Friday, March 14, 2008

What is open source code?

You may have heard of open source, but what does it mean in computer programming? Open source is programming code that is available to everyone. You can read the open source code and also use it in your own applications. There are a couple of conditions needed to be imposed by any program written in open source code. The Open Source Definition states that open source code has to be freely redistributed. One shall also be able to read the real code. Not only the original code has to be free, even derived code shall be redistributed for free. You shall also respect the author of the original code and not exclude his or her name from further distributions. Neither private persons or companies can be stopped from using the code. If a program based on open source code is a part of another program, then the whole program has to be distributed according to open source. The open source license doesn't say that all programs included in an open source distribution has to be free. These conditions are written by Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond. The conditions constitute The Open Source Definition. There are several popular program made of open source code. Mozilla Firefox, Apache, Linux operating system are all made of open source code.

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