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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Blogs & Forums...

There are several blogs and forums that tell people about Open Source Software. This is our suggestion blogs and forums if you want to know more and discuss about Open Source Software. Here a some blogs and forums that can help people to improve their knowledge about Open Source Software :-

1. http://www.opensourceblog.com/

2. http://lifetype.net/

3. http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/

4. http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source-software/blogs

5. http://www.opensource.org/blog

To Promote and Develop Interest for Other People to use Open Source Software...

Open Source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Many ways that you can fan of open source. Here we suggest some ways for readers to learn about open source.
Between methods that can be known :-

• Using The Manual :-




1. To Study The Applications In Linux
2. The Difference between the Window Interface



• For Example in Linux are :-

1. Open Office



2. GIMP

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Open Source versus 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.

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 is Scilab, which calls itself "the open source platform for numerical computation" but has a license that forbids 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.

Comparison with 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. 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.

Free software licenses are not written exclusively by the FSF. The FSF and the OSI both list licenses which meet their respective definitions of free software or open source software. 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.

Comparison with Closed Source

The debate over open source vs. closed source (alternatively called proprietary software) is sometimes heated. One source of conflict is related to economics making money through traditional methods, such as sale of the use of individual copies and patent royalty payment (generally called licensing), is more difficult and in many ways against the very concept of open source software.

Some closed-source advocates see open source software as damaging to the market of commercial software. This is one of the many reasons, as mentioned above, that the term free software was replaced with open source because many company executives could not believe in a product that did not participate economically in a free-market or mixed-market economy.

The counter to this argument is the use of open source software to fuel the market for a separate product or service. For example:-

1. Providing support and installation services; similar to IT Security groups, Linux Distributions, and Systems companies.

2. Using the software as a stepping stone to sell a higher-end product or service, e.g. OpenOffice.org vs. StarOffice.

3. Cost avoidance / cost sharing many developers need a product, so it makes sense to share development costs (X Window System and the Apache web server).

Since open source software is open, defects and security flaws are more easily found. Closed-source advocates argue that this makes it easier for a malicious person to discover security flaws. Further, that there is no incentive for an open-source product to be patched. Open-source advocates argue that this makes it easier also for a patch to be found and that the closed-source argument is security through obscurity, which this form of security will eventually fail, often without anyone knowing of the failure.

Further, that just because there is not an immediate financial incentive to patch a product, does not mean there is not any incentive to patch a product. Further, if the patch is that significant to the user, having the source code, the user can technically patch the problem themselves. These arguments are hard to prove. However, research indicates that the open-source software Linux has a lower percentage of bugs than some commercial software.

Funding

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.

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.

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, etc.).

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. Apache.org) 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. OpenOffice.org 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.