?
The term open source software refers to something people can modify and share because its blueprint or design is openly accessible.
Most computer users never view the source code of a software, which is the code that programmers can edit to change how a piece of software works.
Programmers who have access to the source code of computer software can subsequently enhance it by adding new features or fixing areas that don’t always work correctly.
Similarly, open-source software is software that has the source code available for anyone to examine, edit, and improve.
The open source initiative
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded with the goal of promoting and safeguarding open-source software and communities. In a nutshell, the OSI serves as a central repository for open-source software information and governance.
It offers standards and principles for how to use and interact with open-source software. Moreover, it contains code license information, support, to make open source usage and treatment more clear and ethical.
How does open source software work?
Open source code is often saved in a public repository and is accessible to the general audience. Therefore, anyone with access to the repository can utilize the code on their own. In addition, they can also contribute to the overall project’s design and functionality.
A distribution license is commonly included with the open-source software. Developers can use, study, edit, and, most importantly, distribute the software under the conditions of this license.
Five of the most popular licenses, according to the Synopsys Black Duck® KnowledgeBase, are:
- MIT License
- GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0 – This is more restrictive and demands the public release of copies of modified programmes.
- 2.0 Apache License
- BSD License 2.0 (3-clause, New or Revised) – This is less restrictive than the GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0.
When a source code is modified, OSS must document the changes as well as the methods that were used. Depending on the licensing terms, the software created as a result of these changes may or may not be required to be made freely available.
advantages of open source software
- Firstly, open source software is free.
- Developers can investigate how the code works and make changes to dysfunctional or problematic elements of the application to better suit their individual needs because open source is adaptable.
- Users may rely on open source for long-term projects. The code’s creators can’t simply abandon the project or let it fall into disrepair.
- Open source encourages originality by allowing programmers to improve software by modifying existing code and even creating new ideas.
- Furthermore, Open source includes a built-in community that updates and improves the source code on a regular basis.
- It provides great learning opportunities for new programmers.
disadvantages of open source software
- Due to the difficulties of getting it up and the absence of user-friendly interfaces, open source can be more difficult to use and embrace.
- Compatibility concerns might arise when using open source software. Proprietary hardware require specialist drivers for programming. They are typically only accessible from the hardware manufacturer.
- Unlike commercial software, which is completely in the control of the vendor, open source software almost never includes any warranty, liability, or infringement indemnity protection. As a result, the OSS user is responsible for ensuring the legal responsibilities.
- Moreover, open source can incur unexpected costs in training users, importing data, and setting up required hardware.
Difference Between Open-Source Software and Proprietary Software
|Open-Source Software||Proprietary/Closed-Source Software|
|Open-Source Software refers to the computer software having an open source, which means the general public can access and use it.||Closed-Source Software refers to the computer software having a closed source, which means public is not given access to the source code.|
|The source code is public.||The source code is protected.|
|Other users and organisations can modify the code.||The organisation that has created the software can modify its code.|
|Programmers compete with each other for recognition.||Programmers do not compete with each other for recognition.|
|It is purchased with its source code.||It is not purchased with its source code.|
|Open software can be installed on any computer.||Closed software needs to have a valid license before installation on any computer.|
|No one is responsible for the software.||The vendor is responsible for the software.|
|It can fail quickly. However, it can be fixed faster.||Closed source software has no room for any failure.|
|Examples are Firefox, OpenOffice, Gimp, Alfresco, Android, Zimbra, Thunderbird, MySQL, Mailman, PHP, etc.||Examples are Skype, Google Earth, Java, Adobe Flash, Virtual Box, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, etc.|
Tools are utilized in OSS development to aid in the creation of the product as well as the development process itself. Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and later Subversion (SVN) and Git are examples of tools that help manage source code files and modifications to those files for a software project.
Likewise, these tools are often open-source. Hence, repositories store projects. They are hosted and published on source-code hosting services like Launchpad, GitHub, GitLab, and SourceForge.
Mailing lists and IRC are examples of tools that allow developers to communicate with one another. Social features on centralized code hosting services allow developers to communicate.
The Most Popular Types Of Open Source Solutions
CRM(Customer Relationship Management)
CRM (customer relationship management) software makes it easier for businesses to manage client contacts and fulfill their needs. In other words, it helps organizations in improving customer service, which is critical for increasing customer happiness and profitability.
This app allows keeping organized while also increasing productivity. There are a variety of open source CRM examples available. Most of them are free to download. However, they require technical knowledge.
Open Source Video Games
The majority of open-source video games are available for free download and modification. Consequently, they can be freely shared by developers and game designers across platforms.
Several of these games are included by default in Linux distributions. Users can also download and install the most popular ones on Mac OS and Windows. Some open-source video games may also be subject to restrictive licensing.
Open Source Project Management
Certainly, keeping track of assignments and tasks can be made much easier with open-source project management software.
They enable you to manage multiple projects at the same time while remaining organized. Above all, the majority of open source project management tools are free, with premium versions available as well.
Blockchain Open Source
Users run blockchain open-source software to record transactions between two parties. As a result, a spreadsheet is used to record the details.
Its disadvantage is that it cannot be amended, and users must agree to add data to the platform by consensus. However, the best thing about this software is that it is safe.
Blockchain software is primarily used in the financial industry. However, it is widely utilized by eCommerce enterprises, as well as in online voting, e-governance, and other applications.