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Open Source

In production and development, open source as a philosophy promotes
a) universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and
b) universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of terms for the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

The open-source model includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies. A main principle and practice of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public. This model is also used for the development of open-source-appropriate technologies, solar photovoltaic technology and open-source drug discovery.


The concept of free sharing of technological information existed long before computers. For example,sharing each other parts of car,bike etc. for experiments.

In the early years of automobile development, a group of capital monopolists owned the rights to a 2-cycle gasoline engine patent originally filed by George B. Selden. By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit. In 1911, independent automaker Henry Ford won a challenge to the Selden patent. The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association) was formed. The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers. By the time the US entered World War 2, 92 Ford patents and 515 patents from other companies were being shared between these manufacturers, without any exchange of money (or lawsuits).

Very similar to open standards, researchers with access to Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) used a process called Request for Comments to develop telecommunication network protocols. This collaborative process of the 1960s led to the birth of the Internet in 1969.

Early instances of the free sharing of source code include IBM's source releases of its operating systems and other programs in the 1950s and 1960s, and the SHARE user group that formed to facilitate the exchange of software.

In a foreshadowing of the Internet, software with source code included became available on BBS networks in the 1980s. This was sometimes a necessity; distributing software written in BASIC and other interpreted languages can only be distributed as source code as there is no separate portable executable binary to distribute.

Example of BBS systems and networks that gathered source code, and setup up boards specifically to discuss its modification includes WWIV, developed initially in BASIC by Wayne Bell. A culture of "modding" his software and distributing the mods, grew up so extensively that when the software was ported to first Pascal, then C++, its source code continued to be distributed to registered users, who would share mods and compile their own versions of the software. This may have contributed to its being a dominant system and network, despite being outside the Fidonet umbrella that was shared by so many other BBS makers.

The sharing of source code on the Internet began when the Internet was relatively primitive, with software distributed via UUCP, Usenet, and irc, and gopher. BSD, for example, was first widely distributed by posts to comp.os.linux on the Usenet, which is also where its development was discussed. Linux followed in this model.

Open Source >> Cont... :

The label "open source" was adopted by a group of people in the free software movement at a strategy session held at Palo Alto, California, in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator. The group of individuals at the session included Christine Peterson who suggested "open source", Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall, Sam Ockman, Michael Tiemann and Eric S. Raymond. Over the next week, Raymond and others worked on spreading the word. Linus Torvalds gave an all-important sanction the following day. Phil Hughes offered a pulpit in Linux Journal. Richard Stallman, pioneer of the free software movement, initially seemed to adopt the term, but later changed his mind. Those people who adopted the term used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to free themselves from the ideology of the term "free software". Netscape released its source code under the Netscape Public License and later under the Mozilla Public License.

In February 1998, Raymond made the first public call to the free software community to adopt the new term. The Open Source Initiative was formed shortly thereafter by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens.

The term was given a big boost at an event organized in April 1998 by technology publisher Tim O'Reilly. Originally titled the "Freeware Summit" and later known as the "Open Source Summit", The event brought together the leaders of many of the most important free and open-source projects, including Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Eric Allman, Guido van Rossum, Michael Tiemann, Paul Vixie, Jamie Zawinski of Netscape, and Eric Raymond. At that meeting, the confusion caused by the name free software was brought up. Tiemann argued for "sourceware" as a new term, while Raymond argued for "open source." The assembled developers took a vote, and the winner was announced at a press conference that evening.

Starting in the beginning of the 2000s, a number of companies began to publish a small parts of their source code to claim they were open source, while keeping key parts closed. This led to the development of the now widely used terms free open-source software and commercial open-source software to distinguish between truly open and hybrid forms of open source.

Economic Analysis

Most economists agree that open-source candidates have an information good (also termed "knowledge good") aspect. In general, this suggests that the original work involves a great deal of time, money, and effort. However, the cost of reproducing the work is very low, so that additional users may be added at zero or near zero cost - this is referred to as the marginal cost of a product. Copyright creates a monopoly so the price charged to consumers can be significantly higher than the marginal cost of production. This allows the author to recoup the cost of making the original work, without needing to find a single customer that can bear the entire cost. Conventional copyright thus creates access costs for consumers who value the work more than the marginal cost but less than the initial production cost. Access costs also pose problems for authors who wish to create a derivative work - such as a copy of a software program modified to fix a bug or add a feature, or a remix of a song - but are unable or unwilling to pay the copyright holder for the right to do so.

Being organized effectively as a consumers' cooperative, the idea of open source is to eliminate the access costs of the consumer and the creators of derivative works by reducing the restrictions of copyright. Basic economic theory predicts that lower costs would lead to higher consumption and also more frequent creation of derivative works. Additionally some proponents argue that open source also relieves society of the administration and enforcement costs of copyright. Organizations such as Creative Commons have websites where individuals can file for alternative "licenses", or levels of restriction, for their works. These self-made protections free the general society of the costs of policing copyright infringement. Thus, on several fronts, there is an efficiency argument to be made on behalf of open-sourced goods.

However, others argue that because consumers do not pay for the copies, creators are unable to recoup the initial cost of production, and thus have no economic incentive to create in the first place. By this argument, consumers would lose out because some of the goods they would otherwise purchase would not be available at all. In practice, content producers can choose whether to adopt a proprietary license and charge for copies, or an open license. Some goods which require large amounts of professional research and development, such as the pharmaceutical industry (which depends largely on patents, not copyright for intellectual property protection) are almost exclusively proprietary.

Alternative arrangements have also been shown to result in good creation outside of the proprietary model. Examples include: Creation for its own sake - for example, Wikipedia editors add content for recreation. Artists have a drive to create. Both communities benefit from free starting material.

Voluntary after-the-fact donations - used by shareware, street performers, and public broadcasting in the United States.

Patron - For example, open access publishing relies on institutional and government funding of research faculty, who also have a professional incentive to publish for reputation and career advancement. Works of the U.S. federal government are automatically released into the public domain.

Freemium - Give away a limited version for free and charge for a premium version (perhaps using a dual license)

Give away the product and charge for something related - charge for support of open-source enterprise software, give away music but charge for concert admission.
Give away work in order to gain market share - used by artists, in corporate software to spoil a dominant competitor (for example in the browser wars and the Android operating system)

For own use - Businesses or individual software developers often create software to solve a problem, bearing the full cost of initial creation. They will then open source the solution, and benefit from the improvements others make for their own needs. Communalizing the maintenance burden distributes the cost across more users; free riders can also benefit without undermining the creation process.

Case study

An investigation of open-source industrial symbiosis was performed by Doyle and Pearce using Google Earth. Their paper[19] found that virtual globes coupled with open-source waste information can be used to:

    • Reduce embodied energy of transport by reducing distances to recycling facilities
    • Choose end-of-life at recycling facilities rather than landfills
    • Establish industrial symbiosis and eco-industrial parks on known by-product synergies

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    Many fields of study and social and political views have been affected by the growth of the concept of open source. Advocates in one field often support the expansion of open source in other fields. But Eric Raymond and other founders of the open-source movement have sometimes publicly argued against speculation about applications outside software, saying that strong arguments for software openness should not be weakened by overreaching into areas where the story may be less compelling. The broader impact of the open-source movement, and the extent of its role in the development of new information sharing procedures, remain to be seen.

    The open-source movement has inspired increased transparency and liberty in biotechnology research, for example by CAMBIA. Even the research methodologies themselves can benefit from the application of open-source principles. It has also given rise to the rapidly expanding open-source hardware movement. In the book Democratizing Innovation it is argued that a trend toward democratized innovation in physical products (e.g. open-source hardware) is occurring like the free and open-source software movement, and that the difference between crowdsourcing and open source is that open-source production is a cooperative activity initiated and voluntarily undertaken by members of the public. One of the primary geographically diverse communities that is utilizing this developmental method is the scientific community; using open-source hardware to reduce the cost of scientific equipment.

    Computer Software

    Open-source software is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. Open-source code can evolve through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as very large companies. Many of these individuals programmers who start an open-source project usually end up as large companies with open-source programs. Examples of open-source software products are:

    Application Software
    • NMIS - Network Management Information System - Network Management Software
    • 7-Zip - file archiver
    • Blender - 3D graphics editor
    • Eclipse - development environment comprising an IDE
    • GIMP - graphics editor
    • Inkscape - Vector graphics editor for .svg
    • Emacs - text editor
    • Vim - text editor
    • Mozilla Firefox - web browser
    • Chromium - web browser
    • Mozilla Thunderbird - e-mail client
    • NASA World Wind - virtual globe, geobrowser
    • (and the LibreOffice fork) - office suite
    • OpenEMR - Electronic Medical Records software
    • PrestaShop - Electronic commerce platform
    • ADempiere - (now Free Software forked from Compiere) an enterprise resource planning (ERP) open source software platform for business
    • Vue - (Visual Understanding Environment) mind mapping software project of Tufts University
    • WordPress - web publishing platform

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    Operating Systems
    • Android - operating system derived from Linux
    • FreeBSD - operating system derived from Unix
    • Linux - family of Unix-like operating systems
    • OpenIndiana - a free Unix-like operating system
    • ReactOS - operating system built on Windows NT architecture
    • Haiku - free and open-source operating system compatible with BeOS

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    Programming Languages
    • Perl - a general purpose programming language
    • PHP - scripting language suited for the web
    • Python - general purpose programming language
    • Ruby - general purpose programming language
    • PHDL - hardware description language used for PC Board Design

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    Server Software
    • Apache - HTTP web server
    • Drupal - content management system
    • MediaWiki - wiki server software, the software that runs Wikipedia
    • MongoDB - document-oriented, non-relational database
    • Moodle - course management system or virtual learning environment
    • WordPress - blog software
    • Joomla! - content management system
    • TYPO3 - enterprise content management system
    • Couchbase Server - NoSQL document database
    • Railo - Railo Web Application Server

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    Open-source hardware is hardware whose initial specification, usually in a software format, are published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the hardware and source code without paying royalties or fees. Open-source hardware evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual hardware/software developers, hobbyists, as well as very large companies. Examples of open-source hardware initiatives are:

    • Openmoko: a family of open-source mobile phones, including the hardware specification and the operating system.
    • OpenRISC: an open-source microprocessor family, with architecture specification licensed under GNU GPL and implementation under LGPL.
    • Sun Microsystems's OpenSPARC T1 Multicore processor. Sun has released it under GPL.
    • Arduino, a microcontroller platform for hobbyists, artists and designers.
    • GizmoSphere, an open source development platform for the embedded design community; the site includes code downloads and hardware schematics along with free user guides, spec sheets and other documentation.

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    Simputer, an open hardware handheld computer, designed in India for use in environments where computing devices such as personal computers are deemed inappropriate.

    LEON: A family of open-source microprocessors distributed in a library with peripheral IP cores, open SPARC V8 specification, implementation available under GNU GPL.

    Tinkerforge: A system of open source stackable microcontroller building blocks. Allows to control motors and read out sensors with the programming languages C, C++, C#, Object Pascal, Java, PHP, Python and Ruby over a USB or Wifi connection on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. All of the hardware is licensed under CERN OHL (CERN Open Hardware License).

    Open Compute Project: designs for computer data center including power supply, Intel motherboard, AMD motherboard, chassis, racks, battery cabinet, and aspects of electrical and mechanical design.
    Lasersaur, an open source laser cutter.

    Commercial Open-source Applications :

    Commercial open-source applications

    Open-source software is widely used for public and non-commercial applications. In addition, many independent software vendors (ISVs), value-added resellers (VARs), and hardware vendors (OEMs or ODMs) use open-source frameworks, modules, and libraries inside their proprietary, for-profit products and services. From the customer's perspective, the ability to use open-source technology under standard commercial terms and support is valuable. Customers are willing to pay for the legal protection (e.g., indemnification from intellectual property infringement), "commercial-grade QA," and high-touch support/training/consulting that are typical of commercial software built on top of the innovation and independence that comes with open source.

    Commercialisation approaches

    Since GNU and some other open-source licenses stipulate that derived works must distribute their intellectual property under an open-source (copyleft) license, ISVs and VARs have developed legal and technical mechanisms to foster their commercial goals:

    A dual-license model, where a code base is published under a traditional open-source license and a commercial license simultaneously. Vendors typically charge a perpetual license fee for additional closed-source features, supplementary documentation, testing, and quality, as well as intellectual property indemnification to protect the purchaser from legal liability.

    Functional encapsulation, where an open-source framework or library is installed on a user's computer separately from the commercial product, and the commercial product uses the open-source functionality in an "arm's length" way (under the argument that the commercial product was shipped without the open-source library, even though it uses it). Vendors typically charge a perpetual license fee for the functionality that they provide under closed source, as they usually don't provide services or other direct value for the open-source elements.

    A software as a service model, under the argument that the vendor is charging for the services, not the software itself (because the software is never shipped to customers or installed on their computers). Vendors typically charge a monthly subscription fee for use of their hosted applications.

    Not charging for the software, but only for the support, training, and consulting services that assist users of the open-source software. Vendors typically charge an annual fee for support, per-student fees for training, and per-project fees for consulting engagements.

    Charging for the software as part of an information appliance or other hardware device. In this model, the software (e.g., development libraries, administrative tools, or example applications) is delivered as part of a proprietary chip, subsystem, or hardware solution with the binaries pre-installed (sometimes burned into firmware) while the source tree is posted on Sourceforge or other public open-source repository.

    (Freemium) model, making a basic version of the software available for free and charging for premium features, or applications

    The underlying objective of these business models is to harness the size and international scope of the open-source community (typically more than an order of magnitude larger than what would be achieved with closed-source models) for a sustainable commercial venture. The vast majority of commercial open-source companies experience a conversion ratio (as measured by the percentage of downloaders who buy something) well below 1%, so low-cost and highly-scalable marketing and sales functions are key to these firms' profitability.

    There is considerable debate about whether vendors can make a sustainable business from an open-source strategy. In terms of a traditional software company, this is probably the wrong question to ask. Looking at the landscape of open source applications, many of the larger ones are sponsored (and largely written) by system companies such as IBM who may not have an objective of software license revenues. Other software companies, such as Oracle and Google, have sponsored or delivered significant open-source code bases. These firms' motivation tends to be more strategic, in the sense that they are trying to change the rules of a marketplace and reduce the influence of vendors such as Microsoft. In the case of smaller vendors doing open-source work, their objectives may be less "immediate revenue growth" and more "developing a large and loyal community," which may be the basis of a corporate valuation at merger time.

    Except for Red Hat and VA Software, no other pure open-source company has gone public on the major stock markets. However, two firms on the list below may go public during 2012. The remainder are likely to be acquired, as is the norm for all pre-public software companies.

    Open-Source Software :

    Open-Source Software

    Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software at no cost to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.

    A report by the Standish Group (from 2008) states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers.


    The Open Source Initiative's definition is widely recognized as the standard or de facto definition. Raymond and Perens formed the organization in February 1998. With about 20 years of evidence from case histories of closed and open development already provided by the Internet, OSI continued to present the "open source" case to commercial businesses. They sought to bring a higher profile to the practical benefits of freely available source code, and wanted to bring major software businesses and other high-tech industries into open source.

    OSI uses The Open Source Definition to determine whether it considers a software license open source. The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens. Perens did not base his writing on the "four freedoms" of Free Software from the FSF, which were only widely available later.

    Under Perens' definition, open source describes a broad general type of software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent copyright restrictions. The principles, as stated, say absolutely nothing about trademark or patent use and require absolutely no cooperation to ensure that any common audit or release regime applies to any derived works. It is an explicit "feature" of open source that it may put no restrictions on the use or distribution by any organization or user. It forbids this, in principle, to guarantee continued access to derived works even by the major original contributors.

    However, Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation flatly opposes the term "Open Source" being applied to what they refer to as "free software". Although it is clear that legally free software does qualify as open source, Stallman considers that the category is abusive.Critics also oppose the professed pragmatism of the Open Source Initiative, as they fear that the free software ideals of freedom and community are threatened by compromising on the FSF's idealistic standards for software freedom.

    Increasingly, the consensus term "free and open source software" is used by the communities at large to describe the common ground between free software and open source software.

    Proliferation of the term

    While the term "open source" applied originally only to the source code of software, it is now being applied to many other areas such as Open source ecology, a movement to decentralize technologies so that any human can use them. However, it is often misapplied to other areas which have different and competing principles, which overlap only partially.

    Open software licensing

    A license defines the rights and obligations that a licensor grants to a licensee. Open source licenses grant licensees the right to copy, modify and redistribute source code (or content). These licenses may also impose obligations (e.g., modifications to the code that are distributed must be made available in source code form, an author attribution must be placed in a program/ documentation using that open source).

    Authors initially derive a right to grant a license to their work based on the legal theory that upon creation of a work the author owns the copyright in that work. What the author/licensor is granting when they grant a license to copy, modify and redistribute their work is the right to use the author�s copyrights. The author still retains ownership of those copyrights, the licensee simply is allowed to use those rights, as granted in the license, so long as they maintain the obligations of the license. The author does have the option to sell/assign, versus license, their exclusive right to the copyrights to their work; whereupon the new owner/assignee controls the copyrights. The ownership of the copyright (the "rights") is separate and distinct from the ownership of the work (the "thing") - a person can own a copy of a piece of code (or a copy of a book) without the rights to copy, modify or redistribute copies of it.

    When an author contributes code to an open source project (e.g., they do so under an explicit license (e.g., the Apache Contributor License Agreement) or an implicit license (e.g., the open source license under which the project is already licensing code). Some open source projects do not take contributed code under a license, but actually require (joint) assignment of the author�s copyright in order to accept code contributions into the project (e.g., and its Joint Copyright Assignment agreement).

    Placing code (or content) in the public domain is a way of waiving an author�s (or owner�s) copyrights in that work. No license is granted, and none is needed, to copy, modify or redistribute a work in the public domain.

    Examples of free software license / open source licenses include Apache License, BSD license, GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser General Public License, MIT License, Eclipse Public License and Mozilla Public License.

    The proliferation of open-source licenses is one of the few negative aspects of the open-source movement because it is often difficult to understand the legal implications of the differences between licenses.With more than 180,000 open source projects available and its more than 1400 unique licenses, the complexity of deciding how to manage open-source usage within "closed-source" commercial enterprises have dramatically increased. Some are home-grown while others are modeled after mainstream FOSS licenses such as Berkeley Software Distribution ("BSD"), Apache, MIT-style (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), or GNU General Public License ("GPL"). In view of this, open source practitioners are starting to use classification schemes in which FOSS licenses are grouped (typically based on the existence and obligations imposed by the copyleft provision; the strength of the copyleft provision).

    An important legal milestone for the open source / free software movement was passed in 2008, when the US federal appeals court ruled that free software licences definitely do set legally binding conditions on the use of copyrighted work, and they are therefore enforceable under existing copyright law. As a result, if end-users do violate the licensing conditions, their license disappears, meaning they are infringing copyright.


    Certification can help to build higher user confidence. Certification could be applied to the simplest component that can be used by developers to build the simplest module to a whole software system. There have been numerous institutions involving in this area of the open source software including The International Institute of Software Technology / United Nations University . UNU/IIST is a non-profit research and education institution of The United Nations. It is currently involved in a project known as "The Global Desktop Project". This project aims to build a desktop interface that every end-user is able to understand and interact with, thus crossing the language and cultural barriers. It is drawing huge attention from parties involved in areas ranging from application development to localization. Furthermore, this project will improve developing nations' access to information systems. UNU/IIST aims to achieve this without any compromise in the quality of the software. It believes a global standard can be maintained by introducing certifications and is currently organizing conferences in order to explore frontiers in the field.

    Alternatively, assurance models (such as DO178B) have already solved the "certification" approach for software. This approach is tailorable and can be applied to OSS, but only if the requisite planning and execution, design, test and traceability artifacts are generated.

    Open-source software development

    Development philosophy

    In his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar, open-source evangelist Eric S. Raymond suggests a model for developing OSS known as the bazaar model. Raymond likens the development of software by traditional methodologies to building a cathedral, "carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation". He suggests that all software should be developed using the bazaar style, which he described as "a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches."

    In the traditional model of development, which he called the cathedral model, development takes place in a centralized way. Roles are clearly defined. Roles include people dedicated to designing (the architects), people responsible for managing the project, and people responsible for implementation. Traditional software engineering follows the cathedral model. Fred P. Brooks in his book The Mythical Man-Month advocates this model. He goes further to say that in order to preserve the architectural integrity of a system, the system design should be done by as few architects as possible.

    The bazaar model, however, is different. In this model, roles are not clearly defined. Gregorio Robles suggests that software developed using the bazaar model should exhibit the following patterns:

    Users should be treated as co-developers

    The users are treated like co-developers and so they should have access to the source code of the software. Furthermore users are encouraged to submit additions to the software, code fixes for the software, bug reports, documentation etc. Having more co-developers increases the rate at which the software evolves. Linus's law states, "Given enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow." This means that if many users view the source code, they will eventually find all bugs and suggest how to fix them. Note that some users have advanced programming skills, and furthermore, each user's machine provides an additional testing environment. This new testing environment offers that ability to find and fix a new bug.

    Early releases

    The first version of the software should be released as early as possible so as to increase one's chances of finding co-developers early.

    Frequent integration

    Code changes should be integrated (merged into a shared code base) as often as possible so as to avoid the overhead of fixing a large number of bugs at the end of the project life cycle. Some open source projects have nightly builds where integration is done automatically on a daily basis.

    Several versions

    There should be at least two versions of the software. There should be a buggier version with more features and a more stable version with fewer features. The buggy version (also called the development version) is for users who want the immediate use of the latest features, and are willing to accept the risk of using code that is not yet thoroughly tested. The users can then act as co-developers, reporting bugs and providing bug fixes.

    High modularization

    The general structure of the software should be modular allowing for parallel development on independent components.

    Dynamic decision making structure

    There is a need for a decision making structure, whether formal or informal, that makes strategic decisions depending on changing user requirements and other factors. Cf. Extreme programming.

    Data suggests, however, that OSS is not quite as democratic as the bazaar model suggests. An analysis of five billion bytes of free/open source code by 31,999 developers shows that 74% of the code was written by the most active 10% of authors. The average number of authors involved in a project was 5.1, with the median at 2.

    Considerations for software producers

    Software experts and researchers on open source software have identified several advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage for business is that open source is a good way for business to achieve greater penetration of the market. Companies that offer open source software are able to establish an industry standard and, thus, gain competitive advantage[citation needed]. It has also helped build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product. Moreover less costs of marketing and logistical services are needed for OSS. It also helps companies to keep abreast of all technology developments. It is a good tool to promote a company's image, including its commercial products. The OSS development approach has helped produce reliable, high quality software quickly and inexpensively. The term "open source" was originally intended to be trademarkable; however, the term was deemed too descriptive, so no trademark exists. Besides, it offers the potential for a more flexible technology and quicker innovation. It is said to be more reliable since it typically has thousands of independent programmers testing and fixing bugs of the software. It is flexible because modular systems allow programmers to build custom interfaces, or add new abilities to it and it is innovative since open source programs are the product of collaboration among a large number of different programmers. The mix of divergent perspectives, corporate objectives, and personal goals speeds up innovation. Moreover free software can be developed in accord with purely technical requirements. It does not require thinking about commercial pressure that often degrades the quality of the software. Commercial pressures make traditional software developers pay more attention to customers' requirements than to security requirements, since such features are somewhat invisible to the customer.

    It is sometimes said that the open source development process may not be well defined and the stages in the development process, such as system testing and documentation may be ignored. However this is only true for small (mostly single programmer) projects. Larger, successful projects do define and enforce at least some rules as they need them to make the teamwork possible. In the most complex projects these rules may be as strict as reviewing even minor change by two independent developers.

    Not all OSS initiatives have been successful, for example, SourceXchange and Eazel. Software experts and researchers who are not convinced by open source�s ability to produce quality systems identify the unclear process, the late defect discovery and the lack of any empirical evidence as the most important problems (collected data concerning productivity and quality). It is also difficult to design a commercially sound business model around the open source paradigm. Consequently, only technical requirements may be satisfied and not the ones of the market. In terms of security, open source may allow hackers to know about the weaknesses or loopholes of the software more easily than closed-source software. It is depended of control mechanisms in order to create effective performance of autonomous agents who participate in virtual organizations.

    Development tools

    In OSS development, the participants, who are mostly volunteers, are distributed among different geographic regions, so there is need for tools to aid participants to collaborate in source code development. Often, these tools are also available as OSS.

    Revision control systems such as Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and later Subversion (svn) and Git are examples of tools that help centrally manage the source code files and the changes to those files for a software project.

    Utilities that automate testing, compiling, and bug reporting help preserve stability and support of software projects that have numerous developers but no managers, quality controller, or technical support. Building systems that report compilation errors among different platforms include Tinderbox. Commonly used bugtrackers include Bugzilla and GNATS.

    Tools such as mailing lists, IRC, and instant messaging provide means of Internet communication between developers. The Web is also a core feature of all of the above systems. Some sites centralize all the features of these tools as a software development management system, including GNU Savannah, SourceForge, and BountySource.

    Projects and organizations

    Some of the "more prominent organizations" involved in OSS development include the Apache Software Foundation, creators of the Apache web server; the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit which as of 2012 employed Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system kernel; the Eclipse Foundation, home of the Eclipse software development platform; the Debian Project, creators of the influential Debian GNU/Linux distribution; the Mozilla Foundation, home of the Firefox web browser; and OW2, European-born community developing open source middleware. New organizations tend to have a more sophisticated governance model and their membership is often formed by legal entity members.

    Several open source programs have become defining entries in their space, including the GIMP image editing system; Sun's Java programming language and environment; the MySQL database system; the FreeBSD Unix operating system; Sun's office productivity suite; and the Wireshark network packet

    sniffer and protocol analyser.

    Open Source development is often performed "live and in public", using services provided for free on the Internet, such as the Launchpad and SourceForge web sites, and using tools that are themselves Open Source, including the CVS and Subversion source control systems, and the GNU Compiler Collection.

    Open Source Software Institute is a membership-based, non-profit (501 (c)(6)) organization established in 2001 that promotes the development and implementation of open source software solutions within US Federal, state and local government agencies. OSSI's efforts have focused on promoting adoption of open source software programs and policies within Federal Government and Defense and Homeland Security communities.

    Open Source for America is a group created to raise awareness in the U.S. Federal Government about the benefits of open source software. Their stated goals are to encourage the government�s use of open source software, participation in open source software projects, and incorporation of open source community dynamics to increase government transparency.

    Mil-OSS is a group dedicated to the advancement of OSS use and creation in the military.


    Unlike proprietary off-the-shelf software, which comes with restrictive copyright licenses, open source software can be given away for no charge. This means that its creators cannot require each user to pay a license fee to fund development. Instead, a number of alternative models for funding its development have emerged.

    Software can be developed as a consulting project for one or more customers. The customers pay to direct the developers' efforts: to have bugs prioritized and fixed or features added. Companies or independent consultants can also charge for training, installation, technical support, or customization of the software.

    Another approach to funding is to provide the software freely, but sell licenses to proprietary add-ons such as data libraries. For instance, an open-source CAD program may require parts libraries which are sold on a subscription or flat-fee basis. Open-source software can also promote the sale of specialized hardware that it interoperates with, as in the case of the Asterisk telephony software, developed by a manufacturer of PC telephony hardware (Digium).

    Many open source software projects have begun as research projects within universities, as personal projects of students or professors, or as tools to aid scientific research. The influence of universities and research institutions on open source shows in the number of projects named after their host institutions, such as BSD Unix, CMU Common Lisp, or the NCSA HTTPd which evolved into Apache.

    Companies may employ developers to work on open-source projects that are useful to the company's infrastructure: in this case, it is developed not as a product to be sold but as a sort of shared public utility. A local bug-fix or solution to a software problem, written by a developer either at a company�s request or to make his/her own job easier, can be released as an open-source contribution without costing the company anything. A larger project such as the Linux kernel may have contributors from dozens of companies which use and depend upon it, as well as hobbyist and research developers.

    Also, there exists stipends to support the development of open source software like Google's Summer of Code founded 2005.

    A new funding approach for open source projects is crowdfunding, organized over web platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or Bountysource.

    Comparisons with other software licensing/development models

    Closed source / proprietary software
    The debate over open source vs. closed source (alternatively called proprietary software) is sometimes heated. The top four reasons (as provided by Open Source Business Conference survey) individuals or organizations choose open source software are:
    • 1) lower cost,
    • 2) security,
    • 3) no vendor 'lock in', and
    • 4) better quality.

  • .

    Since innovative companies no longer rely heavily on software sales, proprietary software has become less of a necessity. As such, things like open source content management system or CMS - deployments are becoming more commonplace. In 2009, the US White House switched its CMS system from a proprietary system to Drupal open source CMS. Further, companies like Novell (who traditionally sold software the old-fashioned way) continually debate the benefits of switching to open source availability, having already switched part of the product offering to open source code. In this way, open source software provides solutions to unique or specific problems. As such, it is reported that 98% of enterprise-level companies use open source software offerings in some capacity.

    With this market shift, more critical systems are beginning to rely on open source offerings, allowing greater funding (such as US Department of Homeland Security grants ) to help "hunt for security bugs." According to a pilot study of organisations adopting (or not adopting) OSS; several factors of statistical significance were observed in the manager's beliefs in relation to (a) attitudes toward outcomes, (b) the influences and behaviours of others and (c) their ability to act.

    Many advocates argue that open source software is inherently safer because any person can view, edit, and change code. A study of the Linux source code has 0.17 bugs per 1000 lines of code while proprietary software generally scores 20 - 30 bugs per 1000 lines.

    Free software

    The main difference is that by choosing one term over the other (i.e. either "open source" or "free software") one lets others know about what one's goals are. As Richard Stallman puts it, "Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement."

    Critics have said that the term "open source" fosters an ambiguity of a different kind such that it confuses the mere availability of the source with the freedom to use, modify, and redistribute it. Developers have used the alternative terms Free/open source Software (FOSS), or Free/Libre/open source Software (FLOSS), consequently, to describe open source software which is also free software.

    The term "open source" was originally intended to be trademarkable; however, the term was deemed too descriptive, so no trademark exists. The OSI would prefer that people treat open source as if it were a trademark, and use it only to describe software licensed under an OSI approved license.

    OSI Certified is a trademark licensed only to people who are distributing software licensed under a license listed on the Open Source Initiative's list.

    Open-source software and free software are different terms for software which comes with certain rights, or freedoms, for the user. They describe two approaches and philosophies towards free software. Open source and free software (or software libre) both describe software which is free from onerous licensing restrictions. It may be used, copied, studied, modified and redistributed without restriction. Free software is not the same as freeware, software available at zero price.

    The definition of open source software was written to be almost identical to the free software definition.[49] There are very few cases of software that is free software but is not open source software, and vice versa. The difference in the terms is where they place the emphasis. "Free software" is defined in terms of giving the user freedom. This reflects the goal of the free software movement. "Open source" highlights that the source code is viewable to all; proponents of the term usually emphasize the quality of the software and how this is caused by the development models which are possible and popular among free and open source software projects.

    The FSF believes that knowledge of the concept of freedom is an essential requirement, insists on the use of the term free, and separates itself from the open source movement.

    Open-source vs. source-available

    Although the OSI definition of "open source software" is widely accepted, a small number of people and organizations use the term to refer to software where the source is available for viewing, but which may not legally be modified or redistributed. Such software is more often referred to as source-available, or as shared source, a term coined by Microsoft in 2001. While in 2007 two shared source licenses were certified by the OSI, most of the shared source licenses are still source-available only.

    In 2007 Michael Tiemann, president of OSI, had criticized companies such as SugarCRM for promoting their software as "open source" when in fact it did not have an OSI-approved license. In SugarCRM's case, it was because the software is so-called "badgeware" since it specified a "badge" that must be displayed in the user interface (SugarCRM has since switched to GPLv3). Another example was Scilab prior to version 5, which called itself "the open source platform for numerical computation" but had a license that forbade commercial redistribution of modified versions. Because OSI does not have a registered trademark for the term "open source", its legal ability to prevent such usage of the term is limited, but Tiemann advocates using public opinion from OSI, customers, and community members to pressure such organizations to change their license or to use a different term.

    The creative commons licenses, designed mainly for media but sometimes used for software, offers license clause elements which allow licensing in the spectrum between Open-source, source-available, and public domain.


    The free software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open-source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world. Software developers may want to publish their software with an open-source license, so that anybody may also develop the same software or understand its internal functioning. With open-source software, generally anyone is allowed to create modifications of it, port it to new operating systems and processor architectures, share it with others or, in some cases, market it. Scholars Casson and Ryan have pointed out several policy - based reasons for adoption of open source - in particular, the heightened value proposition from open source (when compared to most proprietary formats) in the following categories:

    • Security
    • Affordability
    • Transparency
    • Perpetuity
    • Interoperability
    • Flexibility

  • .

    Localization - particularly in the context of local governments (who make software decisions). Casson and Ryan argue that "governments have an inherent responsibility and fiduciary duty to taxpayers" which includes the careful analysis of these factors when deciding to purchase proprietary software or implement an open-source option.

    The Open Source Definition, notably, presents an open-source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open-source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open-source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example 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", thus also free. While open-source distribution presents a way to make the source code of a product publicly accessible, the open-source licenses allow the authors to fine tune such access.

    The open source label came out of a strategy session held on April 7, 1998 in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator (as Mozilla). A group of individuals at the session included Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, Tom Paquin, Jamie Zawinski, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Sameer Parekh, Eric Allman, Greg Olson, Paul Vixie, John Ousterhout, Guido van Rossum, Philip Zimmermann, John Gilmore and Eric S. Raymond. They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English.

    Many people claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open source movement, while others do not distinguish between open-source and free software movements.

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer"). Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti-commercial.

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was formed in February 1998 by Eric S. Raymond and Bruce Perens. With at least 20 years of evidence from case histories of closed software development versus open development already provided by the Internet developer community, the OSI presented the "open source" case to commercial businesses, like Netscape. The OSI hoped that the usage of the label "open source," a term suggested by Peterson of the Foresight Institute at the strategy session, would eliminate ambiguity, particularly for individuals who perceive "free software" as anti-commercial. They sought to bring a higher profile to the practical benefits of freely available source code, and they wanted to bring major software businesses and other high-tech industries into open source. Perens attempted to register "open source" as a service mark for the OSI, but that attempt was impractical by trademark standards. Meanwhile, due to the presentation of Raymond's paper to the upper management at Netscape - Raymond only discovered when he read the Press Release, and was called by Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale's PA later in the day - Netscape released its Navigator source code as open source, with favorable results.

    Current Applications

    We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable -- one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could.-

    Official statement of the United Space Alliance, which manages the computer systems for the International Space Station (ISS), regarding why they chose to switch from Windows to Debian Linux on the ISS

    Widely used open-source software

    Open source software projects are built and maintained by a network of volunteer programmers. Prime examples of open-source products are the Apache HTTP Server, the e-commerce platform osCommerce and the internet browser Mozilla Firefox. One of the most successful open-source products is the GNU/Linux operating system, an open-source Unix-like operating system, and its derivative Android, an operating system for mobile devices. In some fields, open software is the norm, like in voice over IP applications with Asterisk (PBX).

    Business Applications

    There are a number of commonly recognized barriers to the adoption of open-source software by enterprises. These barriers include the perception that open-source licenses are viral, lack of formal support and training, the velocity of change, and a lack of a long-term roadmap. The majority of these barriers are risk-related. From the other side, not all proprietary projects disclose exact future plans, not all open-source licenses are equally viral and many serious OSS projects (especially operating systems) actually make money from paid support and documentation.

    A commonly employed business strategy of commercial open-source software firms is the dual-license strategy, as demonstrated by Ingres, MySQL, Alfresco, and others.

    Another business strategy could be adapted from existing Internet micro-payments systems including flattr and paypal.

    Non-software use

    The principles of open source have been adapted for many forms of user-generated content and technology, including open-source hardware, Wikipedia, and open-access publishing.

    Supporters of the open content movement advocate some restrictions of use, requirements to share changes, and attribution to other authors of the work.

    This "culture" or ideology takes the view that the 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.

    Quality Service

    Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer.
    -What is free software? The Free Software Foundation

    Intelligent Quotes

    A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career. Beyond that, however, I don't think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science.....
    "Every software system needs to have a simple yet powerful organizational philosophy (think of it as the software equivalent of a sound bite that describes the system's architecture)... A step in thr development process is to articulate this architectural framework, so that we might have a stable foundation upon which to evolve the system's function points. "
    "All architecture is design but not all design is architecture. Architecture represents the significant design decisions that shape a system, where significant is measured by cost of change"
    "The ultimate measurement is effectiveness, not efficiency "
    "It is argued that software architecture is an effective tool to cut development cost and time and to increase the quality of a system. "Architecture-centric methods and agile approaches." Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming.
    "Java is C++ without the guns, knives, and clubs "
    "When done well, software is invisible"
    "Our words are built on the objects of our experience. They have acquired their effectiveness by adapting themselves to the occurrences of our everyday world."
    "I always knew that one day Smalltalk would replace Java. I just didn't know it would be called Ruby. "
    "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    "In 30 years Lisp will likely be ahead of C++/Java (but behind something else)"
    "Possibly the only real object-oriented system in working order. (About Internet)"
    "Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible. "
    "Software engineering is the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to obtain economically software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines."
    "Model Driven Architecture is a style of enterprise application development and integration, based on using automated tools to build system independent models and transform them into efficient implementations. "
    "The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs. "
    "Software Engineering Economics is an invaluable guide to determining software costs, applying the fundamental concepts of microeconomics to software engineering, and utilizing economic analysis in software engineering decision making. "
    "Ultimately, discovery and invention are both problems of classification, and classification is fundamentally a problem of finding sameness. When we classify, we seek to group things that have a common structure or exhibit a common behavior. "
    "Perhaps the greatest strength of an object-oriented approach to development is that it offers a mechanism that captures a model of the real world. "
    "The entire history of software engineering is that of the rise in levels of abstraction. "
    "The amateur software engineer is always in search of magic, some sensational method or tool whose application promises to render software development trivial. It is the mark of the professional software engineer to know that no such panacea exist "

    Core Values ?

    Agile And Scrum Based Architecture

    Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration.....


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    Total Quality Management / TQM is an integrative philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes. TQM is based on the premise that the quality of products and .....


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    Design that Matters

    We are more than code junkies. We're a company that cares how a product works and what it says to its users. There is no reason why your custom software should be difficult to understand.....


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    With extensive software development experience, our development team is up for any challenge within the Great Plains development environment. our Research works on IEEE international papers are consider....


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    We have a proven track record of developing and delivering solutions that have resulted in reduced costs, time savings, and increased efficiency. Our clients are very much ....


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    Relentless Software Testing

    We simply dont release anything that isnt tested well. Tell us something cant be tested under automation, and we will go prove it can be. We create tests before we write the complementary production software......


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    If a customer needs technical support for one of our products, no-one can do it better than us. Our offices are open from 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and soon to be 24hours. Unlike many companies, you are able to....


    Core Values ?

    Impressive Results

    We have a reputation for process genius, fanatical testing, high quality, and software joy. Whatever your business, our methods will work well in your field. We have done work in Erp Solutions ,e-commerce, Portal Solutions,IEEE Research....



    Why Choose Us ?

    Invest in Thoughts

    The intellectual commitment of our development team is central to the leonsoft ability to achieve its mission: to develop principled, innovative thought leaders in global communities.

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    From Idea to Enterprise

    Today's most successful enterprise applications were once nothing more than an idea in someone's head. While many of these applications are planned and budgeted from the beginning.

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    We constantly strive to redefine the standard of excellence in everything we do. We encourage both individuals and teams to constantly strive for developing innovative technologies....

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