What is open source, really? You might have heard it once or twice, but trust me: you’ve used open source software before (or at least I hope so). Let me dig a little deeper into this…
“Open source” means something that is modifiable by the people, something they can share with one another because its source design is publicly available. Doesn’t this sound awesome? It sure does for me. This whole term was born out of needs for software development, as an approach to creating computer programs. However, today we call projects done “the open source way” those that satisfy all following characteristics:
- collaborative participation
- rapid prototyping
- community-oriented development
The SOURCE term we’ve been using refers to the part of the software that most users don’t see. It’s what a programmer can manipulate to make tangible changes on how a software works. This makes it possible to add new features or fix something! Who could be better testers, than your everyday users?
So, what do I call all the other software I’ve been using my whole life? Most certainly, you should be calling it “proprietary”, or “closed” software. With these types of software, only their authors can legally copy, inspect and alter it. You know all those terms and conditions you’ve agreed before? Those enormous texts you surely haven’t read… Well, that’s what you have to do when you use proprietary software; you agree to not doing anythings with the software that isn’t expressly permitted by their authors. You don’t need to go too far, do you recognize anny of these logos?
Yeah… Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are just perfect examples of proprietary software!
Are you wishing there existed some open source version of these types of software? Well wish no mre! Here’s one I found: LibreOffice
the perfect alternative for Microsoft Office, but with the beauty of “to open source way”!
Well, what about Photoshop? Beware, there’s an open source alternative too! It’s called GIMP. Go ahead and take a look: https://www.gimp.org/
Please, before you leave, make sure you don’t have the common misconception of open source just meaning free of charge! Yes, all open source software I just mentioned is free, but don’t be surprised if you find an open source software that’s not free. This is completely possible. Sorry :(
It all depends to what the programmers are trying to accomplish, and how lucrative an opportunity they find. Don’t forget that skill in programming and troubleshooting open source software can be quite valuable. At the end of the day, we all have to make a living for ourselves.
Here are some more resources on open source. Go ahead, take a look: https://opensource.com/resources
And as for the sources I used for writing this here, here they are:
Thanks for reading! Keep it open source, please :)