FLOSS is a universal term describing open source software - a software which (to put it simply) enables everyone to access and modify its source code. Other similar terms are FOSS, OSS and FS.
In contrast with closed source (proprietary) software, open source software is developed by society. Millions of people world-wide devote their free time and actively support development of various projects. If your wonder how software developed in such a way may play key roles in your company - keep on reading.
Why it's worth it?
- 1Safety and reliability of open source software is ensured by programmers and testers who are involved in its development. It is reported that the more people work on a source code, the more mistakes and errors would be eventually eliminated. As a project becomes more popular and greater numbers of people work on it, probability of eliminating all of the mistakes and errors increases.
- 2In comparison to closed source software, open source projects develop dynamically and evolve quickly. Most of the time all the technological innovations are first implemented in projects published on open source licences.
- 3Open source software is a way to become independent of closed source software publishers, who often impose dubious (or costly!) requirements. Availability of the source code makes it possible to adjust products to individual needs of a client.
- 4The basic benefit from using open source software is that it is free of any licence fees. Costs of use include implementation of the software and possible training courses, technical support and maintenance.
- 5Maintenance of open source software is cheaper than in case of proprietary software. All you need is an appropriate specialist, who would take care of a project professionally. Flossmarket will help you find one - you just need to place an order.
Organizations and Licences
There are many organizations, which support and promote open source software. The most important are Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative, which differently define this type of software - both as far as pragmatic as well as ideological terms are concerned.
As there are various organizations that differently perceive the idea of open source software, there are also various licences referred to as "open" licences, which independently describe rights and obligations of a user. We can list here an example of GPL licence, which is considered to be the most restrictive, as well as Apache and MIT licences, which are considered to be the friendliest for entrepreneurs.
Contrary to appearances, this diversity becomes a part of the spirit of open source software and supports its development.
Players on the market of open source software
Numerous large companies produce software, which is then distributed on "open" licences. For many of them it is the main and only scope of their business activities. Recent years proved that increasing number of proprietary software tycoons implement the philosophy of open source into their business processes (they are e.g.: IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP etc.).
Open solutions are common in all types of computer software - both in home as well as business applications. A list of the most popular ones is provided below. Perhaps you would not expect that some of them are distributed on "open" licence:
- Application servers
- Network monitoring
- Web Application Development