What is Open Source Software?
If you have ever heard of a program that is considered open source software, you may be wondering what that means. There is an easy answer to this question, but the truth can go much deeper than that. Here is a little bit of information about what all this term means and why it should matter to you.
What is the meaning of Open Source?
The simplest explanation to this question is, Open Source is a program whose source code is made available to everyone by the software developer. The source code is the coded instructions that have been written in a programming language for a computer to understand. If you are familiar with the language that it is coded in, you can look and see how the software works and even change the code to work how you want it to.
Closed Source Software
Most of the softwares available are closed sources meaning that only the programmer or programmers who created it have access to the source code. It is illegal to copy or alter that software in any way. To use that software, a user signs a digital agreement during the installation stating that they will not do any of the things that the software developer has not permitted the user to.
A Much Different Kind of Software
If a program’s source code is available, then the software is free to be downloaded and used by anyone. The user may manipulate the code, copy it, alter it, learn from it, and share it with others. As with closed source software, users must digitally sign an agreement, but the terms are much different. These agreements grant the user all of these privileges to copy, alter, learn, and share but do require any software that is released from modifying the code have its source code available as well. You can publish open source software under GPL.
Collaboration and Sharing
These agreements promote the collaboration of programmers and the sharing of what they create. This is a great benefit to programmers who are looking to learn more about certain types of software. Many people prefer using software with the source code available because they can have more control of it, it can help them train, they often have better security and are more stable.
If you’re wondering what is the meaning of open source, in simple terms, it is a software that the developer has released the source code to for others to benefit from. If you were to approach more aspects of your life in the open source way, you would be more willing to share, collaborate with others, be able to use failure as a way of asking for help and improving, and be more encouraging to everyone else to do the same. It is a simple concept that speaks volumes for those that have committed to it.