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Free and Open-Source Software

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Research Paper: Free and Open-Source Software

NT1430 – Linux Networking

Research Paper: Free and Open-Source Software As the name so aptly implies FOSS is software that is both free and open source. It is liberally licensed to grant users the right to use, copy, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This practice is becoming increasingly widespread and gaining acceptance because of the potential benefits that could arise from its use. The “free” part of the title refers not to price, but more so to the idea of freedom for the user. The user of this type of software has the ability to copy and to reuse the software which usually is not the case. The open source part of the acronym refers to the use of the peer to peer model of development. In the 1950’s to 1970’s, advanced user privelages in reference to software were the norm. Most software allowed the user to share and copy at this time, since most of the companies who dealt in the field were more focused on marketing the hardware the software was almost always complimentary. This however, began to change when software development costs began to escalate and companies began competing for the software market. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel began to shift things back in 1991. His software was a freely modifiable source code. Over the years the idea gathered much more momentum. It has burgheoned so that now major IT companies are now developing projects with open source applications. The advent of FOSS and its impact on the past, present, and future of the IT industry can not be overlooked, but rather should be observed with a watchful eye lest we be left in the proverbial dark ages.
References
Claburn, Thomas (17 January 2007). "Study Finds Open Source Benefits Business". InformationWeek. CMP Media LLC. Fisher, Franklin M.; McKie, James W.; Mancke, Richard B. (1983). IBM and the U.S. Data Processing Industry: An Economic History. Praeger. ISBN 0-03-063059-2.

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