Open-source software

aesthetics  →
being  →
complexity  →
database  →
enterprise  →
ethics  →
fiction  →
history  →
internet  →
knowledge  →
language  →
licensing  →
linux  →
logic  →
method  →
news  →
perception  →
philosophy  →
policy  →
purpose  →
religion  →
science  →
sociology  →
software  →
truth  →
unix  →
wiki  →
essay  →
feed  →
help  →
system  →
wiki  →
critical  →
discussion  →
forked  →
imported  →
original  →
Open-source software
[ temporary import ]
please note:
- the content below is remote from Wikipedia
- it has been imported raw for GetWiki
{{Hatnote|Open-source software shares similarities with free software and is part of the broader term free and open-source software}}{{pp-pc1|small=yes}}{{short description|software licensed to ensure source code usage rights}}{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2016}}{{Broader|Open-source software movement}}File:Desktop-Linux-Mint.png|thumb|350px|A screenshot of Linux Mint running the Xfce desktop environment, Mozilla Firefox browsing Pseudopedia powered by MediaWiki, a calculator program, the built in calendar, Vim, GIMP, and the VLC media playerVLC media playerOpen-source software (OSS) is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.BOOK, St. Laurent, Andrew M., Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing, O'Reilly Media, 2008, 9780596553951, 4,weblink Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration.JOURNAL, Levine, Sheen S., Prietula, Michael J., 2013-12-30, Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance, Organization Science, 25, 5, 1414–1433, 10.1287/orsc.2013.0872, 1047-7039, 1406.7541, Open-source software development can bring in diverse perspectives beyond those of a single company. A 2008 report by the Standish Group stated that adoption of open-source software models have resulted in savings of about $60 billion (£48 billion) per year for consumers.WEB,weblink Creating wealth with free software, Richard, Rothwell, Free Software Magazine, 2008-08-05, 2008-09-08, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 September 2008, dmy-all, PRESS RELEASE,weblink Standish Newsroom â€” Open Source, 2008-04-16, Boston, 2008-09-08, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 January 2012, dmy-all,


{{further|History of free and open-source software}}

End of 1990s: Foundation of the Open Source Initiative

In the early days of computing, programmers and developers shared software in order to learn from each other and evolve the field of computing. Eventually, the open-source notion moved to the way side of commercialization of software in the years 1970–1980. However, academics still often developed software collaboratively. For example, Donald Knuth in 1979 with the TeX typesetting systemJOURNAL, Gaudeul, Alexia, 2007, Do Open Source Developers Respond to Competition? The LaTeX Case Study,weblink Review of Network Economics, en, 6, 2, 10.2202/1446-9022.1119, 1446-9022, or Richard Stallman in 1983 with the GNU operating system.BOOK, VM Brasseur, Forge your Future with Open Source, Pragmatic Programmers, 2018, 978-1-68050-301-2, In 1997, Eric Raymond published The Cathedral and the Bazaar, a reflective analysis of the hacker community and free-software principles. The paper received significant attention in early 1998, and was one factor in motivating Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software. This source code subsequently became the basis behind SeaMonkey, Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and KompoZer.Netscape's act prompted Raymond and others to look into how to bring the Free Software Foundation's free software ideas and perceived benefits to the commercial software industry. They concluded that FSF's social activism was not appealing to companies like Netscape, and looked for a way to rebrand the free software movement to emphasize the business potential of sharing and collaborating on software source code.WEB,weblink But the problem went deeper than that. The word "free" carried with it an inescapable moral connotation: if freedom was an end in itself, it didn't matter whether free software also happened to be better, or more profitable for certain businesses in certain circumstances. Those were merely pleasant side effects of a motive that was, at its root, neither technical nor mercantile, but moral. Furthermore, the "free as in freedom" position forced a glaring inconsistency on corporations who wanted to support particular free programs in one aspect of their business, but continue marketing proprietary software in others., Producing Open Source Software – How to Run a Successful Free Software Project, Karl Fogel, O'Reilly Media, 2016, 2016-04-11, The new term they chose was "open source", which was soon adopted by Bruce Perens, publisher Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, and others. The Open Source Initiative was founded in February 1998 to encourage use of the new term and evangelize open-source principles.WEB,weblink History of the OSI,, While the Open Source Initiative sought to encourage the use of the new term and evangelize the principles it adhered to, commercial software vendors found themselves increasingly threatened by the concept of freely distributed software and universal access to an application's source code. A Microsoft executive publicly stated in 2001 that "open source is an intellectual property destroyer. I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business."WEB, B. Charny, Microsoft Raps Open-Source Approach, CNET News, 3 May 2001,weblink However, while Free and open-source software has historically played a role outside of the mainstream of private software development, companies as large as Microsoft have begun to develop official open-source presences on the Internet. IBM, Oracle, Google and State Farm are just a few of the companies with a serious public stake in today's competitive open-source market. There has been a significant shift in the corporate philosophy concerning the development of FOSS.Jeffrey Voas, Keith W. Miller & Tom Costello. Free and Open Source Software. IT Professional 12(6) (November 2010), pg. 14–16.The free-software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open-source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguousWEB,weblink Goodbye, "free software"; hello, "open source",, The problem with it is twofold. First, ... the term "free" is very ambiguous ... Second, the term makes a lot of corporate types nervous., Eric S. Raymond, WEB,weblink The Cultural Significance of free Software – Two Bits, Christpher M., Kelty, Duke University press – durham and london, 2008, 99, Prior to 1998, Free Software referred either to the Free Software Foundation (and the watchful, micromanaging eye of Stallman) or to one of thousands of different commercial, avocational, or university-research projects, processes, licenses, and ideologies that had a variety of names: sourceware, freeware, shareware, open software, public domain software, and so on. The term Open Source, by contrast, sought to encompass them all in one movement., WEB,weblink InfoWorld, 1983-06-23, Free software – Free software is a junkyard of software spare parts, "In contrast to commercial software is a large and growing body of free software that exists in the public domain. Public-domain software is written by microcomputer hobbyists (also known as "hackers") many of whom are professional programmers in their work life. [...] Since everybody has access to source code, many routines have not only been used but dramatically improved by other programmers.", Tom, Shea, 2016-02-10, and more comfortable for the corporate world.WEB,weblink Goodbye, "free software"; hello, "open source", Eric S., Raymond, Eric S. Raymond, 1998-02-08, 2008-08-13, "After the Netscape announcement broke in January I did a lot of thinking about the next phase – the serious push to get "free software" accepted in the mainstream corporate world. And I realized we have a serious problem with "free software" itself. Specifically, we have a problem with the term "free software", itself, not the concept. I've become convinced that the term has to go.", Software developers may want to publish their software with an open-source license, so that anybody may also develop the same software or understand its internal functioning. With open-source software, generally anyone is allowed to create modifications of it, port it to new operating systems and instruction set architectures, share it with others or, in some cases, market it. Scholars Casson and Ryan have pointed out several policy-based reasons for adoption of open source – in particular, the heightened value proposition from open source (when compared to most proprietary formats) in the following categories:
  • Security
  • Affordability
  • Transparency
  • Perpetuity
  • Interoperability
  • Flexibility
  • Localization – particularly in the context of local governments (who make software decisions). Casson and Ryan argue that "governments have an inherent responsibility and fiduciary duty to taxpayers" which includes the careful analysis of these factors when deciding to purchase proprietary software or implement an open-source option.WEB, 1656616, Open Standards, Open Source Adoption in the Public Sector, and Their Relationship to Microsoft's Market Dominance by Tony Casson, Patrick S. Ryan :: SSRN,,
The Open Source Definition presents an open-source philosophy and further defines the terms of use, modification and redistribution of open-source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open-source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License (GPL), which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same licence", thus also free.JOURNAL, Holtgrewe, Ursula, Articulating the Speed(s) of the Internet: The Case of Open Source/Free Software, Time & Society, 2004, 13, 129–146, 10.1177/0961463X04040750,weblink Submitted manuscript, The open source label came out of a strategy session held on April 7, 1998 in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator (as Mozilla). A group of individuals at the session included Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, Tom Paquin, Jamie Zawinski, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Sameer Parekh, Eric Allman, Greg Olson, Paul Vixie, John Ousterhout, Guido van Rossum, Philip Zimmermann, John Gilmore and Eric S. Raymond.WEB, Open Source Pioneers Meet in Historic Summit, 1998-04-14,weblink 2014-09-20, They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English.Many people claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open-source movement, while others do not distinguish between open-source and free software movements.BOOK, Open Source: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Moreno, Muffatto, Imperial College Press, 2006, 978-1-86094-665-3, The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer"). Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti-commercial.The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was formed in February 1998 by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens. With at least 20 years of evidence from case histories of closed software development versus open development already provided by the Internet developer community, the OSI presented the "open source" case to commercial businesses, like Netscape. The OSI hoped that the use of the label "open source", a term suggested by Christine Peterson]weblink of the Foresight Institute at the strategy session, would eliminate ambiguity, particularly for individuals who perceive "free software" as anti-commercial. They sought to bring a higher profile to the practical benefits of freely available source code, and they wanted to bring major software businesses and other high-tech industries into open source. Perens attempted to register "open source" as a service mark for the OSI, but that attempt was impractical by trademark standards. Meanwhile, due to the presentation of Raymond's paper to the upper management at Netscape—Raymond only discovered when he read the press release,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2007-04-01, 1998-01-22, 2013-08-08, Netscape Communications Corporation, NETSCAPE ANNOUNCES PLANS TO MAKE NEXT-GENERATION COMMUNICATOR SOURCE CODE AVAILABLE FREE ON THE NET, BOLD MOVE TO HARNESS CREATIVE POWER OF THOUSANDS OF INTERNET DEVELOPERS; COMPANY MAKES NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR AND COMMUNICATOR 4.0 IMMEDIATELY FREE FOR ALL USERS, SEEDING MARKET FOR ENTERPRISE AND NETCENTER BUSINESSES , and was called by Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale's PA later in the day—Netscape released its Navigator source code as open source, with favorable results.WEB,weblink MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Netscape Communications and open source developers are celebrating the first anniversary, March 31, 1999, of the release of Netscape's browser source code to, 2013-01-10, 1999-03-31, [...]The organization that manages open source developers working on the next generation of Netscape's browser and communication software. This event marked a historical milestone for the Internet as Netscape became the first major commercial software company to open its source code, a trend that has since been followed by several other corporations. Since the code was first published on the Internet, thousands of individuals and organizations have downloaded it and made hundreds of contributions to the software. is now celebrating this one-year anniversary with a party Thursday night in San Francisco., Netscape Communications,


File:Opensource.svg|thumb|The logo of the Open Source InitiativeOpen Source InitiativeThe Open Source Initiative's (OSI) definition is recognized by several governments internationallyWEB,weblink International Authority & Recognition,, as the standard or de facto definition. In addition, many of the world's largest open-source-software projects and contributors, including Debian, Drupal Association, FreeBSD Foundation, Linux Foundation, OpenSUSE Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, Wordpress Foundation have committedWEB,weblink List of OSI Affiliates,, to upholding the OSI's mission and Open Source Definition through the OSI Affiliate Agreement.WEB,weblink OSI Affiliate Agreement,, OSI uses The Open Source Definition to determine whether it considers a software license open source. The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Perens.Perens, Bruce. Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. O'Reilly Media. 1999.BOOK,weblink The Open Source Definition by Bruce Perens, January 1999, 978-1-56592-582-3, Dibona, Chris, Ockman, Sam, WEB,weblink The Open Source Definition, , The Open Source Definition according to the Open Source Initiative Perens did not base his writing on the "four freedoms" from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which were only widely available later.WEB,weblink How Many Open Source Licenses Do You Need? – Slashdot,, 2009-02-16, 2012-03-25, Under Perens' definition, open source is a broad software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent restrictions on the use and modification of the code. It is an explicit "feature" of open source that it puts very few restrictions on the use or distribution by any organization or user, in order to enable the rapid evolution of the software.WEB, Open Source Initiative, The Open Source Definition (Annotated),weblink, 22 July 2016, Despite initially accepting it,WEB, Tiemann, Michael, History of the OSI, Open Source Initiative, 13 May 2014,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2006, Richard Stallman of the FSF now flatly opposes the term "Open Source" being applied to what they refer to as "free software". Although he agrees that the two terms describe "almost the same category of software", Stallman considers equating the terms incorrect and misleading.WEB,weblink Why "Open Source" misses the point of Free Software, July 23, 2007, Stallman, Richard, Richard Stallman, June 16, 2007, Philosophy of the GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, As the advocates of open source draw new users into our community, we free software activists have to work even more to bring the issue of freedom to those new users' attention. We have to say, 'It's free software and it gives you freedom!'—more and louder than ever. Every time you say 'free software' rather than 'open source,' you help our campaign., Stallman also opposes the professed pragmatism of the Open Source Initiative, as he fears that the free software ideals of freedom and community are threatened by compromising on the FSF's idealistic standards for software freedom.WEB,weblink Why "Free Software" is better than "Open Source", July 23, 2007, Stallman, Richard, Richard Stallman, June 19, 2007, Philosophy of the GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, Sooner or later these users will be invited to switch back to proprietary software for some practical advantage Countless companies seek to offer such temptation, and why would users decline? Only if they have learned to value the freedom free software gives them, for its own sake. It is up to us to spread this idea—and in order to do that, we have to talk about freedom. A certain amount of the 'keep quiet' approach to business can be useful for the community, but we must have plenty of freedom talk too., The FSF considers free software to be a subset of open-source software, and Richard Stallman explained that DRM software, for example, can be developed as open source, despite that it does not give its users freedom (it restricts them), and thus doesn't qualify as free software.WEB,weblink Why "Open Source" misses the point of Free Software, July 23, 2007, Stallman, Richard, Richard Stallman, June 16, 2007, Philosophy of the GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, Under the pressure of the movie and record companies, software for individuals to use is increasingly designed specifically to restrict them. This malicious feature is known as DRM or Digital Restrictions Management (see Defective by Design,, and it is the antithesis in spirit of the freedom that free software aims to provide. [...] Yet some open source supporters have proposed 'open source DRM' software. Their idea is that by publishing the source code of programs designed to restrict your access to encrypted media, and allowing others to change it, they will produce more powerful and reliable software for restricting users like you. Then it will be delivered to you in devices that do not allow you to change it. This software might be 'open source,' and use the open source development model; but it won't be free software since it won't respect the freedom of the users that actually run it. If the open source development model succeeds in making this software more powerful and reliable for restricting you, that will make it even worse.,

Open-source software licensing

{{Further|Free software license}}{{See also|Free and open-source software#Licensing|Software license}}When an author contributes code to an open-source project (e.g., they do so under an explicit license (e.g., the Apache Contributor License Agreement) or an implicit license (e.g. the open-source license under which the project is already licensing code). Some open-source projects do not take contributed code under a license, but actually require joint assignment of the author's copyright in order to accept code contributions into the project.WEB, Rosen, Lawrence, Joint Works – Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law,weblink, 22 July 2016, Examples of free software license / open-source licenses include Apache License, BSD license, GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser General Public License, MIT License, Eclipse Public License and Mozilla Public License.The proliferation of open-source licenses is a negative aspect of the open-source movement because it is often difficult to understand the legal implications of the differences between licenses. With more than 180,000 open-source projects available and more than 1400 unique licenses, the complexity of deciding how to manage open-source use within "closed-source" commercial enterprises has dramatically increased. Some are home-grown, while others are modeled after mainstream FOSS licenses such as Berkeley Software Distribution ("BSD"), Apache, MIT-style (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), or GNU General Public License ("GPL"). In view of this, open-source practitioners are starting to use classification schemes in which FOSS licenses are grouped (typically based on the existence and obligations imposed by the copyleft provision; the strength of the copyleft provision).Andrew T. Pham, Verint Systems Inc., and Matthew B. Weinstein and Jamie L. Ryerson. "Easy as ABC: Categorizing Open Source Licenses"; June 2010.An important legal milestone for the open source / free software movement was passed in 2008, when the US federal appeals court ruled that free software licenses definitely do set legally binding conditions on the use of copyrighted work, and they are therefore enforceable under existing copyright law. As a result, if end-users violate the licensing conditions, their license disappears, meaning they are infringing copyright.NEWS,weblink Legal milestone for open source, Maggie, Shiels, 2008-08-14, BBC News, 2008-08-15, Despite this licensing risk, most commercial software vendors are using open source software in commercial products while fulfilling the license terms, e.g. leveraging the Apache license.BOOK, Dr. Karl Michael, Popp, Best Practices for commercial use of open source software, 2015, Books on Demand, Norderstedt, Germany, 978-3738619096,


Certification can help to build user confidence. Certification could be applied to the simplest component, to a whole software system. The United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology,weblink {{webarchive|url=|date=15 November 2007}} initiated a project known as "The Global Desktop Project". This project aims to build a desktop interface that every end-user is able to understand and interact with, thus crossing the language and cultural barriers. The project would improve developing nations' access to information systems. UNU/IIST hopes to achieve this without any compromise in the quality of the software by introducing certifications.weblink {{webarchive|url=|date=7 December 2007}}

Open-source software development

Development model

In his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar,WEB, Raymond, Eric S., Eric S. Raymond, 2000-09-11, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 2004-09-19,weblink open-source evangelist Eric S. Raymond suggests a model for developing OSS known as the bazaar model. Raymond likens the development of software by traditional methodologies to building a cathedral, "carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation". He suggests that all software should be developed using the bazaar style, which he described as "a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches."In the traditional model of development, which he called the cathedral model, development takes place in a centralized way. Roles are clearly defined. Roles include people dedicated to designing (the architects), people responsible for managing the project, and people responsible for implementation. Traditional software engineering follows the cathedral model.The bazaar model, however, is different. In this model, roles are not clearly defined. Gregorio RoblesBOOK, Robles, Gregorio, 2004, A Software Engineering Approach to Libre Software,weblink PDF, Open Source Jahrbuch 2004, Robert A. Gehring, Bernd Lutterbeck, Berlin, Technical University of Berlin,weblink 2005-04-20, suggests that software developed using the bazaar model should exhibit the following patterns:
Users should be treated as co-developers: The users are treated like co-developers and so they should have access to the source code of the software. Furthermore, users are encouraged to submit additions to the software, code fixes for the software, bug reports, documentation etc. Having more co-developers increases the rate at which the software evolves. Linus's law states, "Given enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow." This means that if many users view the source code, they will eventually find all bugs and suggest how to fix them. Note that some users have advanced programming skills, and furthermore, each user's machine provides an additional testing environment. This new testing environment offers that ability to find and fix a new bug.
Early releases: The first version of the software should be released as early as possible so as to increase one's chances of finding co-developers early.
Frequent integration: Code changes should be integrated (merged into a shared code base) as often as possible so as to avoid the overhead of fixing a large number of bugs at the end of the project life cycle. Some open source projects have nightly builds where integration is done automatically on a daily basis.
Several versions: There should be at least two versions of the software. There should be a buggier version with more features and a more stable version with fewer features. The buggy version (also called the development version) is for users who want the immediate use of the latest features, and are willing to accept the risk of using code that is not yet thoroughly tested. The users can then act as co-developers, reporting bugs and providing bug fixes.
High modularization: The general structure of the software should be modular allowing for parallel development on independent components.
Dynamic decision-making structure: There is a need for a decision-making structure, whether formal or informal, that makes strategic decisions depending on changing user requirements and other factors. Compare with extreme programming.
Data suggests, however, that OSS is not quite as democratic as the bazaar model suggests. An analysis of five billion bytes of free/open source code by 31,999 developers shows that 74% of the code was written by the most active 10% of authors. The average number of authors involved in a project was 5.1, with the median at 2.JOURNAL, Ghosh, R.A., Robles, G., Glott, R., Free/Libre and Open Source Software: Survey and Study Part V, Maastricht: International Institute of Infonomics., 2002,

Advantages and disadvantages

Open source software is usually easier to obtain than proprietary software, often resulting in increased use. Additionally, the availability of an open source implementation of a standard can increase adoption of that standard.WEB, US Department of Defense, Open Source Software FAQ,weblink Chief Information Officer, 22 July 2016, It has also helped to build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product.JOURNAL, Srinarayan, Sharma, Vijayan Sugumaran, Balaji Rajagopalan, A framework for creating hybrid-open source software communities, Info Systems Journal, 12, 2002, 7–25,weblink PDF, 10.1046/j.1365-2575.2002.00116.x, Moreover, lower costs of marketing and logistical services are needed for OSS. It is a good tool to promote a company's image, including its commercial products.JOURNAL, Profiting from Open Source, John, Landry, Rajiv Gupta, Harvard Business Review, September 2000, 10.1225/F00503, The OSS development approach has helped produce reliable, high quality software quickly and inexpensively.JOURNAL,weblink Open Source, Open Standards, and Health Care Information Systems, Reynolds, Carl, Jeremy Wyatt, Journal of Medical Internet Research, February 2011, 10.2196/jmir.1521, 21447469, 3221346, 2011-03-17, 13, 1, e24, Open source development offers the potential for a more flexible technology and quicker innovation. It is said to be more reliable since it typically has thousands of independent programmers testing and fixing bugs of the software. Open source is not dependent on the company or author that originally created it. Even if the company fails, the code continues to exist and be developed by its users. Also, it uses open standards accessible to everyone; thus, it does not have the problem of incompatible formats that may exist in proprietary software.It is flexible because modular systems allow programmers to build custom interfaces, or add new abilities to it and it is innovative since open source programs are the product of collaboration among a large number of different programmers. The mix of divergent perspectives, corporate objectives, and personal goals speeds up innovation.JOURNAL, Hal, Plotkin, What (and Why) you should know about open-source software, Harvard Management Update, December 1998, 8–9, Moreover, free software can be developed in accord with purely technical requirements. It does not require thinking about commercial pressure that often degrades the quality of the software. Commercial pressures make traditional software developers pay more attention to customers' requirements than to security requirements, since such features are somewhat invisible to the customer.JOURNAL, Christian, Payne, On the Security of Open Source Software, Info Systems Journal, February 2002, 12, 1, 61–78, 10.1046/j.1365-2575.2002.00118.x, It is sometimes said that the open source development process may not be well defined and the stages in the development process, such as system testing and documentation may be ignored. However this is only true for small (mostly single programmer) projects. Larger, successful projects do define and enforce at least some rules as they need them to make the teamwork possible.WEB,weblink GNU Classpath Hacker's Guide: GNU Classpath Hacker's Guide,, 2003-08-11, 2012-03-25, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 2012-12-25, Brief summary of coding style and practice used in JGAP, Klaus, Meffert, Neil Rotstan, 2007, Java Genetic Algorithms Package, 2008-09-08, In the most complex projects these rules may be as strict as reviewing even minor change by two independent developers.WEB,weblink Classpath hackers frustrated with slow OpenJDK process, 2007-07-16, Andy, Tripp, Javalobby, Not all OSS initiatives have been successful, for example SourceXchange and Eazel. Software experts and researchers who are not convinced by open source's ability to produce quality systems identify the unclear process, the late defect discovery and the lack of any empirical evidence as the most important problems (collected data concerning productivity and quality).JOURNAL, Ioannis, Stamelos, Lefteris Angelis, Apostolos Oikonomou, Georgios L. Bleris, Code Quality Analysis in Open Source Software Development, 10.1109/MS.2007.2, Info System Journal, 12, 2002, 43–60, It is also difficult to design a commercially sound business model around the open source paradigm. Consequently, only technical requirements may be satisfied and not the ones of the market. In terms of security, open source may allow hackers to know about the weaknesses or loopholes of the software more easily than closed-source software. It depends on control mechanisms in order to create effective performance of autonomous agents who participate in virtual organizations.JOURNAL, Michael J., Gallivan, Striking a Balance Between Trust and Control in a Virtual Organization: A Content Analysis of Open Source Software Case Studies, Info Systems Journal, 11, 4, 2001, 277–304, 10.1046/j.1365-2575.2001.00108.x,

Development tools

In OSS development, tools are used to support the development of the product and the development process itself.WEB, Boldyreff, Cornelia, Lavery, Janet, Nutter, David, Rank, Stephen, Open Source Development Processes and Tools,weblink Flosshub, 22 July 2016, Revision control systems such as Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and later Subversion (SVN) and Git are examples of tools, often themselves open source, help manage the source code files and the changes to those files for a software project.WEB, Stansberry, Glen, 7 Version Control Systems Reviewed – Smashing Magazine,weblink Smashing Magazine, 22 July 2016, 18 September 2008, The projects are frequently hosted and published on source-code-hosting facilities such as Launchpad.WEB, Frantzell, Lennart, GitHub, Launchpad and BitBucket, how today's distributed version control systems are fueling the unprecendented global open source revolution,weblink IBM developerworks, 22 July 2016, Open source projects are often loosely organized with "little formalised process modelling or support", but utilities such as issue trackers are often used to organize open source software development. Commonly used bugtrackers include Bugzilla and Redmine.WEB, Baker, Jason, Top 4 open source issue tracking tools,weblink, 22 July 2016, Tools such as mailing lists and IRC provide means of coordination among developers. Centralized code hosting sites also have social features that allow developers to communicate.


Some of the "more prominent organizations" involved in OSS development include the Apache Software Foundation, creators of the Apache web server; the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit which {{as of|2012|lc=y}} employed Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system kernel; the Eclipse Foundation, home of the Eclipse software development platform; the Debian Project, creators of the influential Debian GNU/Linux distribution; the Mozilla Foundation, home of the Firefox web browser; and OW2, European-born community developing open source middleware. New organizations tend to have a more sophisticated governance model and their membership is often formed by legal entity members.François Letellier (2008), weblink" title="">Open Source Software: the Role of Nonprofits in Federating Business and Innovation Ecosystems, AFME 2008.Open Source Software Institute is a membership-based, non-profit (501 (c)(6)) organization established in 2001 that promotes the development and implementation of open source software solutions within US Federal, state and local government agencies. OSSI's efforts have focused on promoting adoption of open source software programs and policies within Federal Government and Defense and Homeland Security communities.WEB, Open Source Software Institute, Home,weblink Open Source Software Institute, 22 July 2016, Open Source for America is a group created to raise awareness in the United States Federal Government about the benefits of open source software. Their stated goals are to encourage the government's use of open source software, participation in open source software projects, and incorporation of open source community dynamics to increase government transparency.WEB, Hellekson, Gunnar,weblink Home, Open Source for America, 2012-03-25, Mil-OSS is a group dedicated to the advancement of OSS use and creation in the military.WEB, from EntandoSrl (Entando ),weblink Mil-OSS, 2012-03-25,


{{:Business models for open-source software}}

Comparisons with other software licensing/development models

Closed source / proprietary software

The debate over open source vs. closed source (alternatively called proprietary software) is sometimes heated.The top four reasons (as provided by Open Source Business Conference surveyWEB, Irina Guseva (@irina_guseva),weblink Bad Economy Is Good for Open Source,, 2009-03-26, 2012-03-25, ) individuals or organizations choose open source software are:
  1. lower cost
  2. security
  3. no vendor 'lock in'
  4. better quality
Since innovative companies no longer rely heavily on software sales, proprietary software has become less of a necessity.WEB,weblink Open Source vs. Proprietary Software, PCWorld Business Center,, 2011-11-03, 2012-03-25, As such, things like open source content management system—or CMS—deployments are becoming more commonplace. In 2009,WEB, Geoff Spick (@Goffee71),weblink Open Source Movement Finds Friends at the White House,, 2009-10-26, 2012-03-25, the US White House switched its CMS system from a proprietary system to Drupal open source CMS. Further, companies like Novell (who traditionally sold software the old-fashioned way) continually debate the benefits of switching to open source availability, having already switched part of the product offering to open source code.WEB,weblink Pandora's box for open source – CNET News,, 2004-02-12, 2012-03-25, In this way, open source software provides solutions to unique or specific problems. As such, it is reportedWEB, Murphy, David,weblink Survey: 98 Percent of Companies Use Open-Source, 29 Percent Contribute Back, News & Opinion,, 2010-08-15, 2012-03-25, that 98% of enterprise-level companies use open source software offerings in some capacity.With this market shift, more critical systems are beginning to rely on open source offerings,WEB,weblink Homeland Security helps secure open-source code – CNET News,, 2012-03-25, allowing greater funding (such as US Department of Homeland Security grants) to help "hunt for security bugs." According to a pilot study of organizations adopting (or not adopting) OSS, the following factors of statistical significance were observed in the manager's beliefs: (a) attitudes toward outcomes, (b) the influences and behaviors of others, and (c) their ability to act.WEB, Greenley, Neil, Open Source Software Survey,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 22 June 2013, 9 October 2012, Proprietary source distributors have started to develop and contribute to the open source community due to the market share shift, doing so by the need to reinvent their models in order to remain competitive.Boulanger, A. (2005). Open-source versus proprietary software: Is one more reliable and secure than the other? IBM Systems Journal, 44(2), 239–248.Many advocates argue that open source software is inherently safer because any person can view, edit, and change code.WEB, Seltzer, Larry,weblink Is Open-Source Really Safer?,, 2004-05-04, 2012-03-25, A study of the Linux source code has 0.17 bugs per 1000 lines of code while proprietary software generally scores 20–30 bugs per 1000 lines.WEB, Michelle Delio,weblink Linux: Fewer Bugs Than Rivals,, 2016-05-23,

Free software

{{See also|Comparison of free and open-source software licenses}}According to the Free software movement's leader, Richard Stallman, the main difference is that by choosing one term over the other (i.e. either "open source" or "free software") one lets others know about what one's goals are: "Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement." Nevertheless, there is significant overlap between open source software and free software.The FSFWEB,weblink Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation,, 2015-03-30, said that the term "open source" fosters an ambiguity of a different kind such that it confuses the mere availability of the source with the freedom to use, modify, and redistribute it. On the other hand, the "free software" term was criticized for the ambiguity of the word "free" as "available at no cost", which was seen as discouraging for business adoption,WEB,weblink Goodbye, "free software"; hello, "open source", The problem with it is twofold. First, ... the term "free" is very ambiguous ... Second, the term makes a lot of corporate types nervous., and for the historical ambiguous usage of the term.WEB,weblink The Cultural Significance of free Software – Two Bits, Christpher M., Kelty, Duke University press – Durham and London, 2008, 99, Prior to 1998, Free Software referred either to the Free Software Foundation (and the watchful, micromanaging eye of Stallman) or to one of thousands of different commercial, avocational, or university-research projects, processes, licenses, and ideologies that had a variety of names: sourceware, freeware, shareware, open software, public domain software, and so on. The term Open Source, by contrast, sought to encompass them all in one movement., WEB,weblink History of OSI, "conferees decided it was time to dump the moralizing and confrontational attitude that had been associated with "free software" in the past and sell the idea strictly on the same pragmatic, business-case grounds", OSI, Developers have used the alternative terms Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), or Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), consequently, to describe open source software that is also free software.WEB, Stallman, Richard, FLOSS and FOSS,weblink Free Software Foundation, 22 July 2016, While the definition of open source software is very similar to the FSF's free software definitionWEB,weblink Why "Open Source" misses the point of Free Software, Stallman, Richard, Richard Stallman, 2007-06-16, Philosophy of the GNU Project, GNU Project, 2007-07-23, it was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens with input from Eric S. Raymond and others.WEB,weblink History of the OSI, 19 September 2006, Michael, Tiemann, Michael Tiemann, Open Source Initiative, 23 August 2008, The term "open source" was originally intended to be trademarkable; however, the term was deemed too descriptive, so no trademark exists.WEB,weblink Certification Mark, Nelson, Russell, Russ Nelson, 2007-03-26, Open Source Initiative,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-02-06, 2007-07-22, The OSI would prefer that people treat open source as if it were a trademark, and use it only to describe software licensed under an OSI approved license.WEB,weblink OSI Launch Announcement, Raymond, Eric S., Eric S. Raymond, 1998-11-22, Open Source Initiative, 2007-07-22, OSI Certified is a trademark licensed only to people who are distributing software licensed under a license listed on the Open Source Initiative's list.WEB,weblink Open Source Licenses by Category, Nelson, Russell, Russ Nelson, 2006-09-19, Open Source Initiative, 2007-07-22,

Open-source versus source-available

Although the OSI definition of "open source software" is widely accepted, a small number of people and organizations use the term to refer to software where the source is available for viewing, but which may not legally be modified or redistributed. Such software is more often referred to as source-available, or as shared source, a term coined by Microsoft in 2001.WEB,weblink Microsoft announces expansion of Shared Source Initiative,, 2005-03-21, 2015-03-30, While in 2007 two of Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative licenses were certified by the OSI, most licenses from the SSI program are still source-available only.WEB, OSI Approves Microsoft License Submissions,weblink, 2007-10-17, 2013-08-08, Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should, therefore, be approved.,


Open-sourcing is the act of propagating the open source movement, most often referring to releasing previously proprietary software under an open source/free software license,Agerfalk, Par and Fitzgerald, Brian (2008), Outsourcing to an Unknown Workforce: Exploring Opensourcing as a Global Sourcing Strategy, MIS Quarterly, Vol 32, No 2, pp.385–410 but it may also refer programming Open Source software or installing Open Source software.Notable software packages, previously proprietary, which have been open sourced include: Before changing the license of software, distributors usually audit the source code for third party licensed code which they would have to remove or obtain permission for its relicense. Backdoors and other malware should also be removed as they may easily be discovered after release of the code.

Current applications and adoption{{anchor|Applications}}{{anchor|Adoption}}

{{See also|Linux adoption|Free software#Adoption}}WEB, Bridgewater, Adrian, International Space Station adopts Debian Linux, drops Windows & Red Hat into airlock, Computer Weekly, May 13, 2013,weblink }}

Widely used open-source software

Open source software projects are built and maintained by a network of volunteer programmers and are widely used in free as well as commercial products. Prime examples of open-source products are the Apache HTTP Server, the e-commerce platform osCommerce, internet browsers Mozilla Firefox and Chromium (the project where the vast majority of development of the freeware Google Chrome is done) and the full office suite LibreOffice. One of the most successful open-source products is the GNU/Linux operating system, an open-source Unix-like operating system, and its derivative Android, an operating system for mobile devices.Michael J. Gallivan, "Striking a Balance Between Trust and Control in a Virtual Organization: A Content Analysis of Open Source Software Case Studies", Info Systems Journal 11 (2001): 277–304Hal Plotkin, "What (and Why) you should know about open source software" Harvard Management Update 12 (1998): 8–9 In some industries, open source software is the norm.WEB, Noyes, Katherine, Open Source Software Is Now a Norm in Businesses,weblink PCWorld, 22 July 2016,

Extensions for non-software use

{{see also|Open content|Open collaboration}}While the term "open source" applied originally only to the source code of software,WEB,weblink Why "Open Source" misses the point of Free Software, December 6, 2007, Stallman, Richard, Richard Stallman, September 24, 2007, Philosophy of the GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, However, not all of the users and developers of free software agreed with the goals of the free software movement. In 1998, a part of the free software community splintered off and began campaigning in the name of 'open source.' The term was originally proposed to avoid a possible misunderstanding of the term 'free software,' but it soon became associated with philosophical views quite different from those of the free software movement., it is now being applied to many other areasWEB,weblink What is open source?, July 29, 2013, such as Open source ecology,WEB,weblink Open Source Ecology, ...building the world's first replicable open source self-sufficient decentralized high-appropriate-tech permaculture ecovillage..., a movement to decentralize technologies so that any human can use them. However, it is often misapplied to other areas which have different and competing principles, which overlap only partially. The same principles that underlie open source software can be found in many other ventures, such as open-source hardware, Pseudopedia, and open-access publishing. Collectively, these principles are known as open source, open content, and open collaboration:WEB,weblink Open Collaboration Bitcoin,, 2014-01-02, 2015-03-30, "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike."This "culture" or ideology takes the view that the principles apply more generally to facilitate concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial companies.Raymond, Eric S. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. ed 3.0. 2000.

See also

{hide}cmn|colwidth=30em| }}



Further reading

  • BOOK, Androutsellis-Theotokis, Stephanos, Spinellis, Diomidis, Diomidis Spinellis, Kechagia, Maria, Gousios, Georgios, 2010, Open source software: A survey from 10,000 feet, Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management, 4, 3–4, 187–347, 978-1-60198-484-5, 10.1561/0200000026,weblink PDF,
  • Coleman, E. Gabriella. Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (Princeton UP, 2012)
  • BOOK, Fadi P. Deek, James A. M. McHugh, Open Source: Technology and Policy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, 978-0-511-36775-5,
  • BOOK, Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, Chris DiBona and Sam Ockman and Mark Stone, O'Reilly, 1999, 978-1-56592-582-3,weblink
  • BOOK, Joshua Gay, Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman, GNU Press, Free Software Foundation, 2002, Boston, 978-1-882114-98-6,weblink
  • Understanding FOSS | editor = Sampathkumar Coimbatore India
  • Benkler, Yochai (2002), "Coase's Penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm." Yale Law Journal 112.3 (Dec 2002): p367(78) (in Adobe pdf format)
  • BOOK, v. Engelhardt, Sebastian, 2008,weblink "The Economic Properties of Software", Jena Economic Research Papers, Volume 2 (2008), Number 2008-045, PDF,
  • Lerner, J. & Tirole, J. (2002): 'Some simple economics on open source', Journal of Industrial Economics 50(2), p 197–234
  • BOOK, Mikko, Välimäki, The Rise of Open Source Licensing: A Challenge to the Use of Intellectual Property in the Software Industry, Turre Publishing, 2005,weblink PDF, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2009, dmy-all,
  • JOURNAL, Polley, Barry, 2007-12-11,weblink Open Source Discussion Paper – version 1.0, New Zealand Ministry of Justice, 2007-12-12, PDF,
  • Rossi, M. A. (2006): Decoding the free/open source software puzzle: A survey of theoretical and empirical contributions, in J. Bitzer P. Schröder, eds, 'The Economics of Open Source Software Development', p 15–55.
  • Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution — an online book containing essays from prominent members of the open source community
  • Whence The Source: Untangling the Open Source/Free Software Debate, essay on the differences between free software and open source, by Thomas Scoville
  • weblink" title="">Berry, D M (2004). The Contestation of Code: A Preliminary Investigation into the Discourse of the Free Software and Open Software Movement, Critical Discourse Studies, Volume 1(1).
  • WEB,weblink Schrape, Jan-Felix, 2017, Open Source Projects as Incubators of Innovation. From Niche Phenomenon to Integral Part of the Software Industry, Research Contributions to Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies 2017-03, Stuttgart,
  • Sustainable Open Source, a Confluence article providing guidelines for fair participation in the open source ecosystem, by Radovan Semancik

External links

{{Commons category|Free software}}{{Scholia|topic}} {{Software distribution}}{{FOSS}}{{Intellectual property activism}}{{Open navbox}}{{Independent Production}}{{Authority control}}

- content above as imported from Wikipedia
- "Open-source software" does not exist on GetWiki (yet)
- time: 12:48am EDT - Sat, Oct 19 2019
[ this remote article is provided by Wikipedia ]
LATEST EDITS [ see all ]
Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott