Alyvix Open Source Philosophy
“The more we share, the more we know, the more we create”
The term “OS” refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible. The term originated in the context of software development to designate a specific approach to creating computer programs. Today, however, it designates a broader set of values – called “the open source way“. Those projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.
What is open source software?
It is a software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.
“Source code” is the part of software that most computer users do not ever see; it is the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software – a “program” or “application” – works. Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that do not always work correctly.
What is the difference between open source software and other types of software?
Some software has source code that only the person, team, or organization who created it – and maintains exclusive control over it – can modify. People call this kind of software “proprietary” or “closed source” software. Only the original authors of proprietary software can legally copy, inspect, and alter that software. Therefore, in order to use proprietary software, computer users must agree (usually by signing a license displayed the first time they run this software) that they will not do anything with the software that the software’s authors have not expressly permitted. Open source software is different. Its authors make its source code available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it.
As they do with proprietary software, users must accept the terms of a license when they use OS software – but the legal terms of those licenses differ dramatically from those of proprietary licenses.
In general, open source licenses grant computer users permission to use open source software for any purpose they wish. Some licenses — what some people call “copyleft” licenses — stipulate that anyone who releases a modified open source program must also release the source code for that program alongside it. Moreover, some open source licenses stipulate that anyone who alters and shares a program with others must also share that program’s source code without charging a licensing fee for it.
By design, OS software licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects.
Doesn’t “open source” just mean something is free of charge?
No. This is a common misconception about what “open source” implies, and the concept’s implications are not only economic. OS software programmers can charge money for the open source software they create or to which they contribute. But in some cases, because an open source license might require them to release their source code when they sell software to others, some programmers find that charging users money for software services and support (rather than for the software itself) is more lucrative. This way, their software remains free of charge, and they make money helping others install, use, and troubleshoot it. While some open source software may be free of charge, skill in programming and troubleshooting open source software can be quite valuable. Many employers specifically seek to hire programmers with experience working on open source software.