Template:Expand In computing, free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (for Free/Libre/Open Source Software) is software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.
'F/OSS' is an inclusive term generally synonymous with both free software and open source software which describe similar development models, but with differing cultures and philosophies. 'Free software' focuses on the philosophical freedoms it gives to users and 'open source' focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. The biggest difference is that Richard Stallman's definition of free software includes the GNU Public Licence (GPL) requirement that modifications and additions also have to be licensed under the GPL, whereas "open source", "free open source software", and "free libre open source software" all include licenses without that requirement, as certified by the Open Source Initiative, so that for example the so free it is nearly public domain BSD license also qualifies. However many people relate to both aspects and so 'F/OSS' is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either camp.
Free software licenses and Open-source licenses are used by many software packages. The licenses have important differences, which mirror the differences in the ways the two kinds of software can be used and distributed and reflect differences in the philosophy behind the two.
FOSSology and FOSSBazaarEdit
In January 2008 HP announced software governance initiative to help address the legal, financial and security risks connected with the adoption of free and open source software (FOSS), as the company itself made more than $10 billion revenue on open source-related in the past few years and more than 22 percent of shipped units and 17 percent of the company's server revenues have come from GNU/Linux in past two quarters. The project is supported by other subjects like OpenLogic, Google or Novell. While FOSSology is a tool for tracking and monitoring the use of free and open-source software within an IT environment and is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version 2), FOSSBazaar is rather a web site that hosts discussion groups and information resources on how to adopt and manage open source code.
See also Edit
- Alternative terms for free software
- Free Software
- Free software community and culture (a.k.a. open source community)
- Graphics hardware and FOSS
- Hacker Culture
- Open source
- Software wars
Further reading Edit
- David Wheeler (2007-04-16), Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS)? Look at the Numbers!.
- Peter H. Salus (2005-03-28, A History of Free and Open Source, Groklaw.
- International Free and Open Source Software Foundation
- FOSSology at Ohloh.net
- FOSSology at SourceForge.net
- FOSSBazaar — community for free and open source software governance
- Free / Open Source Research Community (mit.edu)
- FreeOpenSourceSoftware.org Wiki (same as FreeLibreOpenSourceSoftware.org)
- OSGeo — non-profit non-governmental organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data
- Thwack — community providing free networking tools and tips for network engineers
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