Information of Open Source Softwares

Definition of Open Source


Most software that you buy or download only comes in the compiled ready-to-run version. Compiled means that the actual program code that the developer created, known as the source code, has run through a special program called a compiler that translates the source code into a form that the computer can understand (see How C Programming Works for details on compilers). It is extremely difficult to modify the compiled version of most applications and nearly impossible to see exactly how the developer created different parts of the program. Most commercial software manufacturers see this as an advantage that keeps other companies from copying their code and using it in a competing product. It also gives them control over the quality and features found in a particular product.
Open source software is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The source code is included with the compiled version and modification or customization is actually encouraged. The software developers who support the open source concept believe that by allowing anyone who's interested to modify the source code, the application will be more useful and error-free over the long term.
To be considered as open source software by the software development industry, certain criteria must be met:
 
• The program must be freely distributed (It can be part of a package that is sold though, such as Red Hat has done with Linux in the example below).
Source code must be included.
• Anyone must be allowed to modify the source code.
Modified versions can be redistributed.
• The license must not require the exclusion of other software or interfere with the operation of other software.
Let's take a look at a real world example of open source software. In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland, developed a new operating system based on Minix, a derivative of Unix, which he dubbed Linux. Torvalds released version 0.02 of Linux under the GNU GPL (General Public License), which provides a good legal definition of open source software. A lot of people around the world downloaded Linux and began working with it. Many of these users were programmers in their own right and made modifications to the source code that Torvalds had included. Over the next three years, Torvalds received these modified versions from the other programmers and incorporated many of the changes into the baseline version and released Linux version 1.0 in 1994.
A common concern for end-users who wish to use open source software is the lack of a warranty and technical support. Because the software's license encourages modification and customization, it is nearly impossible to support. This is why Red Hat Software, founded in 1994, created the "Official Red Hat Linux" and is able to sell this normally "free" software. The main value that Red Hat adds to the package is a warranty and technical support. For most businesses, the assurance of technical support has been a key factor in the decision to buy Linux instead of simply downloading it for free. In addition to Red Hat, there are several other companies that have packaged Linux, usually with additional software, for resale.
Besides Linux, Mozilla (Netscape browser core),Apache (Web server), PERL (Web scripting language) and PNG (graphics file format) are all examples of very popular software that is based on open source.

What's the difference between open source software and other types of software?

Some software has source code that only the person, team, or organization who created it—and maintains exclusive control over it—can modify. People call this kind of software "proprietary" or "closed source" software.
Only the original authors of proprietary software can legally copy, inspect, and alter that software. And in order to use proprietary software, computer users must agree (usually by signing a license displayed the first time they run this software) that they will not do anything with the software that the software's authors have not expressly permitted. Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are examples of proprietary software.

Why do people prefer using open source software?


People prefer open source software to proprietary software for a number of reasons, including:
Control. Many people prefer open source software because they have more control over that kind of software. They can examine the code to make sure it's not doing anything they don't want it to do, and they can change parts of it they don't like. Users who aren't programmers also benefit from open source software, because they can use this software for any purpose they wish—not merely the way someone else thinks they should.

Advantages of Open Source Software

Today open source software has become critical for almost every organization. Almost everything requires open source software, be it telecommunication systems, inventory, accounting, personal productivity applications, contact management and operating systems amongst others. At Outsource2india, we have experienced and skilled software engineers who can proficiently build a software system by using open source software. With our expertise in java development, we can also develop application blocks. We also use our system integration services to make sure that the new application that we create can be easily integrated with your existing systems. Outsource open source software development to O2I and benefit from high-quality services at a cost-effective price.
Open source software can have a major impact on your entire organization. There are several advantages of using open source software. The following are a list of the advantages of opting for open source software.
  1. Lesser hardware costs

    Since Linux and open source solutions are easily portable and compressed, it takes lesser hardware power to carry out the same tasks when compared to the hardware power it takes on servers, such as, Solaris, Windows or workstations. With this less hardware power advantage, you can even use cheaper or older hardware and still get the desired results.
  2. High-quality software

    Open source software is mostly high-quality software. When you use the open source software, the source code is available. Most open source software are well-designed. Open source software can also be efficiently used in coding. These reasons make open source software an ideal choice for organizations.
  3. No vendor lock-in

    IT managers in organizations face constant frustration when dealing with vendor lock-ins'. Lack of portability, expensive license fees and inability to customize software are some of the other disadvantages. Using open source software gives you more freedom and you can effectively address all these disadvantages.
  4. Integrated management

    By using open source software, you can benefit from integrated management. Open source software uses technologies, such as, common information model (CIM) and web based enterprise management (WBEM). These high-end technologies enable you to integrate and combine server, application, service and workstation management. This integration would result in efficient administration.
  5. Simple license management

    When you use open source software, you would no longer need to worry about licenses. Open source software enables you to install it several times and also use it from any location. You will be free from monitoring, tracking or counting license compliance.
  6. Lower software costs

    Using open source software can help you minimize your expenses. You can save on licensing fees and maintenance fees. The only expenses that you would encounter would be expenditure for documentation, media and support.
  7. Abundant support

    You will get ample support when you use open source software. Open source support is mostly freely available and can be easily accessed through online communities. There are also many software companies that provide free online help and also varied levels of paid support. Most organization who create open source software solutions also provide maintenance and support.
  8. Scaling and consolidating

    Linux and open source software can be easily scaled. With varied options for clustering, load balancing and open source applications, such as email and database, you can enable your organization to either scale up and achieve higher growth or consolidate and achieve more with less.

    Popular Licenses


    The following OSI-approved licenses are popular, widely used, or have strong communities:
  9. Apache License 2.0
  10. BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" license
  11. BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" or "FreeBSD" license
  12. GNU General Public License (GPL)
  13. GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL)
  14. MIT license
  15. Mozilla Public License 2.0
  16. Common Development and Distribution License
  17. Eclipse Public License


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