Open Source

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					Open Source


In general, the term open source refers to the principles and
methodologies to promote open access to the production and design process
for various goods, products, and resources. The term is most commonly
used in reference to source code of software that is made available to
the general public with either relaxed or non-existent intellectual
property restrictions.

Open source allows users to create user-generated software content
through either incremental individual effort or through collaboration.
In layman’s terms, open source means that software is made available to
the general public for download. People can then either work alone or
with others to change the software, make it better, and re-distribute it.

Some consider open source as one of various possible design approaches
while others consider it a critical strategic element of their
operations. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and
producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept. With the
rise of the Internet and its enabling of diverse production models,
communication paths, and interactive communities, the term open source
gained popularity.

In 1998, Netscape released a new source code for its version of an
Internet web browser called Navigator. It was at this time that the term
and concept of open source was introduced. The idea was to release the
company of the connotations that come with the terminology of free
software. They licensed and released their code as open source under the
name Mozilla.

Open source development has grown in popularity over the years and has
even started a movement among proponents of the concept. Open source has
extended beyond the software market into other areas of production such
as food as well as health and science.

There are many places that facilitate the open source methodology. The
creation of blogs is one way to distribute information among the public.
Message boards on the Internet are another outlet. These message boards
are thought to be one of the integral ways to grow the open source
movement as people can freely discuss and implement changes to various
programs and products with the convenience of the Internet.

The open source movement is not without its critics. Those against open
source say that direct compensation for intellectual property is
essential to the creation of various new technologies. They say that
there is no real incentive to develop new products when they are
available for free. Critics also say that open source causes a chaotic
environment when many people are working on the same projects with little
to no leadership.

Whatever side of the fence you are on, the fact remains that open source
is a wave of the future and will hold new and exciting developments in
various areas of consumer life.   Open source, whether good or bad, is
here to stay.

				
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