Ausgewählter Nerdkram von Informatikstudenten der Uni Ulm

The Importance of Open Source

Some time ago, Phil – who was recently interviewed by Michael – and I were asked to write a short statement about Open Source Software for the Charité NeuroScience Newsletter. The newsletter of June 2012 focuses on the topic of Open Access, which is strongly related to the idea of Open Source.

Open source is not about giving away software for free, but about freedom and progress. The freedom to use software for any purpose increases productivity immensely, while severe restrictions strongly curtail any such ambitions. Limiting the use of software also limits its potential, whereas lifting the restrictions allows people to experiment and encourages creativity.

With access to the source, it is possible to study, learn from, reuse and improve upon code without spending valuable time reinventing the wheel. As a side effect, open source often leads to higher quality software through the contribution of more people with a varied skill set.

Open source is about sharing knowledge; a concept our civilization would not have reached its current level of technology without. The freedom to publish a project incorporating parts of other open source projects encourages the formation of a cycle of give and take, which constitutes a crucial contribution to progress.

As an example, the World Wide Web as we know it, consists almost entirely of servers running open source software, enabling people to communicate and share information easily, quickly, and securely over the entire globe.

Open source software plays a significant role in many fields, improves the lives of many people and is a driving force behind technological and scientific advancement.

Kategorie: allgemein, Open Source

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