Open Source Software Definition, Advantages, types and Download

Every program has a source code. It is this aspect of the application that defines the outlook or appearance of the program and how it works.

This includes the font style, size, and color. It also includes the features of the program and what makes the program tick.

Computer programmers need the source if they intend to change a program. Indeed, the source code is very important to the nature and purpose of a program.

What is Open Source Software definition, is it free?

open source software definition

The source code concept is fundamental to the definition of an “Open Source Software”, what is and what is not.

By definition, an Open Sourcing Software is any application whose source code is accessible to the general public for free. Or at least a small controlled group of people that usually include programmers. It doesn’t mean that the program is free. So it is a open source code.
 
There is a reason why the source is accessible for public viewing. It is modification, and sharing.
Open-Source is also to ensure that the program is acceptable to its target users. Creators of open-source or non proprietary software do this to give their programs more credibility.
The more programmers that check the source, the better it would be at the end of the day. When you allow other creative programmers to have access to the source code, you can fix bugs in the application. Those little glitches in the program can be fixed and it will run without bugs.

Definition of Proprietary Closed Source Software

Not all applications are open. You also have “Proprietary software” or otherwise called “Closed Source Softwares”. These computer programs are only for an exclusive group of programmers. Usually only the creators themselves. The idea is to have complete control over the source code.
 
Who want access to the source code in a Proprietary Software need authors permission, it is not open-source.

What differences exist between Open Source and Proprietary Closed Source Software?

 Open source VS Proprietary

There are obvious legal issues when it comes to Proprietary Software. With this program, the originators of the program are the ONLY ones legally allowed to:

  • check,
  • change,
  • copy,
  • and share the source.

If any one intends using a Proprietary Software for the first time, he would have to sign a license agreement. It is that lengthy text that we are all guilty of NOT reading. But instead we skip to and click on the “Agree” box.

Well, in that “lengthy text”, you agree NOT to tamper with it in any way without the express authorization of the authors.
When using open source software you can modified it without permission.

Examples types list

Typical examples of Proprietary programs to name a few include AutoDesk’s, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office Suite.

But, when it comes to non proprietary, it is a different situation.
Open source software types examples include this from the list:
  • Redhat is a open source operating system
  • LibreOffice: Libreoffice is an example
  • the GNU Image Manipulation Program,
  • ERP,
  • CRM,
  • Animation
  • Arquitecture
  • Floor plan
  • forum
  • budgeting
  • Collaboration
  • Invoice
  • Library
  • Mapping
  • Monitoring
  • Payroll,
  • security,
  • survey
  • Tax
  • Management:
    • Project Manager,
    • Inventory management
    • Asset management
  • PDF reader,
  • Music,
  • Security camera
  • 3d modelling
  • Dashboard
  • recovery
  • design
  • database
  • drawing,
  • Encryption
  • Flowchart and diagram,
  • Mind mapping,
  • Nas,
  • Ocr,
  • Digital signage
  • Drone
  • Office
  • Recording
  • Statistical
  • Transcription
  • Video conferencing
  • gis,
  • Facial recognition,
  • Help desk,
  • Scanning
  • Scheduling:
    • Employee scheduling
  • Wiki
  • 3d printer
  • CAD,
  • Video editing: Avidemux, Openshot, Shotcut.
  • Accounting
  • ip camera,
  • webcam
  • router
  • And some antivirus
These are typical examples of Open Sourcing Software.
 
You can have access to the source code of these applications and you can view, copy, change, learn, and even share the code.

 

Types of licenses

 

These are some types of licenses some are the open source licenses.

 

GPL – GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

An example of an Open licensed sources is the GPL or GNU General Public License.
This consists of several free software licenses. It assures and allows users to run, inspect, study, copy,changey, and share the software.
 
Currently is in its third version (since 2007). It aims to offer free software that must be distributed to third parties maintaining the level of appropriation.
In practice requires that if you change the system, and want to market it (or simply distribute it) , it must be under the same license. So it is not valid a more restrictive or proprietary one.
 
It is one of the most widely used licenses. And they have given birth to projects that maintain the essence of their predecessors. It allow them to continue evolving at the expense of their initial creators.

 

LGPL – GNU REDUCED GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

Another name is a reduced GPL, LGPL. It is a type of license that allows part of the code to be used in projects regardless of their type. Also, it allows starting from a free software project to one that is proprietary, for example.
 
It is usually used in libraries, or applications of the most diverse nature to include in external projects.

AGPL – AFFERO GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

It is in turn based on the previous one, but it is intended for those projects that are expected to be collaborative online, since the distribution of code on demand by networks is allowed.

 

FDL – GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE OF DOCUMENTATION

It is the fourth pillar on which the Free Software Foundation licenses are based. It is used for the predictably technical documentation of free open software. Part of the free software movement and open software movement.

BSD LICENSE – BERKELEY SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION LICENSE

Originally born for the BSD operating system.
 
Basically it opens the closure to any type of modification and redistribution. As long as it is done with a different name.

 

ALTERNATIVES

The 5 licenses exposed above are not the only alternatives we have.
  • Apache License: It allows derivative works to be distributed with the desired license,
  • The MIT license, which uses this prestigious university. It resembles the BSD, allowing to change what you want as long as it is made clear.
  • Apple (yes, that company that sells proprietary hardware and software) also has its own free license. It is the Apple Public Source License.
  • Microsoft also has its own, Ms-PL – Microsoft Public License, and so on.
 
But the most “free” of all is the WTFPL – Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License (it does just that).
You can use any software with WTFPL license. Also change and distribute as you like, without further ado.

 

License agreement 

With Open Sourcing Software, you still have to “Agree” to the license agreement. But, the terms and conditions are different from Proprietary. You are granted access to the code of the application.
 
With some you also have a “Copyleft License”. What this license agreement entails is the following. When a computer user modifies the source code of a program, they have to agree to allow other users to also view, learn, copy, change, and share their modified source code.
 
Users who modify the source code of these open programs are usually NOT permitted to charge licensing fees to other computer users who intend viewing, copying, altering, and sharing the source.
 
Programmers of open Softwares may charge fees to users for support and other services. Examples are troubleshooting, installation, and general use).
 
This will be viewed as being more lucrative than say – selling a modified software.
 
This is especially true if the license agreement entails that such programmers have to make the code available to the general public (open). In such a situation, it would make little sense for the programmer to sell their modified code. This is because the code will not be under their exclusive control.
 
So the software itself will be free-of-charge. But, if a user needs some support, then the programmer can charge the user a fee before rendering their help.
 
But, if a Proprietary Software is NOT FREE, then whether you are a programmer or a regular user, you have to buy it. The author(s) makes money from the actual sale of their software.
 
Based on the reviews and feedback they get from both regular users and other programmers. These authors may then decide to modify the source code of their software. It can be either by themselves or by hiring other programmers to assist.

Advantages, pros and benefits

These are some advantages and benefits a about source open.

Is it a preferred option? Yes! Many people prefer Open to Proprietary for many of genuine reasons.
 
For starters, programmers love the fact that they can alter the code in any way they deem fit. But, computer users would be happy that the application is far from the finished. And they can do modifications to suit their peculiar needs.
 
Below are some other reasons why non proprietary are a preferred option for non and computer programmers.

#1: A Sense of Community:

 

With these open software people with similar interests tend to get drawn together. Open Software tend to build communities.
 
In a open source community the programmers will get to:
  • exchange ideas,
  • learn from each other,
  • and improve their programming skills.
The amount of knowledge-base that such open software communities provide can’t be acquired from a classroom.
 
Non-programmers are not left behind as a community of users can also be formed as a result of the open software. Here users can share their opinions and feedback from using the software. It is in these communities that bugs, glitches, and troubleshooting challenges can also be resolved.

#2: Advanced Knowledge and Training:

 

Open Source products provide programmers with the opportunity of be in touch with other more talented . With real world, practical examples to work with, they will absorb information quicker than they would under a formal educational setting. As mentioned earlier, communities spring up as a result of the open.
They provide a viable open source learning platform. There programmers get training from other more experienced and reputable.

#3: Employment Opportunities:

 

Open Software provide employment opportunities to programmers who offer their services to users in need of support, installation, general use, and troubleshooting services.

The community of programmers also provides a resource where programmers get work on other open source projects.

 

#4: More Control:

 

When virtually everyone has access to the source code, it gives them some level of control. You can decide on how the program should run, what should be on it and what shouldn’t.

You get to decide what modifications you want. Also, you get to decide whether to copy, save or share the modifications you have made to the source code.

 

#5: More Stability:

 

An Open Source program provide employment opportunities to programmers. Programmers offer their services to users in need of support, installation, general use, and help services.
 
The community of programmers formed under the source open also provides a resource where they can get employed to work on other open source projects.
 
If you are working on a very important project with long-term ramifications, then these A source open may be preferable to you.
 
Users of open software sometimes need the programs to perform some very important tasks. They can rely on programmers modifying the source code to meet the future demands of users.
 
This ensures that the open software remains stable, consistent, and relevant for a very long time. It is because it functions under a standard of regular upgrades and updates by programmers.

#6: Better Security:

 

With open source softwares, programmers are on the lookout for bugs, errors, flaws, omissions, and vulnerabilities.
 
This makes these much more secure than the Proprietary. The commercial software have vulnerabilities that their authors may not be aware of.
 
A project with source open can only get better. This is because as so many programmers have access to the source code. And they work on making the software better.
 
Indeed, these open softwares may be the creation of a person or group of people. But everyone is owner, as you can chip in and improve the software.
 
You can modify the loading speed of the program. You can also work on its interactivity, intuitiveness, and user friendliness.
 
Also, the layout, appearance, features, and general operation of the open software can get improvement from anyone.
 
This is what makes them such a preferred option to users and programmers.

Disadvantages and cons

There are not many disadvantages or cons. The most important disadvantage if the source is open is that there is not full control of the source code.

Companies

There are many open source companies which are in fact corporate developers. This is a list of some of the open companies which have some open software projects are:

  • Adobe
  • Cloudera
  • Facebok
  • Github
  • Google
  • Huawei
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Netflix

 

Where to download the best free open software

You can download it from the following sources:

Sourceforge.net

sourceforge.net

In the website https://sourceforge.net/ you can find the best open source software and download it. It have these filters:

  • Operating system: windows, linux and mac.
  • Application categories: software development, internet, education, database, scientific.
  • Licenses type: open source, public domain, creative commons atribution,..

 

Sourceforge.net is probably the biggest database in this software type. It have many categories to search and download the free software.

 

Github the Open development platform

github development platform

Github, https://github.com/ is the leading development platform for create and download open software.