What is open source?
Open source software is similar in meaning to
freeware or shareware.
Open source software is usually available for free,
and then you can legally give it away.
The term source in open source refers to
computer language source code, such as
Not only do you get the running software, but
you get all of the source code behind the running
The source is open to the public, and thus the
term open source.
First started in January 1998 due to
Netscape’s release of the source
code for Navigator.
In February 1998 the Open Source
Initiative was formed.
Open Source Initiative
Founded February 1998 by Eric S.
Raymond and Bruce Perens
Sought to bring a view of the practical
benefits of freely available source code.
Perens created the Open Source
Eric S. Raymond’s essay The Cathedral
and the Bazaar gives a model for how
open source software should be used.
Open Source Definition
Under the Open Source Definition, licenses must meet ten
conditions in order to be considered open source licenses.
Free Redistribution: the software can be freely given away or sold. (This
was intended to expand sharing and use of the software on a legal basis.)
Source Code: the source code must either be included or freely obtainable.
(Without source code, making changes or modifications can be impossible.)
Derived Works: redistribution of modifications must be allowed. (To allow
legal sharing and to permit new features or repairs.)
Integrity of The Author's Source Code: licenses may require that
modifications are redistributed only as patches.
No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: no-one can be locked
No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: commercial users cannot
be excluded. Distribution of License: The rights attached to the program
must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for
execution of an additional license by those parties.
License Must Not Be Specific to a Product: the program cannot be
licensed only as part of a larger distribution.
License Must Not Restrict Other Software: the license cannot insist that
any other software it is distributed with must also be open source.
License Must Be Technology-Neutral: no click-wrap licenses or other
medium-specific ways of accepting the license must be required.
Users should be treated as co-developers
• The users are treated like co-developers and so they should have access to the source code of
the software. If a lot of users view the source code they will eventually find all bugs and
suggest how to fix them.
• The first version of the software should be released as early as possible so as to increase
one's chances of finding co-developers early.
• New code should be integrated as often as possible so as to avoid the overhead of fixing a
large number of bugs at the end of the project life cycle. Some Open Source projects have
nightly builds where integration is done automatically on a daily basis.
• There should be at least two versions of the software. There should be a buggier version with
more features and a more stable version with fewer features. The buggy version (also called
the development version) is for users who want the immediate use of the latest features, and
are willing to accept the risk of using code that is not yet thoroughly tested. The users can
then act as co-developers, reporting bugs and providing bug fixes. The stable version offers
the users fewer bugs and fewer features.
• The general structure of the software should be modular allowing for parallel development.
Dynamic decision making structure
• There is a need for a decision making structure, whether formal or informal, that makes
strategic decisions depending on changing user requirements and other factors.
Linux - operating system based on Unix
Eclipse - software framework for "rich-client applications"
Apache - HTTP web server
Tomcat web service - web container
Moodle - course management system
Mozilla Firefox - web browser
Mozilla Thunderbird - e-mail client
OpenOffice.org - office suite
OpenSolaris - Unix Operating System from Sun
Mediawiki - wiki server software, the software that runs
Drupal – content management service
GNU Compiler Collection - Programming language compiler
for C, C++, Java and other languages.
• Soft drink giants like Coke and Pepsi hold their formulas as closely
guarded secrets. Now volunteers have posted the recipe for a similar
cola drink on the internet. The taste is said to be comparable to that of
the standard beverages.
• A beer recipe called Vores Øl. The beer was created by students at the
IT-University in Copenhagen together with Superflex, a Copenhagen-
based artist collective, to illustrate how open source concepts might be
applied outside the digital world.
• In 2002 a beer company in Australia, Brewtopia, started an open
source brewery which invited the general population to be involved in
the development and ownership of the brewery, but asking them to
vote on the development of every aspect of their beer, Blowfly, and its
road to market. In return for their feedback and input, they received
shares in the company, which is now publicly traded on one of the
Stock Exchanges in Australia. The company has always adhered to its
Open Source roots and is the only beer company in the world that
allows the public to design, customize and develop their own beers
Open source journalism
Weblogs, or blogs, are another significant platform for open source
OpenDocument is an open document file format for saving and
exchanging editable office documents such as text documents
(including memos, reports, and books), spreadsheets, charts, and
Open source movie production is either an open call system in
which a changing crew and cast collaborate in movie production, a
system in which the end result is made available for re-use by
An open source documentary film has a production process
allowing the open contributions of archival material, footage, and
other filmic elements, both in unedited and edited form.
Open Source Filmmaking refers to a form of filmmaking that takes
a method of idea formation from open source software, but in this
case the 'source' for a film maker is raw unedited footage rather
than programming code.
Allows users to build something that
works best for them.
With so many people working on the
software, bugs are more likely to be
Available to everyone
No monetary gain
Companies will be less likely to
Software will no longer be able to be
Effects on Businesses
Some businesses are concerned that they
will lose businesses with open source
Businesses will have to discover new
ways of making profits, such as
providing services that support the open
More businesses will be able to offer
similar products, which will increase
competition in the industry
Effects on Consumers and the
As competition increases, consumers
will have more bargaining power
Prices of products will decrease
as consumers have more choices
Increased freedom will encourage
innovation and in return provide
better products for consumers