What Is Open Source?

posted Jul. 26, 2008

Open source usually means you get access to the source code or source files. The distribution terms of open-source software usually follows a set criteria.
For example, Free Redistribution, for which the license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
Further more the license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.