Open source software refers to a program that one can modify and share since its design is made public. Open source designates any computer software that is distributed with its source code made available for modification. This implies that programmers can change the software in any way they find it suitable. They can improve functions, fix bugs and adapt to the needs of the software.
Difference with Other Software
There are certain types of software whose source code is only available to the developer who created. The developer has complete control over this software and its modifications and is most often referred to as proprietary or closed software. Only the original author of the software has the right to copy, inspect and modify the software in any way. In order to use this kind of software one has to agree with the user license agreement that is displayed whenever the software is displayed for the first time. Adobe photoshop and Microsoft office are good examples of proprietary software.
Open source software is different in that the developers make the source code available to public so that anyone can be able to view, copy or learn from it or even share it. GNU Image Manipulation Program or LibreOffice are good examples of open source software. Just like proprietary software users need to sign the legal terms for open source software licenses. Open source licenses affect the way people use, modify, study and distribute software.
Why is it important?
Open source technology is very beneficial to both programmers and non-programmers. This is because the inventors of the internet built it on pen source technologies such as Linux operating systems and Apache Web server applications. Anyone who is using the internet today can benefit from open source software.
Whenever computer users view web pages, chat, check mail, stream music online or even play multiplayer games through their mobile devices or game consoles, they connect to a network of computers using open source software and then transmit the data to other devices. The computers that typically do all this work are often located in very far places that users don’t even can access physically which is why they are referred to as remote computers.
More and more people are relying on open source remote computers to perform tasks they might perform on their local devices. For instance, they may use online word processing, image editing software as well as email management which they do not need to install in their personal computers. Instead all they need is access the programs on a remote computer using web browser or remote application.
Why open source software?
Most people prefer using open source software for many reasons. Open source software gives the user control over the software. This is probably the reason why most people prefer open source software. Users are able to examine the code and remove parts that are not doing what they require. Open source software enables people become better programmers as it enhances learning. Other people prefer open source software simply because it is more secure and stable than proprietary software.