Are You an Open-Source Software Expert?

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is open-source software?

What was the motivation for Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software?

What is the Open Source Definition?

What is the most popular example of an open-source license?

What is the negative aspect of the proliferation of open-source licenses?

What is the act of propagating the open source movement?

What are revision control systems used for in open-source software development?

What are some prominent organizations involved in OSS development?

Why is open-source software said to be more reliable?


Open-Source Software: History, Definition, and Advantages

  • Open-source software is computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.

  • Open-source software development can bring in diverse perspectives beyond those of a single company, resulting in savings of about $60 billion per year for consumers.

  • Open source code can be used for studying, adapting software to personal needs, and submitting possible improvements as pull requests.

  • In the early days of computing, programmers and developers shared software to learn from each other and evolve the field of computing.

  • In 1997, Eric Raymond published The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which motivated Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software.

  • The new term "open source" was soon adopted to rebrand the free software movement to emphasize the business potential of sharing and collaborating on software source code.

  • The Open Source Definition presents an open-source philosophy and further defines the terms of use, modification, and redistribution of open-source software.

  • The most prominent and popular example of an open-source license is the GNU General Public License (GPL), which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same licence".

  • The proliferation of open-source licenses is a negative aspect of the open-source movement because it is often difficult to understand the legal implications of the differences between licenses.

  • Open-source software is usually easier to obtain than proprietary software, often resulting in increased use, and has helped to build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product.

  • Open-source development offers the potential to quicken innovation and the creation of innovation and social value.

  • Open source is said to be more reliable, flexible, and uses open standards accessible to everyone.Open Source Software: Definition, Examples, and Adoption

  • Open-source programs are the product of collaboration among a large number of different programmers, which speeds up innovation.

  • Free software can be developed in accordance with purely technical requirements without thinking about commercial pressures, which often degrades the quality of the software.

  • Revision control systems, such as CVS, SVN, and Git, help manage the source code files and the changes to those files for a software project.

  • Open-source projects are often loosely organized, but utilities such as issue trackers are often used to organize open-source software development.

  • Prominent organizations involved in OSS development include the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, the Debian Project, the Mozilla Foundation, and OW2.

  • Companies whose business centers on the development of open-source software employ a variety of business models to make money.

  • Advocates argue that open-source software is inherently safer because any person can view, edit, and change code.

  • The term "open source" was originally intended to be trademarkable; however, the term was deemed too descriptive, so no trademark exists.

  • Open-sourcing is the act of propagating the open source movement, most often referring to releasing previously proprietary software under an open source/free software license.

  • Open-source software projects are built and maintained by a network of volunteer programmers and are widely used in free as well as commercial products.

  • The same principles that underlie open-source software can be found in many other ventures, such as open-source hardware, Wikipedia, and open-access publishing.

  • Open-source principles apply more generally to facilitate concurrent input of different agendas, approaches, and priorities, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial companies.


Test your knowledge of open-source software with this informative quiz! From the history and definition of open-source software to its advantages and examples, this quiz covers all the key aspects of this revolutionary approach to software development. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about the collaborative and innovative world of open-source software.

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