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What is open source?
  • The freedom to run the program for any purpose
  • The freedom to study and modify the program.
  • The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor.
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
What is Freeware? software free of charge
Freeware is software you can download, pass around, and distribute without any payment. However, the great part about freeware is that you never have to pay for it. No time limit, no demo versions, no disabled features. Freeware is still copyrighted, so other people can't market the software as their own and can have limits in use of her, like limits of commercial use.
Open Source Directory's
of Software Open Source Software Directory
Open Source Software Directory to find the best free and open-source software for home and business.

AlternativeTo
AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives.
Why use Open Source?
Open Source Software (Free Software) has many advantages that benefit you, as an end user of the System.

Trust
When you use Open Source Software you can have any independent expert audit any part of the system. You can see how your data is treated and how the system features are implemented.

Flexibility
If you find a feature or record that needs to be customized for the particular needs of your team, you can have your own coders propose or even implement the change that needs to be made. You can run it on your own servers, or you can contribute the code to the standard version of the program.

Reliability
Open Source software, when used by thousands of software developers and system administrators, is constantly being revised for reliability. All expert users care and contribute reliability improvements constantly.

Security
With an Open Source solution for which you always have the choice to host yourself, you can be sure that your data will always be safe.

Innovation
When you share the products of your intellectual work and knowledge, and this knowledge is of valuable worth, people will feel compelled to help you and contribute their work and knowledge. This synergy drives higher levels of innovation.

Freedom
Using Free Software means that you always have the freedom to choose. You can choose who will keep your software system up to date, who will administer the computers on which you run it, who will access its database. You can switch vendors with the confidence that you will have all the means necessary for making the easiest possible transition.
GPL vs. BSD
The BSD license model
This is not my work, but it deserves to be shared. This article is from OSNews about GPL vs BSD:

If you want to give your software away for free, use BSD. If you want to share your software, use the GPL.

Software under the GPL is not free. Microsoft office is not free, you have to pay Microsoft money. The Borland developer tools are not free, you have to pay Borland (or whatever they're called these days). Lastly, software released under the GPL is not free: if you choose to copy and paste GPL code into your own program you have to share it. This is how you pay for GPL code. This is a very egalitarian idea: I share my code, and if you use it in your own program, you pay me back by sharing your code or else you ask me to relicense the code under a different license to suit your needs (which was always possible).

To make sure no-one can escape sharing (after all, this is how they're paying to use the software), GPL v3 requires the following:
  • You make the source code available.
  • You don't use patents to prevent people from using your code, which would effectively block code-sharing despite.
  • You don't use DRM to prevent people from using your code, which would effectively block code-sharing.
The GPL is no more viral than any commercial license, the only difference is in how you pay to use the software. And it's always worth remembering that you don't have to share until you distribute the source-code (and as corporations are legal entities, you can give a copy to all your 1000-odd co-workers without legally distributing it). It's further worth remembering that if this is a problem, you can always ask the original author to re-license their work under a commercial license if you would rather not share.

This GPL is viral/evil/not-as-cool-as-BSD thing is rubbish. It does what it sets out to do: encourage people to share code. There's no excuse for "accidentally" using GPL code in your own software, just as there's no excuse for "accidentally" installing a pirated copy of MS Office on your friends PC. Both place value on software, and if you choose to use it in a certain way, then you have to pay for them: the only difference is in how you pay.
The value of the software

Software is usually created as text written in a particular programming language. This can run to hundreds of thousands of lines for big programs and millions in the case of operating systems. Another program, called a compiler, turns this text, known as the source code, into an executable file (such as an .exe on Windows). But if you want to change the program - to fix bugs, for example, or to update it - you need the source code. This is the most valuable thing on the software, the equivalent of Coca Cola’s magic formula ( or the secret of writing great books).

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