Back in 1998, something great happened, which started a wave which we are feeling to this day. No, it wasn’t Skynet or Judgement Day, no. It was a conference about free software which took place in Palo Alto, California. During that conference, people discussed about Netscape’s announcement which took place in January of 1998, about their browser’s code being published to the public, essentially becoming open source. That was when the term was first used. In February of 1998, The Open Source Initiative was founded by Eric S. Raymond and Bruce Perens. They started something huge, as their organization was and still is instrumental in promoting the usage and creation of open source software. They essentially started the open source movement.
Great, but what does that mean for us? Here is what you need to know about the open source movement and how it benefits us.
The Open Source Movement – What It Actually Is
The open source movement, when you say it, it sounds very large. It is, it is large and very important. It is the combined effort of many people to keep releasing software and data which will be open.
The term open means open to the public, meaning that everyone gets access to the data, and is able to use it and reuse it, as well as modify, to their own needs. At the absolute minimum, it means free software for everyone. Dig a little deeper, and you might find the resources needed to develop something new, or even discover something new. With access to so much code, everyone has a head start. Open source software also gets marketed and downloaded much more often today, due to its competitive pricing. It’s free, of course. This helps spread the movement.
What Open Source Means for Us
Data and software being open source means that everyone can access it. So what? Well, it means that you can see the code and see whether it has any security vulnerabilities, or backdoors, if you will. Governments love backdooring hardware and software when they can, because keeping tabs on citizens is deemed necessary by some. This is a violation of your privacy, but not only that, you might get your data leaked to some corporation, rather than a government. Nobody wants that. Open source software is essentially naked and everyone can see what it actually is.
Security, safety and free software, what more could you want?
Well, you could want the opportunity to develop more software and help jumpstart some companies, or who knows, an entire new science. The possibilities are endless when you can collaborate with everyone and make something that much better.
The open source movement is helping everyone by making software free and safe. Safe because nothing can be hidden when you can look at the source code. Free is great, meaning you have access to tools to make something of your own, and help improve an already evolving community.