Open Source Initiative, What is it?

What is the Open Source Initiative?

The Open Source Initiative, also known as, (OSI) is a non-profit corporation whose primary goal is dedicated to promoting awareness and education in regards to the development and usage of open source software applications.

Governed by a ten member Board of Directors, the OSI or the management team so to speak, oversees the open source definition, (OSD). Advising the Board of Directors is a four member panel of observers and counsels.

Working within the open source community, the OSI reviews open source software, offering their open source approved license certification mark to software applications that are OSD-conformant.

The Board of Directors established a variety of committees that work in unison promoting awareness, building liaisons and performing the necessary work to enhance the development and growth of the OSI organization.

OSI Board Committees

  1. Communications Committee
  2. Education Committee
  3. Fundraising Committee
  4. Governance Committee
  5. Infrastructure Committee
  6. Legal Affairs Committee
  7. License Review Committee
  8. New Projects Committee
  9. Policy and Economic Development Committee

Listed to the right are the names of the various Board Committees taken from the OSI website. If you wish to learn more about these committee's I encourage you to visit;

Open Source Definition Criteria

  • Free distribution

  • Source Code

  • Derived Works

  • Integrity of the Author’s source Code

  • No Discrimination against person or groups

  • No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

  • Distribution of License

  • License Must Not Be Specific to a Product

  • License Must Not Restrict Other Software

  • License Must Be Technology-Neutral

Open Source Definition

Under the specific Open Source Definition, in order to be OSI certified, there are several standard provisions and criteria that must be met.

The 10 criteria that must be met in order to be in compliance with the Open Standard Requirements (OSR) are listed in a bulleted list to the right. This list was taken from Open

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the Open source definition and list of criteria I encourage you to visit the open source website.

So then what exactly is meant by Open Source?

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term open source. I am going to start very basic so that we all may get a good understanding from the very start.

For those of you who are familiar please bear with me for a second. In a nutshell, the term open source refers to the development and distribution of software applications that have an open source code.

Developers from all over the world are able to download the code, make modifications to it and republish it. Keeping in mind that it must conform to the standard provisions set forth in the OSD.

Generally speaking anyone is free to download and use this software as they please. If you like using the software you are free to make a donation by going to htttp://

Where does this software come from?

This software is generally developed by a collaborative of open source programmers and developers who enjoy writing source code and developing software applications.

Somewhat like a code of conduct, the open source developers must adhere to; Open Standard Requirements or (OSR). These requirements are noted above in the bulleted list.

If you are interested in reading reviews and getting the latest and the greatest open source applications available go to and click on the find software link. is a very popular community site where you can download and / or develop open source software applications.

Get the Insider Secrets on Open Source Software

What does this mean for you?

If you are one of the millions of people today that use a computer. You know have access to quality software available to you that is free to download to your computer. These programs are very comparable if not better than the top notch programs on the market. No longer will you have to spend a lot of money to get a quality software program.

Come along with me while I explore a few of the most popular and widely used software applications with their comparative counterparts.

I will start with the famous. Microsoft Office Suite, which includes word, excel, power point, access etc. The comparative counterpoint from OSI is the free open source productivity suite, known as Open Office.

Office org has Writer, which is a powerfully dynamic writing software that in my opinion is extremely user friendly and blows away Microsoft Office. If you are a writer, you will enjoy Writer's, free PDF editor making it possible to create your own Ebooks.

Like Microsoft Office Suite you will also be able to do spreadsheets, slide show presentations, work on databases etc.

We are all familiar with the famous browser Mozilla Firefox and the latest knew browser known as Google Chrome. What we may not realize is that these are both open source browsers.

Pretty much everything you need is available through open source. From Contact Management Systems, such as the famous Word Press and Databases to Editing Photo Images, Converting Video Files and Accounting Software.

If you are interested in learning more about this powerhouse productivity suite and or the many other available open source software applications, please join me at Open Source Software Applications.

Below is a table comparison chart to name just a few of the most popular software used to it's comparative open source software application.

Type of Software
Popular Software
Comparitive | Open Source
Word Processing, Excel, Power Point etc
Microsoft Office
Open Office
Image Editing Software
Adobe Photo Shop
Video Editing and Conversion
Accounting Software
Quick Books
Turbo Cash
Editing Sound
Pro Tools

View videos to learn more about many of the above software applications:

Open Source Applications

Benefits for Developers

Working within the open source community software programmers and developers work collaboratively to modify open source code.

If a particular developer wishes to use the open source code to meet their own specifications he or she may do so by modifying the source code within the software application.

The outcome is a win-win situation for all. Having fresh minds with new concepts helps to bring forth astonishing results that keep the software continually evolving. The end result is quality, non proprietary software, that is continually improving while speeding up the pace of the software development.

And for those individuals who create their own software through modifying code and do not wish to use the General Public License or (GPL). The OSI approved licensed trademark, forms a community network by offering their open source certification mark to software applications that are OSD-conformant allowing such corporations to create their own license.

To review a list of approved licenses please go to:

If you are a software developer you are probably already familiar with However if you are a developer and are new to this concept please check out the famous developer community at or the new open source project for Google Chromium OS.

I'd like to close by reminding one and all if you use this software and are thrilled to be saving a ton of money. Please, Please consider a Donation to OSI. Many thanks to all the developers, Board of Directors and members associated with the OSI for their tremendous efforts in implementing and maintaining high standards and quality software.

Article(C)2010 Sage Williams. All rights reserved.

The copyright to this article is owned by Sage Williams. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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Comments 21 comments

Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Good information; I bet this open source software is Microsoft's worst nightmare. I have used both office(97,2003 and 2007) and I like the a lot. Thanks for the information.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Coolmon- Thanks so much for being the first to read and comment. I as well love Office org. I bought Microsoft office 2007 and hated it. I loved their 2003 version, but they certainly didn't do anybody any favors. Today I rely on the open source application. Office Org.

Many thanks,


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

Wow I'm really interested in Writer and Gimpshop! I guess I'll have to check them out. Thanks so much for sharing this informative hub, Sage :)

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Om Paramapoonya- They are both powerful programs. I do hope you enjoy. Nice to see you.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Your comments are greatly appreciated!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

great hub and nice informations, hmmm, Microsoft should think twice now, we have options, Rated this up because it is thorough! Thank you Sage, Maita

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Thanks, Sage, for listing and describing these popular open source programs. They must be one of Microsoft's worst nightmares.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Maita - Thanks for stopping by, commenting and rating. Nice to see you again. It is greatly appreciated.

drbj - Nice to see you, thanks for stopping by and commenting. As far as being their worst nightmare, time will tell.


Ign Andy profile image

Ign Andy 6 years ago from Green Home Office

Hi Sage, I use Gimp as image editing and its recommended for image editing. Adobe just too expensive.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Ign Andy - Nice to see you again, thanks so much for commenting and following. It's nice to hear of others that are using these programs and who like them as well. I am all for them. Thanks so much,


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

I have used open source apps in different situations - great experiences - great hub.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

billyaustindillon -thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I am happy to hear that you are already familiar with open source apps and have had great experiences with them.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Sage, This is a very interesting hub and it is all new to me. Needless to say I will be checking out their web site. Thanks for a great hub.

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Good information. I will have to use this more often with help on Office.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I've heard great things about open office - thanks for the other info!

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

pamela - I'm glad this is something new for you. I can't say enough good things about the programs that I have tried.

sandyspider - Nice to see you. Office is one of the easiest user friendly programs that I know, it pretty much mirrors Microsoft word. Good Luck.

akirchner - It is a wonderful program. I encourage you to give it a try. Great to see you again. I have some catching up to do.

Many thanks to all of your for your wonderful comments.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

This is an awesome program, and with so many expects out there, all over the world, it's boggles my mind to think of the expertise that creates such great ideas and concepts. This is great to learn about his and I look forward to learning more. Thumbs up

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Darlene - I couldn't agree more. Developers from around the world working together what could be better. Software bugs are worked and the entire software development process is much faster. Not to mention the software is continually evolving, resulting in a quality software application.

Thanks so much for your comment.


DustinsMom profile image

DustinsMom 6 years ago from USA

Wow, This is packed full of useful information. I will be checking these links out. Thank you!

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

DustinsMom - Great to see you again. So glad this hub was helpful to you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Thanks for the information you offered on the Open Source Initiative. It sounds like a very helpful tool for folks.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

dolores - great to see you again, thanks so much for stopping by.


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