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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
What is an Open Source?
2.1.
Working of an Open Source Software
3.
Differences between Open Source and Closed Source software 
4.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Open Source
5.
Applications
6.
FAQs
7.
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Open Source and its Applications

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Introduction 

The early technologies and telecommunication networks relied on an open and collaborative research environment. It was believed that software should be accessible to the developers so they can modify it as they wish to understand and improve it. This new approach surrounding software creation took hold that eventually led to the formation of the Open-Source. The values of collaboration, communication, peer review, and openness are used in the open-source foundation. 

 

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This blog will briefly discuss the term open-source and its usage in today’s world.

What is an Open Source?

At the most fundamental level, open-source is a source code that is freely available for possible modification and redistribution according to a user’s requirement. In other words, it allows users to modify, use, and integrate the work into a larger project or derive a new one based on the original. Open source promotes the free exchange of ideas within a community to drive creative technological advancement. Open source is used in several industries such as electronics, fashion, robotics, and software. 

Working of an Open Source Software

To understand the working of an open-source, let’s consider an everyday used open-source example, Github. We all are very familiar with this platform; it is a community for developers to collaborate on projects by contributing codes and fixing bugs. 

Open-source projects begin with a new idea or a feature capable of improving any existing software. The idea is then formed into a prototype. The software is released under an open-source license as soon as it starts running for further development and improvements contributed by several developers worldwide. This developments cycle continues until the software is stable. A large community of developers works together to improve the quality of the software on a long-term basis. 

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Differences between Open Source and Closed Source software 

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Open Source

Advantages: 

  1. Open source solutions are easily portable. Hence, it requires lesser hardware power to carry out the tasks than the servers' power.
     
  2. Most open-source software is well designed and is of high quality. As several individuals contribute to the betterment of the software, new features are introduced regularly.
     
  3. Open-source effectively addresses the issues such as expensive license fees, lack of portability, and the inability to customize the software.
     
  4. Open-source software uses high-end technologies that enable users to combine servers and applications, resulting in efficient administration.
     
  5. The speed of the development cycle is fast. Also, the bugs and loopholes in the software are fixed as soon as they are found.
     
  6. It allows users to install and use software from any given location. So, the user does not have to worry about license complications.

 

Disadvantages: 

  1. A user may face compatibility issues while dealing with open-source software.
     
  2. Some malicious users can easily exploit the source code as it is freely available to everyone.
     
  3. Open-source software can pose liability issues as they don’t come with any warranty, unlike the software that an individual organization produces. 

Applications

In today’s era, we are increasingly relying on open-source software as they are cheaper, flexible, and have more longevity than their proprietary peers. Following are some most common usage of open-source worldwide:

  1. Business Firms: As open-source software is available freely, companies can gain huge profits using it, unlike proprietary software requiring huge capital investments. One of the best advantages of using this kind of software is that it can be customized. Hence, they are independent of the vendors for any possible updates. Some of the commonly used open sources are as follows:

    Linux is among the best-known and most widely used operating systems. It is an open-source operating system. The code used to create this is available to the community to inspect, modify, and contribute. Linux is highly customizable.

    Apache web server is a free and open-source web server that delivers web content through the internet. It is one of the most popular HTTP clients on the web.
     
  2. Educational Institutes: A large application of open-source is in the field of research and education. It can be used to teach working of the software. This software comes with open code that can be modified multiple times to learn different things. 
     
  3. Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser. It has various features that make it exceptional among its competitors, such as focusing on user privacy, using containers, incorporating powerful development tools, a friendly user interface, and many more.
     
  4. The VLC media player is a portable, free and open-source, cross-platform media player available for multiple operating systems and mobile platforms. It can play most audio and video files, including VCDs and DVDs.
     
  5. GIMP(Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source platform used for image editing, free-form drawing, image manipulation, and many more.
     
  6. jQuery is a feature-rich free and open-source JavaScript library that makes event handling, animation, Ajax, HTML document handling much easy to use.

FAQs

  1. Why do users prefer using open source software?
    There are many reasons why users are more inclined to servers open-source software, such as a user can manipulate and customize their software, it provide a better learning experience for new developers, and they are more secure and stable than proprietary software.
     
  2. Is open-source software is in the public domain?
    No, the public domain is those fields in which nobody can assert copyrights, whereas, in open-source software, the authors or assignees retain the copyrights.
     
  3. State the principles of an open-source.
    The basic principles of an open-source include peer review, reliability, flexibility, transparency, lower cost, and open collaboration.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we have extensively discussed Open-Source. Open-source software is developed in a decentralized and collaborative manner that relies on community production. If you want to learn more about what are some popular open-source tools, you can refer to another interesting blog on Tools For Open Source.

We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding open-source, and if you would like to learn more, you can follow our guided path. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow. 

Happy Coding!

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