Open-source software development is a method of developing open-source software that is publicly accessible. Well, open-source software is distributed along with its source code. Thus the source code is available to all, with its original rights.
The open-source software comes with a license that allows the other programmers to add patches to the source code or change or fix some part of it. Thus the programmers can modify the source code of the open-source software to manipulate the behaviour of the software.
Let us study more about the development of open-source software.
Content: Open Source Software Development
- What is Open Source Software Development?
- Open Source Software Development Method
- Why do People Prefer Open Source Software?
- Difference Between the Open Source and Closed Source Software?
- Advantages and Disadvantages
What is Open Source Software Development?
Open-source software development is the process of developing open-source software. The software is developed and distributed along with its source code, thus making it publicly accessible. Now, as it is available with the distributed license, it permits the other programmers to use, modify and share the open-source software.
During the open-source software development, the programmer can add or fix a part of the software in order to make the software work properly.
Example of Open-Source Software
- Libre Office
- VLC media player
- Apache Web Server, etc.
The open-source software development method defines how the original creator of the software distributes the software so that its source code is made available to all. The open-source software creators release the software with the open-source license that permits the other user or programmers to copy, modify and share the source code.
The license defines how anyone can use, study, copy, modify and share the open-source software. Thus, anyone can contribute to the evolution of open-source software.
When someone changes the source code of open-source software, the software must include what was altered and how it was altered.
Based on rules included in the license, the modified software may or may not be made available for free.
Why do People Prefer Open Source Over Closed Source?
People prefer the open-source software development approach over the other development approach for several reasons, as discussed below:
With the open-source software development approach, the user has control over the behaviour of the software as they can modify the software according to their desire. Every user can develop the open-source software for the purpose they wish.
The source code of the open-source software is publicly accessible. So, the learner can study the source code and learn programming in a better way while creating new software. Subsequently, the programmers can share their work with others by inviting them to comment on their work to develop their programming skills.
Even if people identify some mistakes in the source code of the open-source software, they can notify them by sharing them with others to avoid making the same mistake.
The accuracy level of open source software is higher than any proprietary software. Because anyone can view the code of open-source software, and if the viewer finds any error in the code that the original coder may have missed, they can correct it.
As now so many people can work on the same piece of code, they can fix and update the open-source software and raise the accuracy of the open-source software.
People prefer open software over proprietary software for long-term projects. Because programmers develop the source code and distribute it publicly, the users rely on this source code to achieve their tasks. They are sure that these tools will not disappear even if the original creator of these code stop working on them.
Usually, the community of users and developers forms around the open-source software. This community include the people who produce, test, use and promote the software.
Difference Between Open Source and Closed Source Software?
We can classify the software as open-source and closed source software depending on the development approach.
Open-source software is the one where the original creator of the software makes the source code of the software available to the public. The user can view, modify, study, use and share the source code of the open-source software.
Closed source software is one that a person, team, or organization creates and maintains. Only the creator of the software has control over it. We refer to such software as proprietary software.
The comparison chart below illustrates more differences between open-source software and closed source software.
|Basis for Comparison||Open Source Software||Closed Source Software|
|Basic||The source code is accessible to public.||The source code is accessible to the original creator only.|
|Alteration||The source code can be used, modified and update.||The source code can only be modified by its creator.|
|Price||User have to pay zero or nominal charges to use open source software.||To use proprietary software the user has to pay according to the significance of the software.|
|Failure||It fails fast and fix fast.||There is no room for failure.|
|Outdate||The open source software may get outdated but you can still run the older version.||When closed source software gets outdated you cannot upgrade it to another version.|
|Evolution||The open source software continues to evolve.||The closed source software evolves at a slower pace.|
|License||Do not have any licensing restriction.||There is licensing restriction.|
|Support||Most of the open source software has community support.||Some kind of support comes with prize of the software.|
|Responsibility||No one is responsible for patching your software if you run into any problem.||Only the software vendor is responsible if you run into a problem.|
Advantages and Disadvantages
- As the source code is publicly available to all, developers can freely make changes to the open-source software.
- Open-source software is stable, and hence the developers can use it for the long term project.
- It provides a great source of learning opportunities for beginners.
- The programmer can improve the source code of the open software and come up with their innovation.
- Open-source software forms a community around it that helps improvise the source code.
- Though the open-source software comes with a built-in community that helps improvise the software, it is difficult to explain to the community members how the software patches should be prepared and merged into the mainline software.
- Using open-source software can be a threat to your core business because your competitors may also know about the idea or the way of implementation of the software.
- The open-source software is even harder to use and adopt due to its lack of user friendly.
So, this is all about open-source software development. We have discussed the development method and how it is different from proprietary software. We have also discussed why people prefer open-source software over close source software.
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