What is Open Source Software?

Tech Tips + Tricks

Have you ever heard the term Open Source? Usually, this term is used when it relates to software. If you use an Android smartphone, then the Android operating system is an example of open source.

For those of you who are not by profession as a programmer, of course, it’s natural if you don’t know the term open source. You may not even know how an application works. However, a programmer must know the term open source. This relates to the license of the application released to the public.

What is Open Source Software?

Open Source Software (OSS) is a publicly published software or computer program code. This allows other users to modify, improve the program code that has been published. Usually, the Developer team develops OSS with a collaborative system

How Does OSS Work?

Usually, the Developer team stores OSS data in a public repository. This allows any user to access the program code. Users can modify, improve, and participate in application development. The development team distributes OSS with a distribution license. Here are 5 OSS licenses that are popular among programmers:

  1. GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0
  2. GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0
  3. MIT License
  4. Apache License 2.0
  5. BSD License 2.0 (3-Clause. New or Revised)

When you modify program code, OSS requires an explanation of the changes that have been made and the method used.

Advantages of Open Source Software

Open Source Software has several advantages over proprietary software. One of them is free. Here are some advantages of OSS:

  1. OSS is flexible. This is because OSS is released under a public license. Public users can modify the program code that has been provided.
  2. Application development with a community system. This enables continuous application development. Of course, with the support of a solid community.
  3. OSS can offer learning opportunities for developers. A public license allows other developers to learn and contribute to the application.

Disadvantages of Open Source Software

Behind the advantages that have been mentioned. Following are the disadvantages of OSS:

  1. Hardware compatibility issues. This is possible for OSS. Computers need special drivers to run an application. Of course, this is a challenge for OSS. To create a driver, it takes time and even money for the application to run on many devices.
  2. Application security. This is one of the weaknesses of OSS. Applications can have security vulnerabilities due to program code that can be accessed by the public.
  3. Application support. Applications that are proprietary software must have full support from their developers. However, for OSS this is not necessarily the case. Application support may be limited to community support only.

That’s an explanation of Open Source Software (OSS). OSS has several advantages including being free. In addition, the application development is relatively stable, if supported by a solid community.

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