Open Source Software.
What's open source software?
Open source software refers to software with source code that can anyone can inspect, modify and improve or enhance to his/her own preference.
Open source software contain source code, which is the part of software usually most of computer user really never see; and its the logic that programmers enhance to change how the program or application really works. This is achieved by adding features or fixing bugs/errors - parts that didn't work correctly as intended.
Difference between Proprietary (licensed) and Open Source software
The opposite of open source is proprietary softtwware - where only the original authors of the source code can inspect, and alter that software. Proprietary software requires its users to signing license for them to use the software. On the contrary, authors of open source software usually make its source code available for the public under public licenses that usually describes how its users can really use the software in detail.
Benefits of using Open Source Software
Open source usually benefits both everyone who is either a programmer and those who are not. This is evident by users having:
- Control - in that they can debug it for errors and also it can also be modified to do other logic that a programmer wants it to.
- Knowledge and training - programmers in the case of students learn more and also they allow them to train others on how the software really works bringing awareness and popularity.
- Security - because it allows general audits to be done on the source code and report on bugs as soon as they are realised; and in addition the one who discovered can also modify the code to suggest how the security issue can be tackled.
- Stability - having open standards by design, open source software tend to be stable with known durations of releases and also features can also be thoroughly reviewed by programmers before they are merged to a release.
- Community backing - open source software inspire a community of users and developers of the project to form around it who are involved in using the software and provide feedback to developers to channels provided and suggest new features that can be added for the convenience of the users.
List of Open Source Software
Examples of open source software we can list include:
- Android - open sourced by Google
- VSCode (Code/text editor)- open sourced by Microsoft
- VLC media player
- Mozilla Firefox (Internet browser)
- Blender (3D graphics and animation tool)
- GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) - for C, C++ programming among others
- Python - programming language
- WordPress (Content Management System - CMS)
- MySQL - open sourced by Oracle