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
(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
- Communications Committee
- Education Committee
- Fundraising Committee
- Governance Committee
- Infrastructure Committee
- Legal Affairs Committee
- License Review Committee
- New Projects Committee
- 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; http://www.opensource.org/committees
Open Source Definition Criteria
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 source.org.
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. http://opensource.org/docs/osd
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://www.opensource.org/donation.
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 sourceforge.net and click on the find software link. Sourceforge.net 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
Comparitive | Open Source
Word Processing, Excel, Power Point etc
Image Editing Software
Adobe Photo Shop
Video Editing and Conversion
View videos to learn more about many of the above software 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: http://opensource.org/licenses
If you are a software developer you are probably already familiar with Sourceforge.net. However if you are a developer and are new to this concept please check out the famous developer community at Sourceforge.net 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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