Open Source: Good and Bad

Topics: Free software, Open source, Source code Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: May 4, 2005
Open Source: Good and Bad
In the following paper I will be discussing the use of open source software as part of a larger project. Example uses of this include incorporating existing publicly available source code within another piece of software. Because the term open source has such broad implications, I will attempt to explain it within the context of this paper. Open source code comes with many different licenses such as GPL, BSD, and MIT. I will describe the most popular licensing options and how they differ. Many companies believe open source software projects have an immense lack of accountability; this is simply untrue. Lastly, open source software has recently received an abundance of attention in the media because of possible copyright violations. I will discuss some of the probable scenarios regarding copyright violations with open source and how to protect ones self. Throughout this paper, I hope to shed some light on the use of open source and how beneficial it truly can be to a company.

Open source software and code can be a wonderful and vastly useful tool. In today's programming world, there is not much left in terms of new frontiers of programming. Most of the algorithms that programmers need have already been written. Why spend the time to rewrite a complicated algorithm or function when it has already been done and free for you to use? Luckily, other programmers have generously donated their time and money to provide you with free code. Before you dive in, there are a few details to be aware of.

Definition of open source:
The term open source refers to several different things. Sometimes it means a fully functional software program, available for free. Other times it is a C library, made available free of charge. For this paper, when I say open source, I mean the following: source code, in partial or complete form, with some form of public, free-of-charge licensing. I do not mean using open source tools to write software....

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