The open source way is a form of thinking and collaborating within the open source community. This philosophy is based on intellectual freedom and core principles: transparency, collaboration, delivery, inclusion, and community. The exchange of ideas and software developed by communities has driven creative, scientific, and technological advancement in such industries as: education, government, law, health, and manufacturing. This movement created a way for a global community to collaborate, share, and assist both individual and group goals through source code.
Open source software is collaborative, relying on community production and peer review to use, change, and share source code with each other. Developers share insights, ideas, and code to create more innovative software solutions both collectively and individually. This scalable and flexible software ensures that anyone with the source code can modify, enhance, and redistribute it for better reusability and accessibility. Open source software operates with the underlying principles of peer production and mass collaboration, creating more sustainable software development for end users.
Closed source software (CSS) is proprietary software that is not distributed to the public. The software is encrypted, so only the original authors who created the code exclusively have rights to legally copy, modify, update, and edit the source code. Closed software imposes restrictions on what the end user can do with the application, preventing users from modifying, sharing, copying, or republishing the source code.
In additional to open and closed source, FOSS (Free/Open Source Software) allows users access to software from a more philosophical perspective. Within FOSS, there is Free Software Foundation (FSF) to protect user freedoms and Open Source Initiative (OSI) to ensure the technical values of reliable software. There are a wide variety of free software licenses that can be used, modified, and sold commercially including: GPL, LGPL, and BSD licenses.
Some of the most popular open source software licenses include:
- MIT License©: MIT License is a free software license that allows users to modify the original code with very few restrictions.
- GNU General Public© (GPL): The GNU is a series of free software licenses that guarantee end users the ability to run, study, share, and modify software.
- Apache®: The Apache License 2.0 is a free software license that allows users to use, modify, and distribute the software for any purpose.
- BSD: This license has fewer restrictions on developers, allowing users to use and modify the code without having to share modifications.
- MySQL™: MySQL is an open-source database management system with two separate licenses - the MySQL Standard Edition and MySQL Enterprise Edition.
- SUSE: SUSE Linux is built on top of open source Linux kernel and distributed with system and application software.
- Ubuntu®: Ubuntu is a Linux distribution made of free and open source software released in desktop, cloud, and IoT.