What Is Open Source?

According to Wikipedia, Open Source is :-

Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create software content through incremental individual effort or through collaboration.

But a more generalised term would be, that open source is the source code for software, which is free, and widely available to anyone in the world.

The influence of proprietary software and of the de facto standards of (mainly) US companies such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Computer Associates on the design of a public network such as the internet also is extremely large. It has provoked an open-source movement developing open source and open code software within the internet community itself. Th result of the fight between proprietary and open software will be crucial for the future of the internet.

- Jan Van Dijk - The Network Society 2nd Ed.

Also the GNU, or, GPL, both meaning the General Public License, is the license used by linux, for creating software.

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