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Open Source vs Closed Source Software, What’s the Difference?
November 9, 2017|Open Source Software

Open Source vs Closed Source Software, What’s the Difference?

Open Source vs Closed Source Software, What’s the Difference?

By definition, a computer is an electronic device that processes data using stored instruction, or more commonly software. Though written in plain text (source code), the programs are compiled so as to be put into a form (object code) that you computer would easily understand.

Often, software developers ship their programs in the object code form. Without the strenuous task of reverse engineering, it would be nearly impossible to modify software as an end-user.

Open Source Software

More and more developers are availing their software’s source code to the world. The licensing of open source software – usually the BSD or GNU General Public License – allows other developers around the world to modify the software by improving existing features, removal of bugs, addition of new features or even distribution as a new software.

Crowd sourcing provides a better avenue for collaboration of developers. The licenses on most of these softwares require that any new software developed from existing source code, should also provide its source code for other developers to study and improve on.

There are many softwares and platforms that employ open source distribution, including Android, many versions of Linux, MySQL, Gimp Mozilla Firefox, just to name a few.

Benefits of open-source software include:
– In most cases, open source software is free. It does however require an on going support from users
– With their code being crowd sourced, these softwares tend to be on the bleeding-edge of technology
– Having many developers working on the project allows for accountability and identification of security gaps in record time. These are then quickly resolved.

Closed Source Software

More commonly referred to as proprietary software, closed source software belongs to an individual or company. Only they have the right to modify the source code. As such, proprietary software’s source code remains unavailable to those outside the software company.

Licenses for such software also prohibit any alteration of the software, just in case one was able to reverse engineer the software. All intellectual property rights belong to the developer. Before installation, these softwares will usually require the end-user to agree to legally binding terms. Breaching of terms could lead to prosecution.

Examples of closed-source software platforms and softwares include Microsoft’s Windows, Adobe Photoshop and McAfee antivirus.

Benefits of closed-source software include:
– Most if not all proprietary software developers provide customer support.
– Softwares from the same developer are likely to be compatible with each other.
– By buying and agreeing to the license terms, end-users can seek legal redress if the software does not perform as promised by the developer.
– Closed-source softwares are targeted at solving particular business needs

Which one should you choose?

This is an age-old debate that has no foreseeable end in sight. It all boils down to what is convenient for you.  Here is a different perspective.

Users who prefer a readily available customer service would opt for proprietary software. This is not to say that issues raised on open source software are never solved. There are large online communities and forums that continually work on these issues.

If budget is a factor, then open source is the way to go. A majority of open source softwares are free. Freedom also comes in the form of no strict obligatory license requirements. Constant support is required to keep these projects running.

Finally, the pace at which bugs are fixed or patches are created is also important. Each software category is quite fast in this regard. User adoption of the patches however remains of great concern due to slow uptake even solutions exist.

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Why You Should Choose Open Source Software
October 31, 2017|Open Source Software

Why You Should Choose Open Source Software

Why You Should Choose Open Source Software

Open source services are the biggest boon for any business in this connected generation. With many companies operating partially or wholly on the internet, and the others relying heavily on digital media, like their website, to communicate with their past, present and prospective customers, your space on the internet becomes even more crucially important. The following 5 points will explain how the open source realm can be beneficial for you.

Versatile

Open source services can get just as much done for you when compared to their proprietary counterparts, if not more. For example, there is absolutely nothing regarding functionality that ASP.Net can do and PHP cannot. On the contrary, the latter holds many advantages over the former. In fact, many of the most popular impressive websites in the world have been built using open source software.

Affordable

Most open source software is free of cost, and the paid ones are available at very modest prices. This cuts down the development cost considerably. All you need to pay for is the efforts of the web designers and developers, and other services like search engine optimization and social media optimization. Even many resources like templates, themes, plugins, and other extensions are available completely free of cost, and that too very high-quality ones.

Support

There is a huge open source community all over the world. Every particular technology has its very own dedicated community that is responsible for regular releases of the software and for maintaining discussion forums and help topics. Should you ever get stuck during or after the development process, or if you would like to know the ways and means to make the most out of your software, you are free to ask for help. There is also a lot of knowledge and research data available on the internet for every technology, including documentation, FAQs, and video tutorials.

Resources

There is a lot of resources available for open source technology in their repository. Those resources include plugins, extensions, modules, themes, templates, and other add-ons which make your website interactive and attractive and add a lot of good looks and functionality to it. As mentioned earlier, most of these resources are available for free, and others are modestly priced.

Freedom

Perhaps the most important that open source services grant you is freedom. You don’t need to choose a particular extension if you want to choose another. You don’t have to choose a particular hosting just because the company you bought the software for specifically asks you to buy their hosting or else you cannot develop the website (as is the case of some proprietary technologies). Moreover, you are free to modify, add, edit or customize the core code of the software as you like, since it is made available to you.

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