Open source: how does it work?

The digital transformation process has brought with it a series of advantages, such as open source software, which are open source platforms created so that the entire community of developers and users can legally access and modify them.

Unlike free software, in which the user is free to use the program for any purpose, open source has a more positivist discourse, in which the involvement of the community to promote improvements in the software is important.

In addition, it can still be seen as a safer option than closed source programs, or “proprietary model”, since, in case of problems, there is the possibility of any technology specialist to solve it.

Without having to wait for the creators to move legally.

For programming students, it is possible that they use open sources to study in practice, after all, understanding its structure and operation is simpler.

In short, there is an infinity of benefits that open source programs bring both to the developer companies and to the other users of the product.

It was thinking about clarifying all doubts about this subject that we developed this article. Here you will know its operation, purposes and main advantages.

What is open source?

As we covered at the beginning, open source means “open source” in its literal translation, and refers to the source code of a program, website or even applications.

This makes it possible for anyone with programming knowledge to change its structure for various purposes.

However, for a product to be considered open, it must have some characteristics, which are listed in the Debian Free Software Guidelines for software classification. The main ones are:

  • Readable source code;
  • Free redistribution;
  • You cannot restrict derivative works;
  • License distribution applicable to all derivative programs;
  • Non-discrimination against persons or groups;
  • Non-discrimination against purposes of use.

In most cases, the developers themselves make the open source code available, and this makes them stand out and become competitive in the market.

In fact, according to a study carried out by Red Hat, which specializes in software solutions and operating systems, 95% of IT leaders in large companies see a strategic relevance in open source, which becomes profitable.

On the other hand, the Windows operating system itself releases software that has closed or open source, so that competitors and possible hackers do not have authorized access to your data.

This strategic move prevents rival companies from strengthening, giving more time for the same company to consolidate.

Furthermore, it is important to note that open source was embraced by the developer community early on, in the mid-1980s.

That’s because developers, companies and users who use a particular program the most are able to promote improvements quickly and, at the same time, complete and reliably.

Understand the purpose of open source software

So far, you’ve followed the concept of open source, taking into account some of the benefits that this feature brings to the developer community.

For example, focusing on reading a source code is essential to turn your gaze to the study and analysis of a particular program, in order to look for possible weaknesses and points that can lead to errors.

However, it is impossible to be restricted to this superficiality, since it is necessary to go deeper with regard to the knowledge of how open source works.

This is summarized in the work of continuous improvement of the software, which happens through the interaction and participation of users and developers. In practice, its purpose can be seen considering the following actions:

Bug fixes

When software is released with open source, the possibility of fixing errors, flaws and bugs happens faster than usual, especially since open source allows a high level of interaction.

In this way, its optimization is raised to the maximum level, after all, more people with different experiences and knowledge will work for its improvement.

Inclusion of features

For this case, just imagine a situation where a program is released with closed source, and the company wants to adopt improvements, but doesn’t know how to do it.

Therefore, there is no point in wanting to shield yourself behind a license, since there is a community of IT professionals prepared to help transform the software into something new and optimized, for free or more economically.

Therefore, consider open source as beneficial to the point where the community can help you whenever needed, and faster. In addition, they can be based on feedback from other users of the product.

Modification according to your needs

Customization is one of the main features of free code, since the program is altered in order to be according to the user’s needs, but such freedom cannot be taken literally, for malicious purposes.

That is, it must be considered in the functional context, and a good example that illustrates this scenario is the WordPress platform.

Personalization takes place in the front-end format, which is what appears visually to users, and is known for its various customization possibilities, coupled with accessibility.

Key benefits of open source

For those who work in a community behind open source, you know how the system works in a fully collaborative and dynamic process, so that the best solution is found between developers and partners.

Not to mention the other advantages involved in this process, such as democratic access to information, since this type of innovation is shared with the public so that there are no restrictions.

When this scenario is added to the zero cost condition, even if it is not a general rule, more people are reached and benefited.

Thus, open source presents itself as a necessity to promote not only greater dynamism between the company, developers and the community, but the continuous development of software.

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