Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Open Source application - what is it?

Open source is defined as a set of practices in production and development arena that provides access to source materials. It has a different view among the audience while a few conceive it as philosophy; some visualize it as a practical approach. Before the advent of the term open source, there existed a variety of terms to explain the concept. With required growth in the internet technology and emergence of massive retooling in source code, the new term open source established it grounds as an apt phrase to explain the environment that allows a free and fair practice among the developers and producers.

An open source application program package is something for which the source code is accessible for download and anyone can alter it and release subsequent renderings by mentioning the version of the source used for modification. Open source software is commonly formulated as a public coaction and made freely accessible.

Open Source Initiative (OSI) owns the open source certification mark. Developers of applications can freely share, improve, or redistribute the applications if they comply with the terms of OSI.

The distribution open-source software must comply with several of the terms of OSI and the following some of the important ones:

  • The software that is being circulated must be made available to anybody without any kind of limitation.
  • The source code of the software must be provided in order to enable the receiving party to make any improvements or required modifications. It is a must to attach source code and allow distribution of source code in compiled form. In case there source code is not included with the product then the origin of source code and downloadable version should be made available. The source code should be in the preferred form and should be editable for modification. Any derivation work from the original source and redistribution must be allowed under the similar terms as the original software.
  • The license can demand amended versions of the software to bear a distinct name or edition from the archetype software. The license shall not restrict any sort of commerce in giving off the software as a division of an aggregative software arrangement containing programs from individual diverse sources. In such a sale the license does not require royalty or other fees.

In simplified terms open source is simply a set of programs that are available to the general public free of cost. The user is empowered with the rights to use, or modify the software to necessary levels provided they provide the source used to create the changes. In fact the open source is a collaborative effort which continually aims at the betterment of programs and to share it with fellow users within the community.

In general OSI certification is to suggest that the software is available freely to the users. The principle of this association is not to claim ownership or work toward a financial gain but to produce bug-free and improved quality products for universal use. This has certainly given the impetus in the production of fascinatingly high quality products with tremendous software evolution. While it takes a long time for commercial firms to eliminate bugs, open source has indeed achieved a quick remedy with literally no expense on the part of users.

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