Open source software is software that has its source code available for modification by the public. The source code is what computer programmers can modify in order to change the way a program or application does what itâ€™s meant to. Some examples of this are Firefox and Openoffice.
This type of software is different from closed source software (a.k.a. proprietary software) because those prohibit the public from having access to modify their source code. The only ones legally able to make modifications are the people, team, or organization that created it. Examples of this are Adobe Software and Microsoft Office.
In order for closed software creators to keep other programmers from manipulating their codes, licenses with agreements to not make changes are required in order to download the program. OSS is similar to this in the sense that they also require a licensing agreement. The difference is that their licenses encourage collaboration and sharing so that others can also make changes and use them in their projects.
Now, you may be wondering what the point of having a program that is OSS is. Well, there are many ways in which OSS can benefit both users and programmers.
Control over software
Programmers can change part of the code they donâ€™t like in order to use it how they want. Because of this, regular users can also use the program for anything they would like without being limited to what the software creators intended it to be for.
Improve Programming Skills
With OSS, programmers can learn and practice their skills by physically seeing how and what changes were made to make the software do a certain thing. Â They can also receive feedback from others on what they have created.
Software that is constantly being altered by various programmer means that regular users will have a program that is, for the most part, fixed, updated, and upgraded quickly.
Because there are many working on the software, users would not need to worry about their data, that has been saved in the program, disappearing after the original programmers decide to stop working on it.