Free and open source software

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Free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (free/libre/open source software) is software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.[1][2]

'F/OSS' is an inclusive term generally synonymous with both free software and open source software which describe similar development models, but with differing cultures and philosophies. 'Free software' focuses on the philosophical freedoms it gives to users and 'open source' focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. Many people relate to both aspects and so 'F/OSS' is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either camp.

Free software licenses and Open-source licenses are used by many software packages. The licenses have important differences, which mirror the differences in the ways the two kinds of software can be used and distributed and reflect differences in the philosophy behind the two.[3]

Today the terms "free software" and "free open source software" (FOSS) and "free libre open source software" (FLOSS) generally mean the same thing. Despite disagreements about independently important but relatively minor differences, the simple term "open source" originally had the same meaning as FOSS/FLOSS for several years, nicely guarded, but not trademarked, by the Open Source Initiative. However, by mid 2007 enough companies were opening some source to hop on the open source bandwagon, while keeping other advanced functionality closed, that the common meaning of "open source" came to include what is now called "Commercial Open Source Software" (COSS) as well. Today either the specific terms free software/FOSS/FLOSS or COSS are often used instead of the more general term "open source" in order to differentiate between the two different models and preserve the original meaning of the free software/FOSS/FLOSS space.


[edit] Industry support

In January 2008 Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced software governance initiative to address the legal, financial and security risks connected with the adoption of FOSS.[4] The project is supported by other companies like OpenLogic, Google and Novell.[5] HP generated over USD$10 billion revenue on sales of open source-related products in the past few years.[6] More than 22 percent of shipped units and 17 percent of the company's server revenues came from this source in the last two quarters of 2008.[7] FOSSology is a tool for tracking and monitoring the use of free and open-source software within an IT environment and is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version 2),[8] FOSSBazaar is a web site that hosts discussion groups and information resources on how to adopt and manage free/open source code.[9]

[edit] Adoption

  • In 2005 the Government of Peru voted to adopt open source across all its bodies.[10] The 2002 response to Microsoft's critique is available online. In the preamble to the bill, the Peruvian government stressed that the choice was made to ensure that key pillars of democracy were safeguarded: "The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law."[11]
  • In December 2004, law in Venezuela went into effect, mandating a two year transition to open source in all public agencies. [12][13]
  • The Netherlands has an initiative called Open Source en standaarden in het onderwijs, "Open source and standards in education". [14]
  • Vietnam - the Ministry of Information and Communications has issued an instruction on using open source software at state agencies.[15]
  • Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Program launched in 2004 saved millions on proprietary software licences till 2008[16][17]
  • The Government of India has set up a resource centre for Free and Open Source Software managed jointly by C-DAC Chennai and Anna University, Chennai. It has one of its node in Mumbai at VJTI College[citation needed]
  • The Ministry of Defence in Singapore began migrating its computers from Microsoft to free software in 2004, while South Korea, China and Japan agreed to cooperate in creating new Linux-based programs.[citation needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Hatlestad, Luc (2005-08-09). "LinuxWorld Showcases Open-Source Growth, Expansion". InformationWeek. CMP Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved on 2007-11-25. 
  2. ^ Claburn, Thomas (January 17, 2007). "Study Finds Open Source Benefits Business". InformationWeek. CMP Media LLC. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved on 11 2 5 2007. 
  3. ^ Barr, Joe (1998). "Why “Free Software” is better than “Open Source”" (in English). Free Software Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved on 2007-11-25. .
  4. ^ HP Promotes Open Source Software Governance with New Initiative
  5. ^ OpenLogic: HP hogged FOSS limelight
  6. ^ OSBC Report: HP's Karl Paetzel on the tools of open-source proliferation
  7. ^ HP releases FOSS governance tools, announces forums and services
  8. ^ HP launches open source tracking tool
  9. ^ HP's 'Fossology' Offers Help In Open Source Governance
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ National Advisory Council on Innovation Open Software Working Group (July 2004). "Free/Libre & Open Source Software and Open Standards in South Africa" (PDF). Retrieved on 2008-05-31. 
  12. ^ Venezuela Open Source
  13. ^ Chavez, Hugo F. (December 2004). "Publicado en la Gaceta oficial No 38.095 de fecha 28/ 12/ 2004 (Spanish Language)". Retrieved on 2009-03-01. 
  14. ^ OSS in het Onderwijs :: Goed bekeken!
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  16. ^
  17. ^

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

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