Have you heard of open source code and wondered what it was the source of?
Well I did when I first started my online journey however, there was no one
around to answer my questions back then.
I decided to write this blog in case any of you out there may be curious
about what exactly the term means.
There are many types and categories of open source programs, software, and business models.
Open source means it is free and open-ended and is to say that anyone can use the open
source computer code that makes up that particular open source entity to add or change
in order to construct an altogether different software or program.
The end result does not have to be open source.
There are many open source programs and businesses today many of which are very successful.
Some of the largest digital conglomerates are wholly or in part open sourced programs.
Let’s take a look and see why this is.
Open Source Interconnection
is a model for how different applications are able
to merge and communicate over a network.
The purpose of the OSI model is to guide markets and the founders of digital communication
products and software programs that they create to work with other systems or products without
anything else to do on the part of the consumer.
Open source is about the ability to create and the innovation demonstrated in businesses today
that started out as an open source project and are a testament to the core meaning and the original intent
of the open source movement.
Open Source Software
Open-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. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. According to scientists who have studied it, open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration. The term is often written without a hyphen as “open source software”.Wikipedia
Open source software is often called free software but there is a significant difference.
The developer may have chosen to offer software free of charge but that does not mean
that it can be altered, edited or shared by you.
Open source software means that source code is free to download, edit, alter,
and share with no worries of copyright infringement.
Open source software has its advantages over similar free options.
They are usually maintained by a group and updated frequently to
patch vulnerable code and extinguish bugs as they are found.
With no restrictions, it can be used commercially as well for home use.
Of course, the open source model allows for editing and gives way to a lot of users
that have developed cool plug-ins that are available to download.
Some examples of open source software are:
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Apache HTTP Server
Open Source Programs
An open source program is one that anyone can access, redistribute, and modify to
re-define the computer code in such a way as to create a totally different entity
but not change the original code.
The original code must always stay intact in order to give
anyone the opportunity to use the computer
code for whatever purpose.
Computer code is the framework that makes up what
you see on the screen of your computer.
It is made up of words, numbers, letters, and symbols
and is not decipherable unless you are a
programmer that reads or writes computer code.
A business can take the computer code of an open source program and write additional code
to seamlessly join different aspects of a new program to the open source program making it
a totally different entity made up of the original open source code and the secondary code
that would be developed by the programming engineers to reflect a service or business created
by a person or group.
There are many categories of open source programs relating to desktop applications.
In many cases, and due to it being open source, anyone can contribute by adding to these
programs making it better by installing patches around issues and fixing bugs that arise.
Open Source Business Model
Today’s open source businesses have adopted or fall into one of four models.
Here are the four main businesses models:
- Support and Services – Free services with fee support.
- Advertisement Partnerships – Partnerships with companies that pay to be included as built-in or add-on options.
- Paid Additional Services – Additional features such as upsells and premium subscriptions etc.
- Saas – Software-as-a-service earns revenue from open source software by selling it as cloud-based
WordPress.com is an example of this. WordPress is an open source content
management system (CMS) and is hosted on a web server.
WordPress.com is a private hosting service that runs using the WordPress CMS.
This service makes it easier for users to use WordPress-based blogs or websites.
Automattic is the company behind it and boasts revenue well into the billions.
Another business worth mentioning is Wealthy Affiliate that has used the open source code of
WordPress and coupled it with the platform they developed that’s made up of online
training, keyword research, content management, and an engagement arena.
If you are going to start an online business utilizing someones open source program,
it just makes good sense to hitch your wagon to one that already has a healthy following.
It doesn’t hurt for it to be number one in the world in its field either.
Open Source License
Having the appropriate open source license enables anyone to edit your work or project without seeking
any special permission or hoops to jump through in order to do so. Now let’s drop the other shoe.
There are different open source licenses, which give users different degrees of freedom.
Open source licenses comply with the Open Source Definition
and are approved by the Open Source Initiative
(also known as the OSI), a license must be reviewed by the
The following are popular OSI-approved licenses:
- Apache License 2.0
- BSD 3 Clause Revised License
- BSD 2 Clause FreeBSD License
- GNU General Public License
- GNU Library or Lesser General Public License
- MIT License
- Mozilla Public License 2.0
- Common Development and Distribution License
- Creative Common License
Open source can be as complicated as you want it to be but if you are like myself and
not a developer ( yet ) then the information that I have researched and made available
should give you or anyone else a good basic feel of what is meant by open source.
If anyone is wanting more in-depth information about open source code
and the rules and regulations governing the open source movement then
here is a good reference from The Linux Foundation.
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