This article describes the open-source development, its licensing terms, benefits, and how to contribute to the open-source projects as well as how one takes benefits from the available open-source projects.
So, let’s begin.
What is Open- Source?
Open source is software with source code that is available to everyone where anyone can inspect, change, and enhance the system. In Open-source development, the original source code is freely available under the open-source license. It can be studied, redistributed, modified according to the need of the user following the open-source license terms. The source code is open, accessible, and shared with anyone so many people give their hands, thoughts, ideas to improve it. Source code is accessible to anyone so anyone can modify, improve, and collaboratively work to build it better. For instance, some popular open-source applications are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chromium, Android, and many more. Furthermore, Microsoft .Net core is open source too.
Open source is usually stored in a public repository and then shared. As already mentioned, it comes with licensing terms. Some of the open-source licenses are:
- MIT License
- GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0
- Apache License2.0
- GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0
- BSD License 2.0
Software whose source code is written and controlled by a person or team, or organization is called a proprietary software system. In a proprietary software system, the source code is not available to anyone like open source, it is available to only a certain person, group of people, or company. Hence, it is termed as a closed source.
Let’s take the example of cloud computing open-source and proprietary applications. Because of the reason internet-connected devices are drastically increased, cloud computing is also increasing and has become an aspect of everyday life. Some cloud computing applications for example Google Apps are Google’s proprietary applications; however, others ownCloud and NextCloud, for example, are open source.
Benefits of Open Source
Rather than proprietary software, people choose open source because of the following reasons:
The reason several people prefer open source is they have control over Open-Source software. They can change what they don’t like it to do and also, they can update any parts they don’t like in the system. People who aren’t programmers can also benefit from using it for their purpose without doing code following the open-source license terms.
Training and Knowledge
Open source helps people learn and excel in their skills because it is publicly accessible to everyone including students, freshers, or any professionals for example. They can study, learn as well as contribute to making it better. Anyone can share their work, provide comments and critiques. Even you can provide and improve others’ mistakes, bugs, issues of the software system and help them to be a better program and to build the better software quality.
Some people find it secure as there is no proprietary control over it. Furthermore, anyone can view, modify, correct if there is any errors or original authors have missed anything in the system. Several programmers around the world can work in the same open-source software and they don’t need the permission to make any changes, correct errors, bugs, issues and can upgrade source code quickly than the proprietary software.
For long-term use, many people prefer open source to proprietary software. Because source code is publicly available to anyone and even the original author/creator does not upgrade or make changes to the system in the future you will have control to change it. Alternatively, another community contributor who isn’t the original author may change it and can make up to date with the latest trend and technology. So anyone can get an updated stable software system at any time.
Open source is the community of developers, users around the world. It motivates and inspires users, developers to form and collaborate to make better software. Community members, users, developers are the pillars of the open-source software that build, test, promote. They have a huge impact on the open-source software development that they love.
Public blockchains are open sources such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stratis. Those projects can be found in GitHub or another repository where anyone can see projects and contribute. One of the requirements for DApps, Defi is: it needs to be open source. For example, Stratis blockchain is open source you can visit, join the community as well as contribute to making it better.
Contributing to Open Source
Below are steps on how one can contribute to the open-source project.
- Find the repository which you want to contribute. For an instance go to Stratis Repo.
- Select the Project and Fork it.
- Clone your fork to your computer.
- Open the project and do your changes there.
- Save and test the project or files you have changed properly.
- Commit and push to your remote repo with git client of your choice (you can use one of these: GitHub Desktop, Git bash, Git command etc.)
- Make a pull request to the upstream.
In a nutshell, the article has described open-source development, it’s benefits, and how to contribute to open-source projects.