The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was jointly founded by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens in February, 1998. The “open source” label was created at a strategy session held on February 3rd, 1998 in Palo Alto, California, shortly after the announcement of the release of the Netscape source code. Adoption of the term was swift, with early support from notable figures in the community, like Linus Torvalds. The term was also used at the Free Software Summit in April, 1998. The event was attended by many key individuals, including the founding figures of Sendmail, Perl, Python, Apache, and representatives from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Software Consortium.
What is open source?
Open source is a software, web-based application, or even an operating system such as Linux, that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance. It’s the source code that any programmer can manipulate to change a piece of program or application, by either adding a feature or altering parts that aren’t working properly. The open source software authors can make the code available to others who would like to view it, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. By design, open source software licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects.
Is it Free?
Open source licenses require programmers to release their source code when they sell software to others. Programmers believe that charging users for software isn’t wise, so instead they charge for services and support by helping users to install, use and troubleshoot the software.
Projects and Applications
There are endless amounts of open source projects that cover a variety of topics such as, open source project management tools, CMS (content management systems), ERP systems, data visualization tools, Web browsers, Integrated library management systems, image editors, Finance Applications, Computer simulations, reporting tools, etc…
Why people prefer Open Source Software?
Freedom and more control: The power of open source is customer freedom. Users can control and change the software according their own requirements. The freedom to run the software for any purpose. The freedom to study how the software works, modify it, and redistribute copies of the software.
Better Security: The security of open source software is a key concern for organizations planning to implement it as part of their software stack, particularly if it will play a major role. Open source software is more secure than other closed sources. There is a big community and security response team for larger project like Red Hat Security and many other larger projects (for example, Apache, Mozilla) have their own security response teams that improve software security.
Better Support: Every open software piece out there is being supported by a large community where everyone participates. You will always find an answer to your question, and a solution to your problem. You will find everyone in the community participating from finding a bug and creating a resolution, to suggestions on how to improve the overall quality… and the best part is that you get all that for free!
Quality: In the open source community there are countless developers and users working to improve the security, while suggesting many innovative features. It’s not a matter of the vendor giving users what it thinks they want, instead users and developers make what they want, and they make it well.
Flexibility: When you use proprietary software such Microsoft Windows and Office, you will have to keep upgrading the software, which will require a hardware upgrade at some point to run the newer version of the software efficiently. Open source software on the other hand, is typically much less resource intensive, meaning that you can run it well even on older hardware, making upgrades up to you and not the vendor.
Open source is not about Linux anymore and today open source is a big business. It’s not just about server operating systems, it’s everywhere from the chip to the application and from large servers to mobile phones… you already use open source if you have an Android phone.
Learn more about the open source community by contacting The TNS Group today!
By: Hassan Aboulfetouh, Engineering, The TNS Group