If you’ve done, or considered doing, any type of programming, web development, or even making a marketing campaign or tried to browse the web anonymously, you may have heard the term open source. Essentially, open source software is the kind of software that people can modify and use as their design is open to the general public.
If you find such software, you are free to inspect its code, modify it, or enhance it for others. It is a really popular way of spreading ideas for problem-solving online. Let’s talk about the types of open source software that are most popular today.
Are you annoyed by Windows updates? Do you wish that there was something cheaper and more user-friendly than macOS? Well, there is something that can solve these problems for you – open source operating systems. Linux and GNU Project are common operating systems that anyone can modify. Some people use open source operating systems to avoid commercial products, while others enjoy the fact that they can tweak the problems and solutions themselves.
Sure, operating systems like this sometimes can’t do everything Windows and macOS can, but they do hand you a DIY feeling of accomplishment.
People who are into web development often have to use PHP and Python. Furthermore, Python is a general-purpose programming language, which means that it can be used for lots of things, like AI and web apps. It is used by giants like Google, Facebook, and NASA. These two languages are open-source.
Mozilla Firefox is a popular open source browser. If the users feel that some of its features should work differently, they are free to modify the program. While not exactly a browser, we feel like TOR would also be mentioned. It was previously known as The Onion Router and its purpose is to hide the user and let them browse the web anonymously. TOR is written in C, Rust, and Python. Onion routing basically puts layers and layers on your location, making it very difficult, if not impossible, for others to see where you are from.
Aside from anonymity, it also allows users to explore the Deep Web, the part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and can’t be found by conventional means. It is a great way to circumvent access issues due to one’s location.
Common User Software Alternatives
This is a bit vague, but there are many open source programs that serve as a replacement for popular programs people use in their everyday life. For example, Open Office gives its users the option of using the equivalents of Microsoft Office programs. There are also programs for playing and editing audio and video files.
There is even Cloud Computing, which allows you to perform actions that don’t tax your machine, as most of the data and projects are stored in the Cloud. Again, people use this type of software because they don’t have to wait for a company to release an official update that renders previous versions obsolete or has features they are not happy with but still have to endure.
It is important to remember that these are not free software. Truth be told, some of it might be, but open source software relies on the goodwill of the people to come up with better solutions to the problems they experience or to otherwise improve on what already exists.