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Open Source

What Is Open Source?

Simple Explainer on Open Source

Open Source software is like a recipe that’s shared with everyone. Normally, when someone creates software, they keep the instructions, or ‘source code’, secret. But with open source software, they share these instructions with everyone. This means anyone can look at how the software is made, use it for free, change it, or even make something new from it.

Imagine someone gives you a recipe for a cake. With open source, you can use that recipe to make your own cake, change it to add new flavours, or even share your version of the recipe with others. It’s all about sharing and collaborating.

This is great for the web design industry because it means lots of people can work together to improve the software, fix problems, or add new features. It also means you often get high-quality software for free, as many people contribute to making it better.

Technical Explainer on Open Source

Open Source refers to a type of software whose source code is made available to the public for use, modification, and distribution. In the context of web design and software development, open source is significant because it promotes collaboration, innovation, and transparency in the creation of software.

The ‘source code’ is the part of the software that most computer users never see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works. In open source software, this source code is released under a license that specifies how it can be used and distributed. This approach differs from proprietary software where the source code is closed, controlled by the organization that created it, and usually confidential.

Open source software is often developed in a collaborative public manner. Web designers and developers from all over the world can contribute to the code, propose changes, and share their improvements with the community. This collaborative process can lead to more robust, secure, and innovative software, as contributions come from a diverse range of perspectives and expertise.

Open source is not just about the free availability of the code, but also about the collaborative ethos it fosters. It allows developers to learn from each other, build on each other’s work, and create more versatile and resilient solutions. This approach has led to the development of numerous widely-used open source projects in the web design industry, such as the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, and the WordPress content management system.

Open source software is essential in the web design industry for fostering a community of continuous learning, collaboration, and improvement, enabling developers and designers to create innovative and adaptable web solutions.

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