To better understand Open Source, it’d be a good idea to understand what Source Code is. Source Code is what makes software applications work. It is the code that programmers write, “telling” the application what to do.
What is Open Source Software? Simply put, it is free software. We are allowed to use it for free, as well as alter it to suit our needs. The more button-down definition is “software whose source code is freely available, with permission of modifications and further redistribution.”
Using Open Source software, the user can freely change the way the software works. The user can change the way it looks, make it more efficient and tailor it to the organization’s needs. An Open Source license gives you full rights to the software.
Propriety Software is the opposite of Open Source. Here, the source code is hidden and protected and you are not given access to it. Only people who have special access can modify the code. There are terms and conditions to which users must agree to before being permitted to use it.
To illustrate: Microsoft Word is propriety software. One cannot obtain the source code and publish their own word processing tool.
There are many articles on the internet about Open Source. We like this one.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: This entire site is running on an Open Source software. We use WordPress, the most popular CMS/web site authoring system.
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