When it comes to downloading softwares, then almost all of us look for free softwares the most on the Internet. While doing this, we also get many Free Software miles, but do you know that most of these Free Software are Open Source Software only, so that we can easily get them for Free Downlaod.
Now you must be wondering why someone will give their own software for free download, why they don’t charge money for it, etc. If such questions are arising in your mind too, then you must read this article what is open source software and how it works. Here you will get a lot of information related to Open Source Softwares.
By the way, these open source software are generally free software that you can use in your work. Open source developers make them intentionally, where they make its source code publicly available, so that other people can benefit from it.
They publish them with an open source license – which means that other developers can also see your code and add something to it. For example, Open Office, Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, while the GNU / Linux operating system and its derivative Android, an operating system used in mobile devices.
What is Open Source Software
Open source software (OSS) is called software whose source code is completely viewable and changeable by the public. If you say like this, then it is open. Whereas when the source code is not viewable and changeable by the public, then such software is called closed or proprietary software.
Note : Source code is called that behind-the-scenes programming part of a software which users usually cannot see. In the source code, all those instructions and instructions are laid out as to how the software works and how all the features of the software work. Access to Source Code is only with the developers.
Changes and modifications can be done very easily in this free software based on the users’ preference. Users have the freedom to modify, change, and even share its source code. But all these things happen only under a license agreement for a user or a particular organization.
Open Source Software List
Here you will find all popular open source operating system list as well as examples of complete open source software.
|MinGW||Mozilla Firefox||Mozilla Thunderbird|
|SpamAssassin||Subversion||Sugar on a Stick|
Characteristics of open source software
There are also some characteristics of these Free Softwares which are very important to know.
Distribution can be done freely. Its source code is completely accessible, while anyone can modify the source code and also these modifications can be distributed to others.
These open source software mostly evolve via the support community and on the basis of the development strategy adopted by them. While in return, they help in improving the quality of the software and active participation of these communities is also highly encouraged.
Companies that used to promote proprietary software have now started adopting these open source software because of their so many features. For example, UNIX kernel is used in most open source projects.
Meaning of open source software
Open source software (OSS) is software that is distributed with source code that can be read or modified by any user.
The OSS community generally agrees that open-source software meets the following criteria:
- This program can be freely distributed.
- Source code has to be included in the program.
- Anyone should be able to modify its source code.
- At the same time, modified versions of the source code also have to be redistributed.
- Whereas an open-source software license should not interfere with the operation of any other software.
Where traditional software is distributed in an unchangeable compiled format, open-source software is delivered in both compiled and non-compiled formats, making it available for open code modification.
Whereas under a traditional software license, these privileges are reserved only for copyright holders.
How does open source software work?
From a business user perspective, open source software works very similar to proprietary software systems provided by commercial software firms.
The biggest difference in this is that generally you do not have to pay any money in this. At the same time, there are some other differences as well – as the users using this open source software are effectively co-developers, while they are also suggesting new ways to improve them and remove bugs as well. also help.
This means that if you want, you can modify it according to your needs, port it to other new operating systems and share it with others.
What is the difference between open source software and other types of software?
In some software, only the people, team, or organization that created the source code have control over it — and they maintain exclusive control over it — can modify it. Such type of software is called “proprietary” or “closed source” software.
In this, only the original developers of these proprietary software can legally copy, inspect, and modify these software. Whereas in order to use these proprietary software, computer users have to agree to its rules and regulations (usually you see it during installing the software when you run it for the first time), while users only They can do only as many things as the software creators have permitted them.
For example Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are such proprietary software.
Wherein Open source software are very different. Their authors make their source code available to all, so that anyone can view them, copy them, modify them according to their own needs. For example, LibreOffice and GNU Image Manipulation Program are such open source software.
Is open source software only important for computer programmers?
The simple answer is no. Open source technology and open source thinking are very useful for both programmers and non-programmers.
Since the earlier inventors have used most of the open source technologies to create the Internet — such as the Linux Operating System and the Apache Web server application — therefore any user who is using the Internet can use these open source software only. It is for your benefit.
Whenever a user views web pages, checks email, chats with his friends, streams music online, or plays multiplayer video games, on his computers, mobile phones, or gaming consoles, then He connects with the computers of a global network, then he is unknowingly using right but open source software, through which he routes and transmits data to his “local” devices.
This makes it clear that not only programmers are using Open Source Software, but all other people also do it. These are present all around us and we are using them even unknowingly.
What are the licenses of open source software?
Although many licenses are used in these open-source projects, it depends on which developers are preferring more for their programs.
The GPL, or GNU (General Public License), is most commonly used in many open-source projects, such as Linux. Along with the definition of open-source mentioned above, the terms of the GPL clearly specify that if someone modifies an open-source program and also distributes a derivative work, then they have to use it along with it. The source code also has to be distributed.
Understand it in simple language, then if any person prepares a closed-source program by taking any open-source code, using it – then they also have to return the community after releasing that modified version. Otherwise, he may not have to face penalty for this.
There are also some other licenses, such as the BSD license, which put fewer restrictions on developers. If a program comes under the BSD license, then it can use the source code of an open source program to create software on its own.
In this, there is no need for them to release this modified version. Developers love this license more because it gives them a discount.
Why do people prefer to use open source software?
Most of the people prefer open source software as compared to proprietary software because of many reasons, which we are going to know further:
People have more control in these open source software as compared to Proprietary Softwares. Here they can examine the code themselves, while they can also make necessary modifications in it according to their own. Wherein non-programmers can also use them according to their own.
Other people who like them because they can become better programmers by using them. Since their source codes are publicly accessible, students can read them easily and can learn a lot from them and to make better software.
At the same time, students can also share their modified work with others so that they can know their point of view, so that they can increase their developing skills.
Some people like these softwares because they find it more secure because they find it more secure than proprietary softwares. Updates keep coming in it from time to time where its errors are published properly. That’s why they like it more.
Most users prefer to use these software for their important long-term projects. This is because by doing this they do not have to worry about the source code of their software.
Because in the case of proprietary software, if the original creator ever stops working, then they may face a lot of trouble in the future. Whereas open source software works both incorporate and operate according to open standards.
Does “open source” just mean being free of charge?
The answer is absolutely not. This is a very common misconception regarding “open source”, here it is not only about money.
Open source software programmers can also charge money for this for these open source software which they have created or in which they have contributed.
But in most cases, to get the open source license, they also have to release its source code in many places when they think of selling it. Whereas some programmers feel that they can get more money for their software services and support, not just for software. That’s why they make their software free most of the time, while helping people by troubleshooting their problems.
Benefits of open source software
So let’s know about the benefits of Open Source Softwares.
OSS allows programmers to collaborate together so that they can improve the software. For which they fix the errors in it which are in the code (bug fixes), along with they also update the software so that it can work in new technology. Apart from this, they are also helpful in developing new features in it.
With this group collaboration approach, new features also come very quickly in these open source projects and they are released very frequently.
These software are very stable so that more programmers can find its errors, and its security updates can also be implemented better than other proprietary software programs.
OSS are often free. But in some cases you also have to pay extra cost for technical support and some services for these software programs.
Advantages of open source software
Let us know about the advantages of Open Source Software.
- They are generally free – It has been estimated that these open source software collectively save businesses whose value is approximately $60 billion a year. In the present time, you can easily find an open source version of each paid proprietary software system in place of it.
- It constantly evolves in real time because developers add and modify many things in it, which means that it is of better quality and more secure, while there is a possibility of bugs in it. The possibilities are very less compared to proprietary systems.
- Using these open source software also shows that you are not restricted to use the systems of any particular vendor which work only in their devices.
- You can also modify and adapt these softwares according to your requirements, which may not be possible with proprietary systems.
Disadvantages of open source software
Now let us know about the Disadvantages of Open Source Software.
- Since there is no requirement in it to make it a commercial product so that money can be generated, open source software develops more according to its own requirements and not according to the requirements of the users.
- This is the reason that they are very less “user-friendly”, because not much importance is given to its user interface.
- Support is often negligible in these. Due to which if there is any problem, then you have to depend only on their forum and community to get the solution of that problem. Which can be a bit irritating.
- Although these open source software are mostly free in themselves, but some indirect costs are also involved in them, such as you may have to pay for external support.
- Due to being an open system, many people are involved in it, which helps a lot in finding its bugs. At the same time, there are some people who can also misuse these vulnerabilities (weakness) of the software.
- Since Open Source Software are not very user friendly, you must also have some technical knowledge to understand and use them properly. Otherwise you may have to depend on others even for basic functionalities.