The Open Source Revolution – all you need to know!

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Free BeerWe love free beer as much as we love free softwares.

Most of us admire free beer and free softwares? The former might not be true for all, but I’m sure you all would agree to the software thing! Has it not been true, more than 60% of the internet users would have not been hitting the websites offering cracks and serials (and they would have not mushroomed to an such an extent. Thanks to Google’s Adsense!)

But what if you are a proud owner of a software — be it an application software, a system software or a game that’s free, and may even be registered to you? This was the idea which created the first impression about Free and Open Source Softwares (FOSS) into the minds of the developers around the world who were busy working great, but under the slavery of softwares which were of closed source and high acquisition cost.

FOSS has risen to great prominence. Briefly, Open Source Softwares and Free Softwares are programs whose licenses give users the freedom to run the program for an indefinite time period, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program (without having to pay royalties to previous developers).

Open source is inevitable as it gives control to the customer. Bugs are more quickly discovered and fixed. And when a customer doesn’t like how a vendor is serving him, he can choose another without overhauling his infrastructure. No more monopolies. No more
technology lock-in.

What exactly happens with the closed source softwares?

In the proprietary closed source model, the entire development cycle evolves within a single company. Programmers write code, hide it behind binaries and charge the customers to use the software. Thereafter, they add fee for the after-sales support — to fix the software if and when it breaks. No one ever gets to know how bad the software really is!

Taking about Open source, we talk about a large, Internet-connected, worldwide community which backs up the entire project. It involves geeks, students, working-from-home engineers and entrepreneurs, tech savvy moms, and anyone you can think of!

To have an idea of how has the fan following for FOSS increased, look at the graph below. Apache’s Tomcat leads the way. Yes, it’s yet another FOSS!

WebServer Usage Graph

Why Open Source?

This is what RedHat has to say on this;
All software is written with source code. With open source software, the code is protected by a special license that ensures everyone has access to that code. That means no one company can fully own it. Freedom means choice. Choice means power.
The entrepreneurs may still rely on paid products and services but the geeks, students and dare-to-do computer professionals are definitely eying on FOSS. It is like a revolution in the field of computing that people have started to believe in sharing information rather than conserving it or hiding it from the world. This concept has led to a movement — to attain new heights and achieve new goals, which were previously overshadowed due to the reign of closed source softwares.

Talking about the developers and would-be-developers, the platform and support for tools and framework is a key concern guiding them to decide an Operating System. Now-a-days, A new web server infrastructure — LAMP is the cynosure of all eyes.

The acronym LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQl, PHP/Perl/Python) refers to a solution stack of software, usually FOSS, which is used to run dynamic websites or servers. The well-defined tools of LAMP web development exist in nearly every Linux distribution. They include:

  • Linux operating system
  • Apache web server
  • MySQL database application
  • PHP scripting language
  • Perl programming language
  • Python programming language