What is open source?

Written by on Sunday, July 6, 2008 13:43 - 0 Comments

What Is Open Source?

Open Source is a means by which software is developed as a collaboration between widely diverse segments of the digital community.  By individual contributors making their source code available to anyone who wishes to further develop that code, or to use that code in developing enhancements or add-ons, cultural boundaries are rendered meaningless, and, in theory, the finished product is more widely appropriate for a greater number of potential users.

Any software released as Open Source must include the source code when it is distributed, or provide a means by which any interested parties may obtain the source code.  It must not discriminate against cultural groups, or even technological boundaries.  As such, most Open Source applications are available in versions which operate on different platforms, such as Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux, among others.  Complimentary software developed for Open Source applications is not required to be inherently Open Source.  That is, an add-on product for the application may be copyrighted, and distributed as a commercial product. 

Open Source covers a wide range of applications, from operating systems to word processing, from molecular and genetic research tools, to theological and educational uses.  This allows for a maximum amount of diverse collaboration, which theoretically increases the benefits available to all users.  Open Source is largely a result of the digital age entered into as a result of the world-wide networking via the Internet, and there is some doubt whether Open Source could be practically applied without such means of non-local participation.

For an overview of the many applications to which Open Source has been applied, please visit the Wikipedia resource page at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open_source_software_packages ')}

Article written by MyComputerAid.com

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