If you’ve spent any lengthy amount of time on the Internet, you’ve probably heard of open source software but might not have fully understood what it is and why it even exists. This article will describe this recent phenomenon and describe some of its benefits for the software using community. In a nutshell, open source software is software made by everyone – for everyone. The hopes behind its development is that through its open access, it will evolve into something that represents the true desires of computer users. Through a wide network of user involvement, the software in question is enhanced and debugged without costs or administrative politics.
Traditionally, software is developed behind closed doors. A team of professional coders build it but the community at large isn’t part of its conception. It’s costly to produce and as you can probably guess, that cost is passed on to the end-user: the consumer. Open source software on the other hand is free. Free to download, free to install, free to use, free to modify, and free to share.