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Open source software: Rise and growth

Open source software (OSS) comprises of any computer software which is open for alteration with its source code shared and distributed. It infers, therefore, that programmers typically have a license to modify the software in whatever way they prefer. Either they can fix bugs, enhance features, or adjust the software to fit their own agenda.

Historical account

In the initial decades of computing, software was circulated among programmers and developers to benefit from each other and grow the skills in the plethora of computer field. Finally, during 1970–1980, the open-source concept found its place amid the marketing aspect of computing. Today, academics have collaboratively designed apps. For instance, Donald Knuth developed it with the TeX typesetting system in 1979, and Richard Stallman with the GNU operating system in 1983. Eric Raymond wrote The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 1997, a critical study of the hacker society and the concepts of free software. The paper gained notable attention in early 1998, prompting Netscape Communications Corporation to launch as free software their famous Netscape Communicator Internet package. Subsequently, this source code became the core of Mozilla Firefox, KompoZer, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey.

The very act of Netscape inspired Raymond and others to explore thee avenues of how free software innovations and supposed benefits to the Free Software Foundation could be introduced to the commercial software sector. They argued that the social activism of FSF was not compelling the businesses like Netscape, and found a way to revamp the free software movement to underline the market value of distributing and collaborating on software source code features. The new phrase they used was open source, which Bruce Perens, the publisher Tim O’Reilly, Linus Torvalds, and many others eventually embraced. The Open Source Initiative was established in February 1998 to facilitate the use of the new terminology and to bring into the fold the concepts of open-source elements. While the Open Source Initiative tried to promote the application of the new term and convert the values it followed wholeheartedly, commercial software providers were gradually under pressure from the notion of free distributed software and terrestrial access to the source code of a program.

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In 2001, a Microsoft official publicly declared that open source is a killer of patents. For the software business and the intellectual property business, one could not foresee anything that might be worse than this scenario. Although free and open-source software has conventionally played a determining role outside the mainstream of private software development, corporations, as large as Microsoft, have proposed developing official open-source involvements on the internet. Oracle, Google, IBM, and State Farm are just a few businesses with a major public interest in the dynamic open-source industry of the modern era. There has been a substantial shift in the corporate paradigm about progress of FOSS. In 1983, the free-software movement had begun. In 1998, a set of people endorsed replacing the term free software with open-source software (OSS) as a less complicated expression, and more convenient for the business class in the context of wide-ranging applications.

Software developers might need to use an open-source license to distribute their software so that anyone can either create the same software or recognize its internal motives. For open-source software, it is usually possible for anyone to make revisions, port it to new operating systems and for instructions set architectures, connect it with other users or, in some cases, promote marketing of the same. Scholars Casson and Ryan have figured out several policy-oriented ideas for open source adoption; in particular, the open-source more leading value quality (as contrasted with a majority of proprietary formats) in the categories listed below:
Affordability
Security
Perpetuity
Transparency

Localization: Specifically in the context of local statutory authorities who make software decisions. Casson and Ryan contend that any concerned government authority has an inherent taxpayer obligation and fiduciary duty that requires a detailed analysis of these considerations when choosing to purchase proprietary software or introduce an open-source alternative.
Flexibility
Interoperability

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Would you like to read more about this topic? This book might interest you: The Rise of Open-Source Software.

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