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Introduction to FOSS (Free and open-source software)

Free and open-source software: In this article, we are going to know about what exactly is Free and Open Source Software along with its advantages and disadvantages, History of FOSS and its characteristics.
Submitted by Monika Sharma, on February 16, 2020

Free Software

Firstly, we need to know what exactly free software is, when we talk about free software, we mean it as a software where you have "FREEDOM TO SPEECH". Freedom as in to use the software the way you want, the no. of copies you use, how do you distribute it after modifications or unmodified.

Open Source Software

Now as we know what free is, we need to know about what does Open Source Software mean.

Software is considered to be Open Source when its source code is available to the public and anyone can have access to it, view it, modify it or use it.

There are times when people get confused with the term FOSS, not every free software is open source and not every open source software can be free (Some might ask money to provide its source code and also for any changes you make in it).

Opposite to FOSS is Proprietary and CSS.

  • Proprietary:
    Various confinements on use, encapsulated in EULAs (End User License Agreements) – e.g., what number of occurrences can be run without a moment's delay, what machines can run on, illicit to figure out, what number of customers can interface, need actuation, and so forth.
  • Closed Source Software:
    just a twofold/executable form of the program is given can't look at nor edit the code.

Few examples of FOSS

  • Linux
  • Android
  • MySQL
  • Pearl
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Open Office

Characteristics of FOSS

  • Mostly People build FOSS in collaboration with contributions coming from all around the globe via the Internet and GitHub has been an amazing platform for the same.
  • Backing for FOSS is normally given using mail lists, newsgroups, and web gatherings.
  • Most FOSS is free of cost, so no constant expense for "redesigns."
    Not constrained to running a single case or ensuring permit arrangements are being met.
  • Many organizations exist to offer help or customization for organizations utilizing FOSS.

Advantages of FOSS

Advantages of community-based program development incorporate picking up knowledge into the social setting of an issue or issue, shared learning encounters among shoppers and suppliers, expanding comprehension of expert jobs and obligations inside the community, association with experts from different orders, and open doors for community-based participatory research projects. Increased maintainability is a favorable position in the community-based program structure. The program manageability is guaranteed by the ID of answers for issues dependent on existing assets open to all community individuals. Likewise, the contribution of neighborhood community pioneers and nearby volunteers fortifies the supportability of the effect of the program.

Disadvantages of FOSS

A few difficulties of community-based program configuration are the constrained accessibility of assets, affinity for elevated levels of staff turnover, the dependence upon unpaid volunteers, member maintenance, and the assessment of a unique undertaking environment. For similar reasons that manageability is a bit of leeway of this methodology, using restricted accessible assets is a test. In light of free-market principals and asset shortage, programs regularly work underneath Pareto efficiency.

History of FOSS

In the early '60s and '70s software was mostly built by large computer companies and was shared with the user free of cost. During this time, source code, the human-readable type of programming, was commonly dispensed with the product giving the capacity to fix bugs or include new functions. Universities were early adopters of figuring innovation. A considerable lot of the alterations created by colleges were transparently shared, with regards to the scholastic standards of sharing information, and associations jumped up to encourage sharing. As enormous scale working frameworks developed, fewer associations enabled adjustments to the working programming, and in the end, such working frameworks were shut to change. In any case, utilities and other included capacity applications are as yet shared and new associations have been shaped to advance the sharing of programming.

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