What is Open Source?

Tim Caswell

I admit, many years back I didn’t know what open source was either. Thanks to my oldest son, Tim Caswell, I’ve come to know and appreciate open source.

Basically open source is software which is open for all to use, without purchase. You are also free to improve, update, modify the code for your own purposes. Click on the term open source if you want a more technical definition. Quite likely you use open source software already.

  • Linux an operating system for your computer. (Windows is a non-open source operating system.)
  • Apache popular http server, if you have your own hosting account or visit websites, you benefit. Many sites run on Apache servers
  • Firefox a web browser, I use it, do you?
  • Open Office word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation tool
  • WordPress Where would we be without wordpress, powers this site and many others.
  • node.js and many other programming languages such as rubye, python, etc. My son supports his family working with node.js and other open source languages
  • Gimp a photo editing tool
  • Blender a 3d modeling program
  • many, many more programs

Apple and Windows aren’t opensource. You can’t legally go in and change the programming on your iphone. Windows, if your software is buggy and you are a programmer, you can’t go in and make changes to fix and improve the bug unless you are working for windows. You are stuck waiting for the next update. Non-open source companies may fight over intellectual property, keeping their goods out of the hands of their competitors.

Now if a company wants to keep their code to themselves, that is up to them. Doesn’t mean they are evil or anything like that. Simply 2 different business models. Personally I love Open Source for many reasons. You’ll be hearing more on this later.

What are your favorite open source programs?

I love WordPress, Gimp, Open Office, Firefox, ones I use everyday.