Explain Open Source Software like I’m 5

Open Source Software simplified

Open-source software is the most important software in the tech industry.

Open source means the code (language written for a computer to process) is available for collaboration.

A lot of open-source software is free.

Why is open source important?

Availability makes open-source important.

Since anyone with access can view the code it is able to check for privacy issues, bugs, or harmful programming.

Are there different types of open source?

Yes, there are a few classifications of code.

FOSS (free and open-source) – FOSS means the code is open for anyone to view or contribute to the code.

Source Available – Source available means the code is available for anyone to view but not for use by anyone else. A coder (computer programmer) would need the authorization to make changes to the code.

Closed Source – Closed source means the close can be viewed or changed by authorized coders. This is most used by companies to keep someone from copying their code.

Do I use open source software?

Most people use open source applications and they don’t realize it.

Here are 5 examples of open source projects:

Chromium is an internet browser built by Google. Chromium is a project built to create Google Chrome. Google shared the code so others could create their own internet browser. Microsoft Edge and Brave Browser use Chromium.

Firefox is an internet browser built by Mozilla. It was built from technology created by a company called Netscape. Firefox is created by many volunteers who contribute to the project.

Linux is an alternative operating system (the software allowing apps to use a graphic-based interface) to Microsoft Windows or Apple MacOS. Linux is the largest open source project in the world.

Android is a mobile phone operating system built by Google. Android was started using the Linux code and turned into software to be used on a phone.

WordPress is the largest platform serving articles to the Internet.

Is there other good software I should know about?

Open Office – A free open-source software to use in place of Microsoft Office.

GIMP – GIMP is a free replacement for Adobe Photoshop.

FreeCodeCamp.org – FreeCodeCamp is a website designed for people to learn to code for free. It is a full-blown course to get you into coding. I used it to learn how to make websites from scratch.

What else do I need to know?

The internet is built off open-source software. Linux is the backbone of most of the cloud and the internet. Even Microsoft, the creator of Windows, uses Linux.

Open source doesn’t mean you’re safe.

Someone can take the code and make it harmful. With open-source projects, make sure you’re getting it from the official website.

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