Open source is a term referred to software whose source code is freely available. this doesn’t always mean free as in no price attached, but rather the software is freely available to the public. Open source software is governed by liberal licensing laws that lets you change and modify it to your needs and is free from restrictive and expensive licenses that proprietary software like many Microsoft, Macintosh and Adobe products impose on you.
Why is open source a good thing?
A big benefit is that it lets people like you use software for less (most of the times its free for personal use) where normally you would be paying high licensing fees or subscription costs. It grants you a license to use the software for its lifetime and that license lets you take control of the software ( this is why we opt for popular open source software that has a big user base, so it is therefore highly unlikely to be discontinued).
As a comparison, take our example before of Microsoft and their product Office has a cost attached to it and changes regularly to accommodate new features, security fixes etc. LibreOffice (the open source equivalent of MS Office) has thousands of people developing it worldwide out of their own free time, meaning it is constantly being updated and improved upon. It’s also not uncommon for open source software to be updated fast than proprietary software because of the large teams involved in maintaining the software.
Other benefits include:
- Bigger choice of developer community to choose from, meaning you are free to get help elsewhere with the projects (we want you to join us and possibly stay with us, but we won’t force you to!).
- There is no single entity that the future of the software depends upon, as it’s a collaborative effort to maintain the project. The systems we build are likely to be supported for many years to come.
- Some systems are not built entirely from scratch. You save in the long-run as many of the features that would normally have to be built come with the system and only needs customizing.