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Intro to (OSS) Open-source software (Linux)

Intro to (OSS) Open-source software (Linux)

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Author: Mikle DeShazer
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Understanding the public collaborative manner of open-source software.

Open-source software is often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-contentmovements and is said to have resulted in savings over $55 billion per year for consumers,

Open-source movement

The free software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open-source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world.[4] Software developers may want to publish their software with an open-source license, so that anybody may also develop the same software or understand its internal functioning. With open-source software, generally anyone is allowed to create modifications of it, port it to new operating systems and processor architectures, share it with others or, in some cases, market it. Scholars Casson and Ryan have pointed out several policy-based reasons for adoption of open source – in particular, the heightened value proposition from open source (when compared to most proprietary formats) in the following categories:

Security
Affordability
Transparency
Perpetuity
Interoperability
Flexibility
Localization—particularly in the context of local governments (who make software decisions). Casson and Ryan argue that "governments have an inherent responsibility and fiduciary duty to taxpayers" which includes the careful analysis of these factors when deciding to purchase proprietary software or implement an open-source option.[5]

The Open Source Definition, notably, presents an open-source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open-source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open-source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License (GPL), which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same licence", thus also free.[6] While open-source distribution presents a way to make the source code of a product publicly accessible, the open-source licenses allow the authors to fine tune such access.

The open source label came out of a strategy session held on April 7, 1998 in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release forNavigator (as Mozilla). A group of individuals at the session included Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, Tom Paquin, Jamie Zawinski, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Sameer Parekh, Eric Allman, Greg Olson, Paul Vixie, John Ousterhout, Guido van Rossum, Philip Zimmermann, John Gilmore and Eric S. Raymond.[7] They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English.

Many people claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open source movement, while others do not distinguish between open-source and free software movements.[8]

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer")

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Tutorial

What is open-source software.

Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with an open-source license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software for free to anyone and for any purpose. 

Open source software history

It could be said that in the beginning, there was only free (libre) software. Later, proprietary software was born, and quickly dominated the software landscape, oddly it is considered as the only possible model by many (knowledgeable) people. Only recently has the software industry considered free software as an option again.

When IBM and others sold the first large-scale commercial computers, in the 1960s, they came with some software which was free (libre), in the sense that it could be freely shared among users, it came with source code, and it could be improved and modified. In the late 1960s, the situation changed after the unbundling'' of IBM software, and in mid-1970s it was usual to find proprietary software, in the sense that users were not allowed to redistribute it, that source code was not available, and that users could not modify the programs.

In late 1970s and early 1980s, two different groups were establishing the roots of the current open source software movement.

On the US East coast, Richard Stallman, formerly a programmer at the MIT AI Lab, resigned, and launched the GNU Project.

The free software movement

The free software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open-source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world.

The Open Source Definition, notably, presents an open-source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open-source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open-source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License (GPL), which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same license.

The open source label came out of a strategy session held on April 7, 1998 in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator (as Mozilla). A group of individuals at the session included Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, Tom Paquin, Jamie Zawinski, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Sameer Parekh, Eric Allman, Greg Olson, Paul Vixie, John Ousterhout, Guido van Rossum, Philip Zimmermann, John Gilmore and Eric S. Raymond. 

They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer")