What is open source?
The term "open source" refers to something that can be modified because its design is publicly accessible.While it originated in the context of computer software development, today the term "open source" designates a set of values—what we call the open source way. In general, open source projects, products, or initiatives are those that embrace and celebrate open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community development.
What is open source software?
Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone."Source code" is the part of software that most computer users don't ever see; it's the code computer programmers can use to change how a piece of software works. Programmers who have access to a computer program's source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don't always work correctly.What's the difference between open source software and other types of software?Some software has source code that cannot be modified by anyone but the person, team, or organization who created it and maintains exclusive control over it. This kind of software is frequently called "proprietary software" or "closed source" software, because its source code is the property of its original authors, who are the only ones legally allowed to copy or modify it. Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop are examples of proprietary software. 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.Open source software is different. Its authors make its source code available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. LibreOffice and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are examples of open source software. As they do with proprietary software, users must accept the terms of a license when they use open source software—but the legal terms of open source licenses differ dramatically from those of proprietary licenses. Open source software licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they allow others to make modifications to source code and incorporate that code into their own projects. Some open source licenses ensure that anyone who alters and then shares a program with others must also share that program's source code without charging a licensing fee for it. In other words, computer programmers can access, view, and modify open source software whenever they like—as long as they let others do the same when they share their work. In fact, they could be violating the terms of some open source licenses if they don’t do this.Open source software is also a key component of the behind-the-scenes technology that powers the Internet. Every time you use a device to view a webpage, check your email, chat with a friend, or play a multiplayer game, a network of computers around the world works to link your device to a remote computer which serves up the data your local device displays. Many of these systems run open source software, from the Linuxoperating system to a web server application such as Apache. There are also a variety of other open source tools which enable functionality for file storage, networking, and other important computing tasks.