Thursday, July 9, 2009

How Open Source Is Growing Up

There is no doubt that free technologies, mainly open source software, are proving more popular both inside and outside the computer industry.

Behind this growing acceptance is a non-commercial movement of independent developers that are putting together the open source software that anyone can use.

Paul Allen, editor of ComputerActive magazine, said the defining feature of open source software was that the set of tools and systems were developed by enthusiasts rather than big companies.

But he added it should be treated as "free thinking rather than a free lunch" because it is not always free of charge.

Out of this movement have come fully-fledged programs, such as Open Office for e-mail, spreadsheets, word processing and presentations, and VLC for video, that were put together for free by a community of people.

"The entire source code for the software is made available to the community and anyone can modify it," said Phil Andrews from open source software provider Red Hat.

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