open source doorway(**See Questions For Discussion at bottom of page)

You may have heard of something called “Open Source” or “Open Source software” but wasn’t sure exactly what it was. If you work online very often I’m sure you have come across this terminology more than once and probably benefit from it even more. Truthfully, I think it’s the best kept secret on the internet!

So, What Is “Open Source Software”?

It’s a silent force for good working for your advantage giving you more free quality online tools than you can imagine! Believe it or not, most people don’t even know most of it exists. There’s true humility for you. (some say its stupidity for not charging us!)

Some say it’s Microsoft’s worst enemy and some believe Microsoft was the inspiration for the beginnings of this underground community of internet do-gooders, but either way, it is a gold mine if you know where to look.

The technical definition of ‘Open Source Software’:

“Open-source software is computer software included with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder (code author) provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software at no cost to anyone and for any purpose.”  (thank you, Wikipedia)

In short, it’s 100% free software with no hidden agenda. In a world of MUST HAVE PROFIT (say this in robot-like tone) the open source movement has not lost its strength despite little support for their timid requests for donations. It’s the ‘free lunch’ that everyone claims doesn’t exist but they DO still have to eat! At the core these software coders are motivated and united by a genuine desire to keep the internet completely free. (in more ways than just money!) Is their a difference between free software, freeware and open source? see link at bottom of article

Would You Like a Side Of HTML Code With That, Sir?

Free software is just a partial picture of this Open Source philosophy, however. The code to all this free stuff is also made available to anyone that demonstrates a genuine desire to improve or work on these programs. It’s a concept that Christians could learn from, don’t you think?

The Most Famous Open Source Program Is….

The most famous and by far the most utilized and contributed to open source program is…(drumroll, please) 

wp logoWordPress!

Personally, I believe the best blogging platform any

-and I mean ANY –

blogger could ask for is found at WordPress.org.

A Dot Com and Dot Org Is NOT The Same!

Note the DOT ORG. WordPress.COM is in the same family, but WP.com is another great program, but much different in so many ways. (read: “The difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com”)

WhyDoWork’ Adsense Plugin and Google Analytics

Two of the most popular open source website tools that are written for WordPress that you could find very useful can be found at:  http://www.whydowork.com/resources/websitetools/websitetools.php

Want To Know More?

Find more free open source software at: http://sourceforge.net/  and a full list on Wiki: http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Main_Page

Find Out More

Open Source Initiative Corporation
The Open Source Initiative is an organization dedicated to promoting open-source software. The organization was founded in February 1998, by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond, prompted by Netscape

Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation is a 501 non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the free software movement, which promotes the universal freedom to create, distribute … Wikipedia

GNU  http://www.gnu.org/

GNU is a Unix-like operating system that is free software—it respects your freedom. You can install versions of GNU (more precisely, GNU/Linux systems) which are entirely free software

Find a list of books for teaching software development at  http://www.delorie.com/store/books/

See a large list of free open source software:  http://sourceforge.net/

**This post has been brought to you free of commercial interruptions….(no ads…FYI) 🙂

Questions For Discussion:

What do you think??

Any comments on how those that work on Open Sourceware support themselves?

Do you think everything on the internet should be free? Or just stuff that isn’t used for profit?

Do you think that it’s not business-savvy to offer all their services for free?

What do you think about putting ads like Adsense and Affiliate ads on open source created sites?

Is asking for donations a reasonable way to pay for free programs? Would you donate? How much? What would make you not want to donate any money?

How can Christians learn from this dedicated group?

More Learning Resources:

What is ‘Defective by Design’? http://www.defectivebydesign.org/

What is Free Software? http://www.fsf.org/resources/resources/what-is-fs

Is there a difference between free software, freeware and open source? http://opensourcestrategies.blogspot.com/2005/09/freeware-vs-shareware-vs-open-source.html

Please add any resources that you have found helpful-thanks!

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